The Queens Borough Public Library has used its grant from the Libraries Online! Project to strengthen small business development by establishing the Small Business Computing Center (SBCC). The Center is located at the Far Rockaway Branch in a recently established Economic Empowerment Zone, an area with limited job opportunities, few large businesses and a median income that is only 77% of the Queens neighborhood average.
This Libraries Online! project was targeted to small business people and entrepreneurs because several hundred people a year explore the idea of starting a new business with the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC). The RDRC regularly referred interested parties to the Queens Library staff, who in turn had to refer patrons to the Central Library across town where the most complete business resources were available. The SBCC in Far Rockaway now makes this information gathering process much easier and faster.
The SBCC consists of 10 multimedia PCs and laser printers with attendant software and Internet access. The Library System has also installed a Frame Relay WAN throughout all its sixty-three facilities. The Far Rockaway branch is connected at fractional T-1 speed which allows for direct Internet access as well as full, speedy access to all electronic materials available at the Central Library. In addition to software productivity and educational materials provided by Microsoft, the Library purchased other software, materials and resources of interest to small business people and entrepreneurs.
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