2014-09-10 / Features

Queens Library Named For 2014 Best Practices

Students from Queens Satellite H.S. at a Queens Library workshop that uses tablets. Students from Queens Satellite H.S. at a Queens Library workshop that uses tablets. The New York Library Association’s Public Libraries Section (PLS) has announced that Queens Library will receive the prestigious 2014 Best Practices Award for the development of its Mobile Discovery and Delivery Platform. The award is given every two years to a public library or public library system that has focused on the best use of technology to promote library services. The award will be presented at the annual conference in Saratoga in November.

The Mobile Discovery and Delivery Platform is a custom interface for the Google Nexus Tablets that the library lends to customers, free, using their library cards. It is pre-loaded with library-curated information on job skills training, education, immigrant services, library resources and more. When the tablets can access wireless Internet at the library or elsewhere, richer content is available. This is the third major award given to the innovation this year. In June, Queens Library accepted both the American Library Association’s “Information Today” Library of the Future Award and was named 2014 New York State Broadband Champion for the most innovative broadband project.

A Queens Library tablet’s interface main screen. A Queens Library tablet’s interface main screen. Queens Library began lending library customers Google tablets on their library cards in November, 2013. The tablets were part of a donation of 17,000 tablets intended to assist Sandy-affected areas by Google to the New York State Community Action Association through the efforts of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York Department of State. Queens Library was the recipient of 5,000 donated units. The tablets are currently being loaned from eight library locations, including the Central Library in Jamaica. This fall, tablet lending will be expanded to libraries in Forest Hills, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Bayside, Long Island City and Cambria Heights. More locations will be added throughout the winter.

“The PLS board was impressed with Queens Library’s innovative tablet lending program and the platform they created,” said PLS President, Sara Dallas. “The library deserves congratulations for promoting this growingly [sic] important form of digital literacy in the Queens community. Libraries throughout New York and the world can learn from their pioneering efforts.”

Queens Library’s President and CEO Thomas W. Galante said, “Our goal was to lend a useful technology experience to library customers. Through our Mobile Discovery and Delivery Platform, everyone who borrows a free tablet from Queens Library is able to access information and resources, even if they do not have wifi access or previous experience with computers. Experienced users can access the Internet, download ebooks, listen to music and more; those who simply want to learn more about library programs and services have everything they need in the palms of their hands.”

The New York Library Association’s Public Libraries Section represents the interests and concerns of the public libraries of New York state. This section endeavors to provide continuing education and leadership opportunities that promote and enhance library services. In addition, PLS acts as an advocate for public and political awareness striving towards adequate funding and support.

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