By Rich Bockmann
Queens prides itself on having some of the best libraries in the city, and now the borough’s got the proof to back it up.
The Corona Library was chosen as one of the city’s top five Tuesday night by a panel of judges including author R.L. Stein, WNYC host Kurt Andersen and Carla Hayden, former president of the American Library Association.
The winners of the Charles H. Revson Foundation’s first Neighborhood Library Awards — which include Staten Island’s Macon Library, Manhattan’s Seward Park Library and the Macon and Sheepshead Bay libraries in Brooklyn — were each given $10,000 to continue and expand their missions.
“These five libraries are truly outstanding and reflect the extraordinarily important role that neighborhood libraries play in communities all across the city,” said foundation President Julie Sandorf. “It was especially moving to seethroughout the entire selection process, the passion of the nominators and their gratitude for the often life-changing contributions of the neighborhood library.”
The winners were selected on the basis of more than 4,000 nominations submitted by parents, students, seniors, artists, teachers, job-seekers and entrepreneurs.
Queens Library spokeswoman Joanne King said Corona specializes in serving the neighborhood’s Spanish-speaking population.
“Those parents are very education-minded and they are very concerned their children do well,” she said. “It’s so heavily used and it’s always so crowded.”
Earlier this year the foundation commissioned a report that ranked Corona at No. 14 among the city’s libraries in terms of attendance.
The Queens Village Library made the competition’s short list and was granted a $5,000 award.
King said that in addition to serving the neighborhood, the branch is the hub of the library system’s outreach program for home-bound seniors, distributing books to nursing homes and operating the mail-a-book service.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4574.