Glendale’s temporary library at The Shops at Atlas Park shopping center saw high attendance over the course of its first year, according to the Queens Public Library and state Senator Joe Addabbo.
After a hard-fought battle to open a full-service library as the main branch undergoes renovations, the Atlas Park temporary branch has proven to be a community necessity and a success, local leaders said.
From May 2018 to April 2019, around 69,000 people passed through the temporary library’s doors, the Queens Public Library noted. That’s about 200 people per day and about 10,000 more than the permanent location saw the year prior. The temporary library has also been host to over 300 events in that same time span.
“I’m glad to see that the temporary space is being utilized by the public,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo said. Addabbo was an early champion of the project.
Queens Public Library President Dennis Walcott agreed.
“Our temporary Glendale space has thrived, becoming an indispensable resource for local residents,” said Walcott, who was not always a supporter of the temporary location because of a limited budget.
When the $4.7 million renovation began in April 2018, the Glendale community expressed concerns about the lack of a full-service library. At the time, the Queens Public Library planned to create a mobile library that would only be open one day per week.
But less than a month after renovations began, Councilman Robert Holden and Addabbo teamed up to strike a discount deal on the Atlas Park location.
Peter DeLucia, property manager at Atlas Park, was able to “knock down the price for the benefit of the community,” Addabbo told QNS at the time.
One year later, DeLucia isn’t surprised by the library’s success.
“It’s a natural fit,” DeLucia told QNS.
While the initial one-year lease expired in May 2019, a new one was signed, extending the branch’s stay until the end of the year.
“They can stay for as long as they want,” DeLucia added. “They do great work.”
Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, a representative from the Queens Public Library, agreed. Atlas Park and the library work well together, she says.
“We are very pleased that it is so popular,” said Kern-Jedrychowska. “We expected that our temporary location in Atlas Park would benefit from mall foot traffic.”
Even after the main branch is completed, Holden hopes the temporary location becomes permanent.
“From the get-go, I’ve wanted the Queens Library to keep this location as a satellite,” Holden said, “even after the Glendale Library reconstruction is completed.”
Holden hopes the library and Atlas Park can negotiate further and agree on a long-term rent price. “It would be a win-win for everyone,” he said.
When the Glendale Library re-opens this fall, it is expected to be wheelchair-accessible, a feature it lacked before the renovation. The branch will also be newly equipped with an elevator and a book drop-off.