Corona is an energetic and multicultural neighborhood in North Central Queens. It is a true example of the American melting pot. It is one of the largest, most populated and most diverse communities in Queens.
First developed in 1854, the area was named West Flushing. The same year witnessed the inauguration of the Long Island Railroad. Streets sprang up along the route of the railroad and it became the commercial heart of Corona. In the 1870’s, developer, Benjamin W. Hitchcock, advertised CORONA as the "crown" of villages on Long Island. Early factories made china, portable houses, and from 1893 into the 1930s, Tiffany glass. The population reached 2,500 by 1898 and jumped to 6,200 by 1910. By the 1920’s, Corona’s commercial center began to expand towards Northern Boulevard. Today, the 7-Flushing Local train runs through Corona.
In 1910, a traveling library was established in Corona. A librarian came on a weekly basis to charge out books and bring in a fresh selection of materials. By 1911, the traveling library became a permanent branch in a rented storefront, located at 13 Locust Street now known as 43rd Avenue.
Corona’s claim to fame is brief but impressive. From 1943 to 1971, the great jazz trumpeter, Louis Armstrong lived in the neighborhood. His home is now a museum. Flushing Meadow Corona Park is a well known recreational area and home of the World’s Fair held in the 1960’s. People travel from far and wide to visit the deservedly famous Lemon Ice King of Corona. Rosie, Queen of Corona, is featured in Paul Simon’s song "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard." The fictional home of Archie Bunker from the classic television series “All In he Family” (1971-1983) was located in Corona.
The area attracted a large Latin American community after the Second World War; first Puerto Ricans and, after 1965, more and more Dominicans. On May 24, 1969 the Corona Library relocated to the new city-owned facility that is on the same site as the branch today. The movement of immigrants into the neighborhood in the 1980’s was heavy: the Dominicans accounted for the majority of residents who settled there with a small but stable community of Chinese and Colombians. Today the population is mainly Hispanic (Dominican, Colombian, and Ecuadorian) and Asian (Chinese and East Indian).
The Corona Community Library is the first public library in the country with complete self-service stations for customers utilizing RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology coupled with automated payment technology. The branch also features state-of-the-art technology including self-check-out machines, an automated return system, and up-to-date computers. Recently the Corona Branch has completed an expansion substantially increasing floor space from a 5,600 square-foot facility to a new 7,500 square-foot community library. Every part of the library has been expanded, including the Children’s Room and the Adult Reading Room. The new and expanded reading room has an elevated ceiling rising above the current roof height, providing more light and a more spacious environment in which to read and study.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately one of two American men and one of three American women will have some type of cancer at some point during their lifetime. Queens Library HealthLink seeks to increase access to cancer screening and cancer treatment among medically underserved communities in Queens. Queens Library HealthLink is a partnership between Queens Library, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Queens Cancer Center of Queens Hospital and the American Cancer Society.