HONOLULU (KHON2) — Books and magazines are probably the first things that come to mind when thinking of a public library. But, in Waipahu, an esports tech lab can now add to that list.

Technology Readiness User Evaluation is a non-profit organization that focuses on tech enabling Hawaii and they partnered with the Hawaii State Library to open a tech lab at the Waipahu Public Library.

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This lab is open to the public to learn skills in software development through video games, helping them in the future tech job market. Tech enabled jobs earn 53% more and TRUE hopes this lab will lead to businesses having more growth and operate more efficiently.

It puts them in touch with something that they might be familiar with and were using that as a gateway to expose them to the various careers and to also come in and learn software development. They can learn how to build their own video games here for free.”

Leilani Farinas, Executive Director, TRUE

The lab will have 5 gaming PC’s and eventually, they plan on adding a tech lab at all 51 libraries across the state. State Librarian Stacey Aldrich said “we want to make sure that people have access and… sometimes it’s really expensive for kids to be able to play. One, you need high powered equipment, so you need high powered capacity computers. You need really good internet to be competitive and then you need good skills and mentors. So, this program is going to offer that to the community.”

Esports players from Hawaii Pacific University and University of Hawaii at Manoa came in to play League of Legends on Thursday, demonstrating how they strategize in high pressured situations. It also gave high school students a chance to see what they can do in a true esports community team.

On Saturday, June 18, TRUE will begin recruitment efforts for high school students ages 13 and up in the Waipahu community and the teams will play by season. The first season will begin on Monday, Aug. 8 through Monday Oct. 31.

Required commitment in-person at the Waipahu Public Library:

  • One and a half hours of League of Legends esports team practice 2x a week
  • Two hours of foundational software development course work once a week
  • Game days on Saturday mornings

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The lab will also be open to the public on Wednesday, July 27.