The Flushing Library celebrated a special milestone in a big way last weekend after a nonprofit group made a sizable donation to the community center.
The Iris & Junming Le Foundation presented a $135,000 check to the Queens Library’s Flushing branch during its 20th anniversary celebration on June 30. The event also featured a dance performance, poetry reading and re-dedication ceremony with remarks from Congresswoman Grace Meng and former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman.
According to Queens Library spokesperson Elisabeth de Bourbon, the funding will be used to improve and increase the center’s programming, library collection and technology and better serve the neighborhood’s Chinese community.
The Queens Library Foundation plans to purchase 30 laptop computers and install software in the dual languages of English and Mandarin, as well as add a user interface in the Chinese language to two existing desktop computers.
The library also plans to expand its collection of foreign language materials, information workshops and cultural programming, which an emphasis on well-known musicians and performers from China.
“With approximately 1.7 million visitors attending hundreds of programs at the branch each year, from ESOL classes to Tai Chi demonstrations, it’s clear how important the Flushing library is to our patrons in the neighborhood,” Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott said. “This state-of-the-art building provides a stimulating space where people are inspired, grow and become successful in their lives. We are grateful to the Le Foundation for their tremendous support in helping us deliver even more quality resources, programs and services to the community.”
The three-story, 77,000-square-foot building at the intersection of Main Street and Kissena Boulevard was completed in 1998 and replaced a library one quarter the size. The Flushing branch is one of the largest and most active standalone libraries in the United States.
“I was only a teenager when the new Flushing Library location was first established two decades ago, and have been lucky enough to witness its inspiring growth and expansion these last 20 years,” Assemblyman Ron Kim said. “It has become an essential pillar of our community, an invigorating oasis for children, seniors, students and readers of all ages, as well as a central community gathering spot for all of our residents. I congratulate the Queens Flushing Library on its 20th anniversary and commend all of its directors, staff and volunteers, whom we can thank for their countless hours of hard work over the years in bringing us to this special moment.”