FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 24, 2022
Contact: Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, firstname.lastname@example.org
Queens Public Library Reopens Its Queensbridge Tech Lab Providing Digital Literacy Resources and Programs Essential for an Equitable Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Long Island City, NY – Queens Public Library today announced that it is reopening its Queensbridge Tech Lab, at 10-43 41st Avenue, on Saturday, March 5 at 10 AM.
The Queensbridge Tech Lab primarily serves the housing complex, which is owned and operated by the New York City Housing Authority. While the Lab puts a special emphasis on offering programming for the Queensbridge community, it provides learning opportunities to everyone.
As New York continues to recover from the impact of COVID-19, the Lab helps its customers, many of whom have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, build critical skills needed to succeed in school and in the workplace by offering virtual and in-person workshops on a wide range of tech topics for all ages, including basic computer skills, audio and video editing, graphic design, 3D printing, robotics, web development, computer programming and technology job readiness.
A hub of innovation and technology in the community, the Lab also offers access to Maker Space programs, printing and scanning, as well as crafting supplies and sewing machines.
The space features five desktop computers and 20 laptops available for in-house use. In addition, the Lab provides a laptop and hotspot loan program.
Specialized software like Audacity, Adobe Creative Suite, QuickBooks Pro, and Scratch are available during open hours for self-guided learning and independent projects. The Lab also offers review sessions for customers seeking to earn Microsoft Office Specialist certifications.
“We are excited to welcome our customers back to the Queensbridge Tech Lab,” said Lakishia Brown, QPL’s Job and Business Academy Special Projects Coordinator, who oversees the Lab. “As New York seeks to re-emerge from the pandemic as a more equitable city, our customers, now more than ever, need access to programs helping them develop hands-on skills necessary to pursue tech-related degrees and sought-after tech careers.”
QPL’s Queensbridge location first opened in 1949, initially serving as a library branch and then a family literacy center, before becoming a Tech Lab.
Launched in 2017 with three-day service, the Lab is funded by the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO) and supports MOCTO’s investment in digital inclusion at Queensbridge Houses by serving as a ground for new technology programming and facilitating access to the Internet as residents log on to the Queensbridge Connected wireless network.
In 2019, it expanded its services to four days a week, as demand for digital literacy programs continued to grow in the area. That year alone, the Lab provided roughly 3,000 NYCHA residents with hands-on access to hardware and software training and served more than 3,400 patrons during Open Lab hours.
The Lab closed in March 2020, when QPL temporarily closed its physical locations to help stop the spread of COVID-19. But it continued to serve the community throughout the pandemic with virtual workshops, focused on digital literacy and job readiness.
In addition to programming, customers can set up one-on-one appointments with the staff to learn or further improve their technology skills.
On the first Saturday of each month, the Lab hosts its Open House series, where customers can make mini-projects on a variety of Tech Lab tools and learn about its upcoming workshops.
In partnership with the Adult Literacy Center at the Long Island City Library, the Tech Lab also serves as a Literacy Zone, connecting individuals with limited literacy or English language skills with case management specialists, resources and services. Eligible out-of-school youth and adults can receive referrals to a variety of coordinated services and benefits.
Queensbridge Tech Lab Open Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday - 12-8pm
Phone number: 718-937-6266
About Queens Public Library
Queens Public Library is one of the largest and busiest public library systems in the United States, dedicated to serving the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country. An independent, non-profit organization founded 125 years ago, QPL offers free access to a collection of more than 5 million books and other materials in multiple languages, technology and digital resources, and more than 80,000 educational, cultural, and civic programs annually. QPL consists of 66 locations across the borough, including branch libraries, a Central Library, seven adult learning centers, a technology center, and two teen centers, and attracted more than 11 million visitors in 2019