By Lisa AUtz
Queens Library at Mitchell-Linden will be closing after more than 50 years of operating in the Flushing area and moving to a new space, according to Joanne King, Queens Library’s director of communications.
The library, at 29-42 Union St., will close at 7 p.m. June 18 because an updated space is badly needed to properly serve the community, said King. Its new location, at 31-32 Union St., is scheduled to open during the summer.
The new library space occupies the ground floor of Sunrise Terrace, a residential condominium unit. It will expand the library from 5,900 square feet to about 7,656 square feet and feature more computers, a new decor, fast self-check-out, 24/7 self-check-in, full handicap accessibility and a new teen section.
Since the old library’s opening in 1962, it has become crowded and heavily used, lending more than 400,000 items annually.
“Being at the ground floor of an apartment building, there was no way of expanding,” said King. “The old space was also two floors, which was not ideal.”
The new library has one floor and 25 percent more space to provide full handicap accessibility.
During the closure, the mobile library, or “book bus,” will offer limited services Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting June 24. The mobile library is a large bus outside the 29-42 Union St. location that contains bookshelves with limited materials from the old library as well as librarians and computers.
Other nearby Queens Libraries are also available. The closest are at 41-17 Main St., 121-23 14th Ave. in College Point and 155-06 Roosevelt Ave.
With the help of Borough President Helen Marshall, City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and the state, about $2 million has been funded to renovate the new library’s interior. The expanded and updated library hopes to serve its downtown Flushing community before the summer is over.