QPL and Google Celebrate the Relaunch of the Far Rockaway Teen Library and Its Newly Expanded Digital Literacy Resources
Far Rockaway, NY – The Far Rockaway Teen Library, at 2002 Cornaga Avenue, hosted an open house party on Tuesday, May 24, to highlight its new digital capabilities and expanded digital literacy resources, including brand new top-notch equipment, provided with support from Google.
As technology is increasingly becoming an everyday part of teens’ lives, libraries are uniquely positioned to offer young adults access to free digital literacy resources, guiding them through an ever-evolving digital world and helping them develop the high-demand tech skills needed in today’s job market.
Thanks to Google, the completely transformed space now features robust tech resources, including 25 new desktop computers, six iPads, a 3D printer, a Logitech driving game, and a 75” TV for gaming, as well as ProTools for the recording studio and multiple software programs for editing, photography, and videography, such as Adobe Creative Cloud. The Teen Library also boasts new furniture for the lounge and homework areas, in addition to new computer and gaming chairs.
During the event, teens were able to participate in a tech fair, where they learned about 3D printing, robotics, drones, virtual reality, and more. There was also a DJ, a 360 photo booth and giveaways.
“The Far Rockaway Teen Library provides young people with a safe and inclusive environment where they can access free, quality learning programs and connect with their peers and mentors,” said QPL President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “Google’s investment in this important space has significantly expanded its digital literacy resources, which are essential for helping teens develop the skills necessary to navigate today’s fast-changing technology landscape.”
“Ensuring all New Yorkers have access to professional tech opportunities requires us to create access to tech tools and education where New Yorkers are,” said Angela Pinsky, Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Google New York. “Our public libraries are the best resources for knowledge, community, and education across the five boroughs, and providing them with state of the art equipment, and making them the front line partners for tech program outreach is one of the smartest investments Google can make.”
“New Yorkers know that our libraries are more than just books,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “I am thrilled to see the Queens Public Library, with support from Google, has now made Far Rockaway the go-to place for programming that will empower teens to not only gain critical 21st Century digital literacy skills but also translate them into career opportunities.”
QPL President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott and Teen Center Site Coordinator Eyitami Oyarijivbie
The Teen Library, originally established in 2008, is designed exclusively for teens, many of whom have been experiencing unprecedented isolation since the beginning of the pandemic. It provides teens in Far Rockaway with dedicated space they can call their own, helping them explore their interests and learn outside of the classroom with their peers and trusted adults. It reopened for limited programming in January 2022, following its closure in March 2020, when QPL temporarily had closed its physical locations to help stop the spread of COVID-19. With this relaunch, the Teen Library will be able to welcome more teens to participate in an expanded menu of digital literacy opportunities.
The space also aims to stimulate creative thinking, encourage civic engagement and – with the guidance of youth counselors and teen librarians – helps teens explore their school and career options.
It offers teen-friendly digital programming, including a series of podcast production workshops, DJing classes and an app development program. Additionally, it features a dedicated homework space, creative corner with film-editing equipment and computer area with free printing.
The Teen Library continues to provide its robust virtual programming, including Youth Justice Court, workshops on subjects ranging from technology, entrepreneurship and financial literacy to creative arts and health and wellness, college readiness and job search resources, as well as a book club. It also offers grab-and-go kits, containing items like craft supplies, bookmarks, and writing journals to engage teens in projects outside the Library.
Prior to the start of the pandemic, the Far Rockaway Teen Library had approximately 33,000 visits a year.
The Far Rockaway Teen Library is open Monday through Friday from 2:30 to 6:00 PM.
Teens need a library card to enter the space, and they need to reserve a time slot to use gaming systems and computers. To make a reservation, go here. Reservations can be made a week in advance for up to 45 minutes per activity. Walk-in reservations can be made at the main desk if slots are available.
The Far Rockaway Teen Library is adjacent to the Far Rockaway Swing Space, located at 1003 Beach 20th Street. The main Far Rockaway Library at 1637 Central Ave. is closed during the construction of a new building, tentatively expected to open to the public by the end of the year.
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.
Contact: Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, email@example.com