Briarwood residents still have a few more days to get their official New York City identification card at their local public library.
The Briarwood library is hosting an IDNYC pop-up registration center that opened on Dec. 29, 2015; the center is slated to close on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
City Councilman Rory Lancman, state Senator Leroy Comrie, Assemblyman David Weprin, and Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) visited the pop-up center last Friday in urging residents to sign up for IDNYC.
Aside from serving as a free form of government identification, the card gives New York City residents access to crucial city services, over 30 cultural institutions and library memberships. IDNYC benefits every city resident across the five boroughs, providing recognized identification for 700,000 New Yorkers.
“IDNYC offers New Yorkers a widely recognized form of identification so they can connect with government and access city services,” Lancman said. “Free library and museum memberships make IDNYC truly a passport to a broader world.”
New institutions have signed on as part of IDNYC’s 2016 renewal, with the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art joining the program for the first time. Flushing Town Hall, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, Queens Botanical Garden, Queens Museum and Queens Theatre in the Park have all signed on for a second year in the program.
The card has empowered residents to participate more fully in city life, according to Agarwal. Teenagers now have access to the cultural life of the city, immigrant mothers can participate in school activities with their children, and transgendered individuals have the freedom to self-designate their gender on the card for the first time.
Agarwal added that the Briarwood pop-up expands IDNYC access and allow more residents to “show their New York City pride.”
The library enrollment program has enrolled more than 80,000 individuals in IDNYC through pop-up centers like the one in Briarwood. Bridget Quinn-Carey, interim president and CEO of Queens Library attributes this success to the fact that libraries are “convenient, welcoming community gathering places.” She added that many individuals were now using IDNYC as their library cards, increasing access to community programs and resources.
“It is a partnership that benefits everyone,” she concluded.
IDNYC has benefits beyond cultural immersion in the city. The program provides an ID recognized by numerous city agencies including the NYPD and DOE, and discounts at cultural institutions, pharmacies, and supermarkets, as well as essential services such as the ability to open a bank account at banks and credit unions across the city.
Weprin applauded the program for its benefit to the diverse residents of his district. He said that this program has “helped open doors which were previously closed for many New Yorkers.”
“With Queens being the borough of the world, it is also important to note that IDNYC also is available to residents regardless of immigration status,” Comrie added. “Any time that government can provide access to resources for our community, it is a privilege to do so.”