Information Commons Technology
Computer Workstations and Scanner
The workspace area of the Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons offers 25 desktop computer workstations:
- 10 iMac "design" stations that allow 60-minute sessions. Find the full list of software offered on the iMac design stations.
- 13 Hewlett-Packard "research" stations that allow 30-minute sessions. Find the full list of software offered on the PC research stations.
- 2 Hewlett-Packard "design" stations that allow 60-minute sessions. Find the full list of software offered on the PC design stations.
Info Commons computer workstations are dedicated to working, learning and research. You can use these computers to access productivity and design software, job and career websites, email, BPL databases, and news and information sites. The following sites and services have been blocked: streaming video, some social networks, chat, online games, and adult sites.
You must have a BPL library card or purchase a one-day guest pass in order to use a computer. Computer use is first come, first served, and wait times vary throughout the day.
The scanner is free to use and outputs to a choice of PDF, JPG, PNG, RTF, or MP3 (text to audio) files. The scanner bed measures roughly 12" x 17".
The Info Commons has seven meeting rooms that Adult cardholders (age 17 and older) are welcome to reserve directly. Each meeting room offers a flatscreen display to facilitate instruction, webinars, and collaboration. The largest of the seven meeting rooms (Meeting Room 4) features a SMART board interactive whiteboard. We have inkless markers and a special cable that allows you to temporarily access the SMART software on your own computer for full interactive functionality - just ask the staff for assistance, and please bring your ID to leave at the desk.
All displays include speakers and the appropriate cables to connect to your own device (the library does not provide laptops) for audio as well as video. Central Library's wireless Internet access is available throughout the space, but there is also a data jack in each room.
Certain file types are playable or viewable on the flatscreens (although not on the SMART Board in Room 4) directly from USB flash drives: .3gp, .asf, .avi, .divx, .jpg, .m2ts, .mkv, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .mts, .tp, .trp, .ts, .vro, .webm, .wmv.
Ethernet cables, Mac-to-HDMI, Mac-to-VGA, and Lightning-to-VGA adapters can be borrowed to use in the meeting rooms, depending on availability. We also have a limited number of whiteboards and dry erase markers for public use. To borrow items, you will need to leave your library card at the reference desk.
Meeting Room 1 serves as an amateur recording studio for audio and video projects. The room offers a DSLR camera, microphones, and an iMac editing workstation.
Digital Conversion Equipment
We have equipment that allows you to convert your analog media—VHS videocassettes, audiocassettes and vinyl records—to digital files. Reserve time with the equipment and bring your media, plus a laptop if possible, to the Info Commons at the scheduled time. Read instructions and tips in advance of your appointment.
The Info Commons lab has both Macbook Pro and Hewlett-Packard laptops that are available to the public during classes and workshops. The laptops feature the same software and applications as their desktop counterparts.
The lab is also equipped with a projector and assistive listening technology.
The Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons is made possible by a generous $3.25 million grant from the Leon Levy Foundation.
The Leon Levy Foundation, founded in 2004, is a private, not-for-profit foundation created from the estate of Leon Levy, a legendary investor with a longstanding commitment to philanthropy. The Foundation’s overarching goal is to continue the tradition of humanism characteristic of Mr. Levy by supporting scholarship at the highest level, ultimately advancing knowledge and improving the lives of individuals and society at large.
We especially thank Shelby White, Founding Trustee of the Leon Levy Foundation, for her commitment to the enrichment of Central Library.
Additional funding is provided through NYC Connected Communities, a program coordinated by the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.