Extension Adds Seven Months to QPL’s $1-a-Year Sublease, As Search for New Space Continues
LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. - Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott today announced the Library is finalizing an agreement with Citi that will enable QPL’s Court Square branch to remain in its current location at One Court Square through March 2020.
“We are thrilled that Citi has offered to extend our $1-a-year sublease of the Court Square branch well beyond its August expiration, enabling us to meet our objective of remaining there as long as possible,” said President Walcott. “Given that Citi’s lease ends weeks after our sublease ends, we are grateful it has given us the maximum extension possible. We are deeply appreciative of Citi’s flexibility and its decades of support for our mission. We also will continue to engage with the owner of the building and others to explore a long-term solution.”
“We are longtime supporters of Queens Public Library and have been proud to provide space for the Court Square branch since we first opened our doors in Long Island City 30 years ago,” said Citi Executive Vice President Edward Skyler. “We also will support the Library in finding a long-term solution so this growing community isn’t deprived of this vital civic service.”
The agreement with Citi comes after months of discussions that would enable the Court Square branch to remain in the 3,200-square-foot space on the ground floor of the building for as long as possible. The number of people who visit the branch and circulation have skyrocketed since it first opened in 1989. It attracts nearly 100,000 people a year, and offers hundreds of programs for the growing community of residents and employees of local businesses and government and non-profit organizations.
“This extension is a great short-term victory that will ensure the Court Square Library’s invaluable services and programs are not disrupted. However, we must continue to advocate for enhancements and a binding, long-term solution from the building owner,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “The Court Square Library is a cornerstone of our growing community, serving thousands of individuals and families each year. It deserves a permanent home.”
“I am glad our voices were heard and this important community asset will remain in place long enough to find a new home,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “The Court Square Library plays a critical role for a growing neighborhood and I will do everything I can to ensure its continuing presence in our community.
“We are heartened by the magnitude of support from Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Senator Michael Gianaris, the Friends of Court Square Library and others in the community for the future of this beloved library, and look forward to continuing to work with them as our search continues,” President Walcott said.
Queens Public Library is one of the largest and busiest public library systems in the United States, dedicated to serving the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country. An independent, non-profit organization founded in 1896, Queens Public Library offers free access to a collection of more than 5 million books and other materials in multiple languages, technology and digital resources, and more than 87,500 educational, cultural, and civic programs a year. It consists of 65 locations, including branch libraries, a Central Library, seven adult learning centers, a technology lab, two universal pre-kindergartens, and two teen centers.
Contact: Elisabeth de Bourbon, Queens Public Library, 718-990-0704/917-499-0867
Dana Graves, Citi, 212-793-2514