By Naeisha Rose
Dozens of local residents, elected officials, and first-graders from PS 316 went to Ozone Park Library for its ribbon cutting and grand reopening Friday morning at 93-24 Rockaway Blvd.
One year ago, the library was closed down for renovations so that the 40-year-old institution could get some much-needed updates.
The modernized building now has an automated check-in/check-out machine, a teen area, new computers in the children’s area, a mural showcasing the phases of the moon, and an improved cyber center, according to Community Library Manager Jerome Myers.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), and Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) helped sponsor the $2.1 million renewal of the 7500-square-foot library. Also in attendance was recently elected Assemblywoman Stacey Amato (D-Rockaway Beach Blvd.), who succeeded Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder who helped on the project and was at the event.
The project was very close to the hearts of Addabbo and Ulrich — both from Ozone Park — who went to the library as youngsters.
“This makes me proud because I will get to take my children here as my father did so many years ago, with me,” Addabbo said.
Addabbo, who has mobile office hours at different libraries in his district — which also includes Howard Beach, Rockaway Beach, and Middle Village — can’t wait to add the Ozone Park Library to his roster.
“I have many memories of my mom and my grandmother bringing me here to work on school projects and to take out my first book,” said Ulrich, 32, who still has a 20-year-old overdue book. “Maybe with the money I give to fix the place they will forgive what I owe.”
Arriving after Ulrich’s speech was Assemblywoman Amato who thanked Goldfeder for his work.
“We do work together for our communities,” Amato said. “I’m excited to be here, let’s all take out the books and don’t be overdue,” she said.
Afterward, the elected officials and chief librarian Nick Buron read to the students of PS 316 in the children’s area before cutting the ribbon for the library in the main hub with golden scissors.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose