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New Jamaica Library for Teens Goes Hi-Tech with Gaming Center

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | October 30, 2013 2:40pm
 New Teen Library brings a gaming lounge to Jamaica.
New Teen Library Opens in Jamaica
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QUEENS — Now you can have Mario Kart with your Macbeth.

A new teen section that recently opened at the Queens Central Library in Jamaica features a video gaming lounge and multimedia room in an effort to reach out to young people in the neighborhood.

The new facility will also have an area with computers boasting photo and video editing software — features that “are hard to find” at libraries, said Joanne King, communications director for the Queens Library system.

There is a gaming center at the Flushing library, but they are hard to find elsehwere, King said.

The Queens Central Library is undergoing a $10 million renovation, which includes a new computer center and the expansion of the media center with CDs and DVDs.

Most of the renovations at the 47-year-old building are slated to be completed by the end of the year. The branch is also getting the first ever cafe at a Queens Library branch, which should be ready to open sometime this winter, library officials said.

There will be three gaming consoles at the branch — PS3, Xbox and Nintendo Wii — with one large monitor. King said the library tries “to buy games with some educational value or exercise value.”

Current titles include Kinect Adventures!, WWE All Stars, Wii Sports and Mario Kart, she said.

The 4,000-square-foot area can fit about 600 teens and is designed to look similar to the nearby Children's Library Discovery Center, which opened at Merrick Boulevard and 90th Avenue in 2011.

The new teen library will also include a quiet room, two conference rooms and a study area for doing school work, King said.

The collaborative area will allow teens to work in groups, which “used to be discouraged in the main library space,” King said.

Thanks to the editing software, kids will be able to “collaborate on multimedia projects and creative work,” she noted.