Largo, Md. – The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) has partnered with The SPACE, a nonprofit in Greenbelt, to establish a new pop-up location to increase public access to technology and literature, attract participants with collaborative programming, and provide outreach to the significant population of immigrants, refugees, and Spanish-speakers living in the Greenbelt area. The SPACE, which stands for “Sharing Positive Artistic and Creative Energies,” is a free art and technology space located in the Beltway Plaza Mall and is led by Executive Director Shaymar Higgs, the recipient of the City of Greenbelt’s 2021 Outstanding Citizen Award.
As a part of this partnership, the Library is providing two laptops for public access at The SPACE, establishing a custom library collection of books for children, and supporting the Franklin Park and Springhill Lake communities with programming, early literacy outreach, and language learning and workforce development services. These resources will be made available at The SPACE Monday-Friday 3-7 pm, and Saturday 12-7 pm.
Staff at The SPACE will provide basic computer assistance to users, including how to apply for a virtual library card and access resources from the library’s website with remote support from Library staff at the Greenbelt Branch and the Library’s Ask A Librarian service. PGCMLS has provided 100 diverse, multilingual picture books, early readers, fiction and nonfiction books, and graphic novels to be housed and circulated at The SPACE.
Suggested library programs for viewing on the laptops while visiting The SPACE are Café a las cuatro, Kids Achieve Club, English Conversation Club, and Crafternoons. Suggested services to access on Library laptops include Mango Languages, Brainfuse JobNow, Brainfuse HelpNow which offers live tutoring to students, and Spanish-language resources for children such as Lectorum by Make Make. All resources will be completely free with a library card, and The SPACE continues to offer free WiFi as part of a generous ongoing grant from an outside partner. In-person indoor programming will eventually be offered at The SPACE when COVID-19 conditions permit. Future programs will include monthly bilingual storytimes, STEM programs for kids, and wellness programs for families.
“From sewing to jewelry-making and DIY crafts, The SPACE offers open studio and structured workshops for all ages as our way of providing the community with high-quality art supplies, computer technology, and professional art instruction. It operates as an alternate “third space” that is affirming and inclusive in the community,” explained Executive Director Higgs. “The Library is excited about supporting and expanding upon these initiatives,” contributed PGCMLS CEO Roberta Phillips.
About The SPACE
The SPACE is a Black-owned and run nonprofit in Beltway Plaza Mall in Greenbelt, Maryland designed to provide free art for all. The SPACE stands for “Sharing Positive Artistic and Creative Energies.” The SPACE: Free Art for All has as its mission to provide a pro-social environment that promotes individualized support through arts education and exploration opportunities, career development, and therapeutic services to youth, adults, and families in underserved communities. As a free art and technology space attractive to all ages, The SPACE offers open studio and structured, and professional workshops for personal enrichment and advancement. Resources include superior art supplies, computer technology, books, and more. The SPACE has provided over 8,000 individual art making experiences since opening its doors in 2018.
About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System
The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 915,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve booklovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike.
PGCMLS’ robust online offerings include curated content collections for kids, teens, educators, Spanish speakers, and more. Virtual events and outreach provide access to the Library from the comfort of home or on the go. Special programs include the D.R.E.A.M. Lab, STEM Pals, and 3D printing, which offer teens and lifelong learners with opportunities to learn cutting-edge technology and STEM skills for job readiness or personal enrichment. The Library also provides drive-up WiFi access at all branches and mobile hotspot devices. The Library’s Laurel Branch Library received the 2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Award and was designated the best new public building in Maryland.
As a strong community partner, the Library regularly collaborates with local government agencies and non-profit organizations to provide access to essential community services and programs. Partners include the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission, Employ Prince George’s, Prince George’s County Public Schools, and Prince George’s Community College. Learn more at pgcmls.info or by visiting the Largo-Kettering Branch at 9601 Capital Lane, Largo, MD 20774.