On April 21, 2020, Queens Public Library’s St. Albans branch will celebrate its centennial. The present building, located at 191-05 Linden Boulevard, was erected in 1968 and dedicated on March 10, 1969. Prior to this time, the library was located near Everitt Place and Linden Boulevard (not far from the St. Albans Long Island Rail Road stop).
The St. Albans area has a rich and unique history. It was the home of musical legends such as Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, and Lena Horne. The historian and sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois once lived in the area, as well as broadcaster Al Roker and QPL President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. A section of St. Albans, known as Addisleigh Park, has been designated a landmark district. The Friends of St. Albans Library were very involved with this initiative.
In recent years, the area has undergone demographic changes, with long-term African American residents moving away and new Americans from the Caribbean, Central America, and West Africa moving in. In an effort to serve its customers, St. Albans Library provides vital resources, such as computer access to those seeking employment and homework and enrichment activities through the STACKS afterschool program. STACKS complements the efforts of teachers and parents and began at St. Albans Library as a result of feedback regarding the challenges faced by local students and the desire for academic support.
St. Albans Library, as a community hub and “village square,” has a great opportunity and responsibility to present the rich history of St. Albans to people who may not be familiar with its legacy. At the same time, it can showcase the history and culture of the area's new residents.
As such, its planned activities and programs during the centennial will include musical programs highlighting jazz legends as well as programming that will reach out to new Americans and help them share their stories.
We hope you will join us all year long for the St. Albans centennial!