Lefferts is in the South Richmond Hill area of Queens where the first settlers were the Rockaway Indians. Its modern history can be traced back to 1869 when Mr. Albon Man, a New York Lawyer, purchased the Lefferts farm. He then bought Welling Farm from the Indians for a bag of shells. He continued to buy the adjacent area and called his whole land Richmond Hill. With Edward Richmond and other assistants’ help, Mr. Man and his son Alrick built streets and lined them with Elm and Cedar trees. The main avenue was later named Lefferts Boulevard.
Today the Lefferts community is composed of mostly Guyanese and Asian Indians, African Americans, Hispanics, and other ethnic groups.
Lefferts Community Library, actually named the Lefferts Reference Center, opened to the public on September 3, 1975. Since then, in the Richmond Hill area, the Lefferts Reference Center has been providing service as the regional branch for its immediate community and a higher level of reference and resource service between the local branch and Central library.
On May 31, 1978, the Lefferts Reference Center initiated the computerized library circulation system, the first of its kind in New York City. The computerized system checked out the books, now with attaching barcodes, to the customers’ library cards. This technology greatly helped the library staff to issue items and accept returns, and offered the customers information about the items, fines, and other information on their cards.
In 2003, The Lefferts Reference Center again pioneered the use of new circulation technology. That spring, when the branch was renovated, new self check machines were installed. Customers can now check out books, music CDs, videotapes, and DVDs by using the machines themselves, which changed the function of the Circulation desk into the Customer Service desk.