Bill White launches "HPL Mobile Express"

May 15, 2008 9:33:38 AM PDT
Wednesday Mayor Bill White launched the new Houston Public Library computer training lab on wheels, "HPL Mobile Express." This is a novel concept, bringing access to technology and programs directly to high-need neighborhoods with low to moderate incomes.Services provided include literacy programs, workforce development training, computer training, and access to technology.

HPL Mobile Express is equipped with 13 desktop computers, seven laptops, and a large-screen television for instruction and literacy programs.

HPL Mobile Express is expected to begin offering classes mid-summer.

"The library of the future is here," Mayor White said.

Director of the Houston Public Library system Dr. Rhea Brown Larson said, "Providing access to innovative technologies is part of the mission of the Houston Public Library."

The Housing and Community Development Department provided $380,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to initiate the program. Funding included approximately $280,000 to purchase the "lab on wheels" and the technology within it, as well as $100,000 for operating costs, including staffing.

"Houston Public Library is providing access to leading-edge technology-driven programs and services to meet the needs of our customers," said Roosevelt Weeks, deputy director at the Houston Public Library. "HPL Mobile Express is the library without walls. With it we can go to areas where we don't have neighborhood libraries and where library services are needed."

The HPL Mobile Express will make its public debut at the Houston Public Central Library Grand Reopening festivities May 31 and June 1.

For further information, visit the Houston Public Library at www.houstonlibrary.org or call 832-393-1313.


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