Families in Long Island City have a new space to educate and entertain their children as the Queens Library at Court Square officially opened its extension on Friday.
The 1,700-square-foot space, which has two rooms, will serve as a children’s area and program and community space. Bridget Quinn-Carey, interim president and CEO of the Queens Library, along with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan joined community members for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the new space.
Located in the Citigroup building at 25-01 Jackson Ave., the library was originally opened in 1989 and mostly served employees in the Court Square area, according to Queens Library spokesperson Joanne King. The library has seen an influx of visitors in recent years, coinciding with a real estate boom that has brought many new residential towers and families to the neighborhood.
“As Long Island City continues to grow and expand it is important that we continue to advocate for additional services,” Nolan said. “Expanding the Court Square library is a step in the right direction that will provide for much-needed space and additional resources to help our community succeed.”
The library also recently hired a new children’s librarian. Though the City Council passed a bill to establish six-day library service, the Court Square library was not included because the Citigroup building is closed on weekends. During the summer, residents relied on a mobile library set up in Gantry Plaza State Park.
Residents are also anxiously awaiting the construction of Hunters Point library, a 22,000-square-foot branch that will open in winter 2017. The branch will be located at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue, right next to Gantry Plaza State Park.
The new library will have 5 1/2 floors with amenities such as a community room that holds about 120 people, a computer floor and a cafe, as well as a small rooftop reading garden. As the only existing library in the neighborhood for at least two years, the expansion at Court Square library is welcomed by many in the community.
“For many young children and families in Long Island City the Court Square Library is a magical place,” Van Bramer said. “This much-needed expansion along with the state-of-the-art upgrades and improvements will help solidify the branch’s role in the neighborhood as an important community hub for generations of families in Long Island City.”