Detailed Latest News and Press Releases

Format: 2018-06-20

Queens Library Holds 31-Hour Open House at Its Branch In Corona



Friday, June 2, 2017
Contact: Elisabeth de Bourbon edebourbon@queenslibrary.org
718-990-0704 or 917-499-0867



Dozens of Activities and Events –Some in English and Spanish -- Offered Around the Clock 
10 a.m., Friday, June 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday, June 3


Queens Library’s First-Ever Library All Nighter Includes Free Legal Help for Housing and Immigration Issues, Know-Your-Rights Workshop, Job Hunting Assistance, Social Services Referrals, Author Talk, Community-Based Organization Resource Fair, Film Screening, Bilingual Bingo; English Learning Games, Scary Story Time for Kids, Sunrise Yoga and Musical Performances

QUEENS, N.Y. (June 2, 2017) _ Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott and library staff today kicked off 31 hours of non-stop library service at Corona Community to showcase the kinds of services, resources, materials, cultural events, and activities the Library offers to improve people’s lives. After welcoming the public and community partners to the event, which ends Saturday, June 3 at 5 p.m., President Walcott read aloud “A Color of His Own,” by Leo Lionni, to a group of toddlers.

The 31-Hour Open House is part of the Library’s ongoing “Queens Library is for Everyone” campaign, a six-month initiative launched in April to make clear to the public that Queens Library is here for everyone, no matter their background, identity, or circumstances, especially in the current political climate.

“We want to reinforce our message that Queens Library’s services and resources are available to all regardless of their circumstances or background, and address the fear that’s out there,” President Walcott said. “The goal of the open house is to find creative and different ways to keep our hours flexible for our customers and provide an opportunity for them to meet their needs.”

Queens Library decided to hold the event at Corona Library – one of 63 across the borough – because it attracts 20,000 people each month, making it the busiest per square in the system, and its strong ties to the diverse community it serves.

The schedule and details of each event are available here.




All Queens Library locations will be closed on Monday, May 29 for Memorial Day.

Library materials can be returned 24/7 at more than 40 Queens Library locations and renewed by phone at 718-990-8508 or online.

Digital materials are available for download, even when we're closed—including thousands of free eBooks, audiobooks, eMagazines, songs, movies, and videos!

Arverne Community Library In The Rockaways Set To Expand With $7.6 Million Secured By Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and New York City Council Member Donovan Richards



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 17, 2017
CONTACT: Elisabeth de Bourbon, 718-990-0704, edebourbon@queenslibrary.org
PHOTOS: https://goo.gl/photos/YoUJcEAGctkAEDd69


Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott Unveils Plan for a 3,000-Square-Foot Addition That Will Stand 12 Feet off the Ground and Other Resiliency Measures To Defend Arverne Community Library Against Future Storms

ARVERNE N.Y. _ Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott today welcomed Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and New York City Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Far Rockaway) to Arverne Community Library to announce a 3,000-square-foot expansion of the library and thank them for securing $7.6 million for the project. They were joined by the library’s manager, Nicole Gordon, her staff and residents.

The plan calls for constructing an addition to the 5,400-square-foot existing library that will stand 12 feet off the ground to protect the structure against flooding. The new structure will include improved adult, teen, and children’s reading areas, a large multi-purpose meeting room, and reconfigured staff, a pantry and support areas.

“Our goal is to make sure we tailor the design of each library to the communities they serve, and for Arverne Community Library, that means designing a building that can defend against storms and be a safe haven for this neighborhood,” said President Walcott. “This project would not be possible without the support of Borough President Katz and Council Member Richards, and we are grateful for their continued investment and vision for the future infrastructure needs not only of Queens Library, but of the entire borough of Queens.”

"Investing in our libraries is investing in our future as our libraries are a vital resource for youth, seniors and residents of all ages who want to continue learning at all stages of life," said Council Member Richards, who secured $3.8 million for the project. “Following Superstorm Sandy, Arverne Library was completely destroyed, but now we're ensuring that this vital branch sees a 180-degree turnaround from the morning that saw the entire first floor flooded. I'd like to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens Library President Dennis Walcott for their continued investment to our libraries. I look forward to having a bigger, more beautiful Arverne Library for this community that has been through so much tragedy."

Arverne Community Library sustained heavy water damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012, prompting its closure and a two-year gut renovation. During that time, one of Queens Library’s mobile libraries provided service until the building reopened in 2015.

In June 2016, Arverne was one of six library branches that won a New York City Library Award from the Charles H. Revson Foundation and Stavros Niarchos Foundation for its outstanding service.

President Walcott said the new addition, combined with other resiliency measures such as movable flood barriers that will surround the existing library in the event of a weather emergency, will serve as a model of resiliency and integrate environmentally responsible, sustainable design principles. It will be the first library in the Queens Library system to meet New York City’s new floodplain code.

The expansion and resiliency project will be overseen by the New York City Department of Design and Construction, which anticipates the start of construction in the fall of 2019 and completion in 2022.


Founded in 1896, Queens Library is an independent, non-profit public library system and one of three serving the City of New York. It comprises 62 libraries across the borough of Queens that collectively attract more than 11.2 million visitors each year. Queens Library is one of the highest circulating library systems in the nation and among the busiest in the world. Visit online at: http://www.queenslibrary.org/


NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and The City's Three Library Systems Launch Public Engagement Partnership for CreatenNYC




Contact: publicaffairs@culture.nyc.gov


Throughout the month of March, CreateNYC public feedback materials will be available in six languages at 31 high traffic library branches across all five boroughs

Partnership marks the final push for public input into the CreateNYC, the city’s first-ever comprehensive cultural plan, before the plan’s draft recommendations are released to the public in April

New York – Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl today announced a partnership with the city’s three library systems to place CreateNYC public engagement toolkits at dozens of library branches across the city. As part of the public engagement phase of the CreateNYC cultural plan, each library will help to engage a broad spectrum of New Yorkers through their local libraries. The partnership marks the last major push for public feedback into the city’s cultural plan currently in development before draft recommendations are released for a public comment period in April 2017.

“The cultural plan has provided us with an amazing opportunity to get out and meet with New Yorkers where they live, work, and experience culture,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “Libraries have become so much more than a place to store books. They provide space for education, connection, and a huge array of programming that speaks directly to neighborhood needs. This exciting partnership will allow us to learn more about the experiences of residents in these community hubs.”

The materials on site in each participating library branch include:

  1. CreateNYC Infographic Display explains the cultural plan process, timeline, components, and community engagement touch points. The display is accompanied by a colorful “Question Canvas” display and suggestion box for direct input.
  2. CreateNYC Community Toolkit provides tools to gather specific information from library patrons to gain insight about who they are, where they’re from, and how they engage NYC’s arts and cultural assets. Tools take the form of feedback cards, question prompts, and printed surveys.

Materials will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Bangla, and Arabic, depending on the community served by each particular branch.

In addition to the toolkits, every library branch in the city received the CreateNYC digital survey to distribute to its lists and patrons. The survey gathers specific information from library patrons about their cultural participation, neighborhood amenities, arts education, affordability, and equity, access, and inclusion.

The local library branches where the toolkits will be located include:

  • Brooklyn Public Library: Central, New Lots, Macon, Kings Highway, Sunset Park, and New Utrecht
  • Queens Public Library: Central (Jamaica), Forest Hills, Ridgewood, Flushing, and Jackson Heights.
  • New York Public Library: Mid-Manhattan Library, Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book, St Agnes, Jefferson Market, Chatham Square, Inwood, Tompkins Square, SASB, LPA, Schomburg, Bronx Library Center, Parkchester, Kingsbridge, Spuyten Duyvil, Mosholu, Todt-Hill Westerleigh, Richmondtown, New Dorp, Huguenot Park, and Stapleton.

A major theme to emerge in the CreateNYC public engagement process is the desire for more local access to cultural programming. Libraries, with their presence in every community across New York and missions to support free expression and cultural engagement, provide ideal spaces to cultivate community ties and increase access to culture.

“If the packed audiences at our concerts, dance performances, lectures and other events are any indication, there is a large appetite for culture in the borough of Queens,” said Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “Libraries are magnets for people looking for lifelong learning opportunities, making them great sources of feedback about cultural and educational organizations in their neighborhoods and elsewhere in the five boroughs. It’s a pleasure to partner with the Department of Cultural Affairs as it maps out the road ahead for New York City’s cultural offerings.”

"As an institution that makes educational and cultural programming accessible to all New Yorkers, The New York Public Library is eager to work with our cultural institution partners to help the city shape its CreateNYC plan," said NYPL President Tony Marx. "We welcome the public into our branches to provide much-needed feedback and information to inform the plan -- and hope that, while they visit, they enjoy some of the free programs, exhibitions, classes, and materials that we offer."

“Our local libraries represent the best of who we are and are places where we go to feel a true sense of community,” said Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries Jimmy Van Bramer. “As we develop our city’s first cultural plan, we must bring more voices to the table and this partnership between the Department of Cultural Affairs and our city’s three library systems will do just that.”

"Our libraries are important community hubs that connect New Yorkers with information and services. I am thrilled that our three city library systems will promote and acquire the needed data that our #CreateNYC survey will collect.  We need to promote a cultural plan that works for all New Yorkers from all walks of life, in all corners of our metropolis, and this partnership is a needed and welcomed tool to achieve that goal," said NYC Council Member Andy King, Chair of the Subcommittee on Libraries.


Since the public engagement process began last October, CreateNYC staff has participated in over 200 engagements attended by thousands of city residents. Every piece of data collected through events and through digital engagement is carefully tracked and recorded. Public input will inform the draft recommendations, which will be released for a public comment period in April 2017. The final draft of the plan will be released by June 30, 2017.

About CreateNYC
In May 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation requiring the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) to lead creation of New York City’s first comprehensive cultural plan, CreateNYC. Public input will be the backbone of CreateNYC, providing a long-term blueprint for the efforts and policies of the City and its partners in expanding access to cultural opportunities for all New Yorkers. The plan will also examine a number of issues crucial for maintaining New York City’s cultural vibrancy, including affordable artist workspace; access to arts education; and the role of cultural activities in public space. An initial draft of the plan will be published in spring 2017. More information is available at www.CreateNYC.org.


Queens Library Reopens Ozone Park Community Library



Friday, May 12, 2017



$2.1 Million Renovation Includes a New Cyber Center, Teen Area, Adult Area, Children’s Room, Meeting Room and Automated Check-In/Check-Out Machine

OZONE PARK, N.Y. _ Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott today was joined by elected officials, library staff, and community members to celebrate the reopening of Ozone Park Community Library. The 7,500-square-foot library, located at 92-24 Rockaway Boulevard, has been closed for the past year for a renovation project to modernize the 40-year-old building.

“Every community in our City deserves a 21st-century library that meets their growing and diverse needs,” said President Walcott. “It is a pleasure to introduce our customers to this newly renovated library, and I appreciate their patience while we transformed their library and thank our elected leaders and partners in government for allocating the funding to support this wonderful project.”

The $2.1 million renovation project, started in April 2016, was generously funded by State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Council Member Eric Ulrich and the New York State Education Department.

"Thanks to Queens Library these renovations will finally bring the Ozone Park Community Library into the 21st century," Addabbo said. "I am grateful to have had a part in the renovation, so that after a year of construction, the library will reopen to be enjoyed by everyone in the community."

“It is important that we continue to invest in our libraries, which play such a vital role in our communities,” said Council Member UlrichThis new self-checkout equipment will help the residents of Ozone Park – and all of Queens – better enjoy Queens Library and all the educational opportunities it has to offer. My constituents have long deserved these upgrades and renovations at Ozone Park Library, and I am proud to have funded this project.”

President Walcott took the library’s guests on a tour of the renovated facility and then participated in a “Picture Book Time” storytelling session with children and their parents, the first of many future activities scheduled for the reopened library.

The library’s new and improved features include an automated check-in/check-out machine to serve customers faster and more efficiently; a public cyber center featuring an electronic sign-up system for customers to schedule their computer usage; a teen area with five computers and three booths that contain power outlets; an adult area with six computers and five powered reading tables; a children’s area with six computers, a new ADA-compliant restroom, an Early Learning Center equipped with a play kitchen and toys and a large mural depicting phases of the moon; a larger meeting room—now measuring 540 square feet—with a dedicated storage space; and all new décor, shelving and furniture throughout the building.

The new interior design, conceived by the firm Applied Design Initiative in consultation with Queens Library staff, features clear sightlines that allow staff members to better see activity on the library’s main floor.


Founded in 1896, Queens Library is an independent, non-profit public library system and one of three serving the City of New York. It consists of a Central Library and 62 community libraries that attract more than 11.2 million visitors each year. Queens Library is one of the highest circulating library systems in the nation and among the busiest in the world. Visit online at: http://www.queenslibrary.org/