Each year, the Queens Public Library Foundation invites library staff to submit ideas for new and innovative programs that address the specific needs of their communities. Your donation helps support these initiatives through the Foundation’s Innovation Fund, which provides up to $10,000 each to selected libraries to implement their programs and discover new ways of engaging and supporting the public.

The 2019 Innovation Fund awarded eight exciting new programs throughout the borough. Thanks to the Library’s talented staff and the generosity of its donors, these initiatives will have a remarkable impact on their communities:

Older Adults Programming 3.0: Mind-Boosters for Boomers and Beyond (East Flushing & Glen Oaks Community Libraries): East Flushing and Glen Oaks will provide programs for older adults specifically intended to help maintain cognitive health, including musical instrument lessons, language clubs, coding and intergenerational STEM workshops, and brain game programs. Each library will have a culminating event showcasing work created during workshops, and the project will include bi-monthly outreach visits to nursing homes and senior centers.

Cambria Heights T.V. (Teen Videos) (Cambria Heights Community Library): Cambria Heights will offer a three-month program that will introduce teens to the process of video creation in the form of a television “pilot.” Participants will learn concepts of script writing, storyboarding, and video and audio recording that will culminate in the creation of an original television show centered around the library.

Children Engineers Collaborative (Queensboro Hill Community Library): Queensboro Hill will offer a four-part STEAM series that will teach children and parents about climate change and sustainability. Participants will work in teams to use architectural computer apps and kits to design a sustainable community.

Artsivism: Creative Youth Development Programming for Ridgewood Teens (Ridgewood Community Library): Ridgewood will offer enhanced arts programs for teens that will include arts-based tech programming such as basic filmmaking, animation, graphic design, fashion design, and music making, with the goal of fostering cultural knowledge and inspiring community activism. The program will include a public showcase of student work.

Grand Family Fundamentals (GFF) (Flushing Adult Learning Center): Flushing ALC will offer an intergenerational learning program for Mandarin-speaking grandparents with grandchildren K-3. The program will include ESOL classes, digital literacy and coping skills workshops, and Youth Services programming such as storytime and family arts and crafts programs.

2nd Chance Tech Camp (Queensbridge Tech Lab): The Queensbridge Tech Lab will offer a 15-week technology training for formerly incarcerated individuals, including classes on basic coding, graphic design, music production, and creative writing using online communication tools. The program will end with a final graduation day and showcase of original student work.

QPL @ Night: QPL’s Government and Community Affairs, Community Engagement and Outreach, and Volunteer Services departments will collaborate in a community engagement program targeting millennials ages 23-28. The Library will present a variety of evening events such as Trivia Nights, Sip & Paint, and Pizza & Politics discussion groups at local venues beyond traditional library branches.

Queens Memory Project Community Archiving Ambassadors Program (multiple sites): The Queens Memory Project will train staff members to serve as “Ambassadors” at 10 libraries. Ambassadors will be trained to conduct outreach and facilitate oral history interviews with community members, in addition to learning skills in scanning and metadata creation, public program facilitation, and archival research.