logo

Event - March 2013

Video: Opportunity Institutions

On March 11, 2013, the Center for an Urban Future held a conference on how public libraries are addressing NYC’s critical human capital challenges. The symposium aimed to spark a discussion among policymakers, educators, social services practitioners, community advocates and business leaders about the role that New York’s public libraries are playing in addressing the city’s skills gap and other key human capital challenges and what more libraries might be capable of doing in the future.




Tags: economic opportunity | boroughs | higher education | immigrants | human capital | youth | low income | esol | libraries

Some dismiss public libraries as a relic of an earlier age. But even in an age of e-books and iPads, New York City’s public libraries have become an increasingly critical—but still largely overlooked—part of the city’s human capital infrastructure. The 206 branch libraries across the five boroughs are the go-to place for so many New Yorkers who lack the basic literacy, language and technological skills that are needed in today’s knowledge economy. They are helping adults upgrade their skills and find jobs, assisting immigrants learn English, fostering reading skills in young people and providing technology access for those who don’t have a computer or an Internet connection at home.

This symposium aims to spark a discussion among policymakers, educators, social services practitioners, community advocates and business leaders about the role that New York’s public libraries are playing in addressing the city’s skills gap and other key human capital challenges and what more libraries might be capable of doing in the future. The discussion will examine what the libraries are doing well in this area, where there is room for improvement, and what tools and resources the libraries need to expand and improve their capabilities.

#nyclibraries     @nycfuture

8:30am – 8:35amWelcoming Remarks

  • Anthony Marx, President & CEO, New York Public Library

 

8:35am – 8:45amPresentation of CUF’s Branches of Opportunity Report

  • David Giles, Research Director, Center for an Urban Future

 

8:45am – 10:00am: Panel 1: The Role of Libraries in Meeting the Human Capital Challenges Facing NYC

Moderator: Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future

  • Sandra Escamilla-Davies, Executive Director, Youth Development Institute
  • Chris Lawrence, Director, Hive Learning Network NYC
  • Fatima Shama, Commissioner,  NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs
  • Sheena Wright, President & CEO, United Way of NYC
  • Kathryn S. Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for NYC

 

10:15am – 11:25am: Panel 2: The Future of New York City’s Libraries

Introduction: Julie Sandorf, President, Charles H. Revson Foundation

Moderator: Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future

  • Thomas W. Galante, President & CEO, Queens Library
  • Linda E. Johnson, President & CEO, Brooklyn Public Library
  • Anthony Marx, President & CEO, New York Public Library

This conference is made possible through a generous grant from the Charles H. Revson Foundation.