Brooklyn Public Library, Charter Communications Unveil New Space for Computer Classes, Multilingual Programs
New York City—March 13, 2017— Brooklyn Public Library and Charter Communications, Inc. have partnered to open a new educational programming and technology center at Bushwick Library, BPL and Charter announced today. The Spectrum Learning Lab will provide state-of-the-art technology, including laptop computers and high-speed internet service, to patrons free of charge. Many of the lab’s digital literacy programs and classes will be multilingual and designed to serve Bushwick residents who have limited English proficiency.
With 1,500 public computers, free laptop and tablet lending, and a robust schedule of public programs and courses, Brooklyn Public Library is one of the borough’s largest providers of free technology.
“The library’s doors are open to all people, and the Learning Lab will help patrons develop useful skills no matter what language they speak or how proficient they currently are with technology,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “The lab will be a valuable resource to the entire neighborhood, particularly job seekers, students and non-native English speakers.”
While broadband service is widely available in Brooklyn, broadband adoption, particularly among immigrant communities and lower-income households, is far from universal. According to the 2013 American Community Survey, approximately one-third of Bushwick’s households lack broadband service at home, and many rely on the library for computer and internet access.
Charter’s commitment to the Bushwick Learning Lab includes Spectrum Internet™ and TV services, computer equipment and software, flat-screen HDTVs and other furnishings. Spectrum Learning Labs have focused on workforce development and youth engagement, helping residents build computer, internet and other communications skills in communities across New York City. A total of 40 Learning Labs are expected to be in operation by 2020.
“Charter Communications is proud to partner with Brooklyn Library in providing state-of-the-art technologies to help bridge the digital divide for local communities such as Bushwick — opening doors for residents to succeed in this rapidly changing world,” said Camille Joseph, Charter Vice President of State Government Affairs, Northeast.
The Spectrum Learning Lab at Bushwick Library will host a rotating schedule of programs, approximately three per day, including twice-weekly programs for older adults, weekly job readiness workshops, and a varied schedule of after-school programs and class visits by local schools. Staff, volunteers and community partners will host technology classes, digital literacy workshops, STEM programs and open labs for independent work.
Beginning computer users will benefit from classes that teach basic skills, while Teen Tech Time attendees will learn coding, design and other more advanced proficiencies. Career information librarians will offer weekly programs and mentoring sessions for job seekers. Twenty laptop computers, provided by Charter, will be available for loan, twice as many as are available at the current branch.
When not reserved for BPL programs and workshops, the Lab will be available for use by local schools and community groups in need of technology resources. Community partners planning to offer programming in the space include TKTK Senior Center, the YMCA and P.S. 147.
The Spectrum Learning Lab is open during regular branch hours: Monday, Tuesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website: www.bklynlibrary.org.
Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) is a leading broadband communications company and the second largest cable operator in the United States. Charter provides a full range of advanced broadband services, including Spectrum TV™ video entertainment programming, Spectrum Internet™ access, and Spectrum Voice™. Spectrum Business® similarly provides scalable, tailored, and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to business organizations, such as business-to-business Internet access, data networking, business telephone, video and music entertainment services, and wireless backhaul. Charter’s advertising sales and production services are sold under the Spectrum Reach™ brand. Charter’s news and sports networks are operated under the Spectrum Networks brand. More information about Charter can be found at charter.com.