Expanded programs, investments into public libraries are making an impact on young New Yorkers
Public libraries are not only a place to check out a book, but also a spot to use free internet, take a language class or even learn how to file taxes. News 12 met up with Leah Hall-Collins, the teen ambassador at Parkchester Library, on the improvements being put into public libraries.
As a New York Public Library teen ambassador, Leah says she's learning a lot in her first job.
"Responsibility skills, entrepreneurship and how to be an individual," says the high school junior.
She says working at the library feels like home.
"Growing up, my uncle would take me here - and we'd read books, and we'd play on the computers downstairs and play games," she says.
From a child visitor to a teen tutor, Hall-Collins is part of expanded after-school programs at the public library. The drop-in programs give younger New Yorkers a place to socialize, get homework help, access the internet and more.
Some locations in the Bronx and Brooklyn are getting new and improved teen centers, such as the one unveiled at the Mott Haven Library in September thanks to a $15 million investment from the city.
New teen centers come equipped with much more than just books and resources for college. There's new technology in them, such as 3D printers and a recording studio.
With a packed house at the Parkchester location where Hall-Collins works, the investment seems to be working.