Glendale Public Library opened its doors on Oct. 26, after closing for $6.9 million in renovations back in 2018.
The project made the library completely compliant with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) with the addition of a new elevator and accessible entrance. The construction also restored the library’s rear garden, repurposed the main reading room and added new teen and adult reading rooms.
The library at 78-60 73rd Pl. was built in 1935 through the federal Works Progress Administration, a New Deal agency that employed millions after the Great Depression.
Congresswoman Grace Meng attended the library’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, Nov. 1, to celebrate the newly renovated space.
“Our community is so deserving of this, and we’re so grateful for the increased role that Queens Public Library has been playing in the lives of our families, especially during the COVID pandemic,” Meng said. “We all know how much each of us, regardless of our backgrounds, depends on the Queens Public Library.”
Meng said that through the federal infrastructure bills, she is confident more money will come to the district and city at some point.
“We will get there,” Meng said. “We want to make sure we’re providing more resources, especially for our communities and our families that have suffered so much through this pandemic.”
While Glendale Public Library closed for renovations, it operated out of a small storefront in the Shops at Atlas Park just a few blocks away. State Senator Jospeh Addabbo Jr., who helped secure that space, thanked everyone who helped continue library services for the community.
“It is that teamwork that benefits our people,” Addabbo said. “When agencies work with elected officials for the benefit of our people, that’s when government works best.”
All of the elected officials mentioned they received countless calls and emails once the library closed asking when it would reopen.
“When it closed, and our residents felt a disconnect with the services that it was providing, we worked with Atlas Park and got that temporary spot, only because people spoke out and were concerned about what they were losing temporarily,” Addabbo said.
Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar also spoke at the ceremony and thanked Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott for his dedication to the community.
“I’m looking forward to working with many of the leaders here to make the Glendale Public Library the center of our community, a place where children can go and their imaginations are expanded,” Rajkumar said. “I am so proud to be here today.”
Councilman Robert Holden remarked as a strong advocate for public libraries by Walcott said this library would be a model for the rest of the district.
“It’s really an oasis for the neighborhood,” Holden said. “This is where you come and travel around the world, it’s unbelievable what books can do for a person and where they can take them.”
Holden also mentioned in his remarks that he will continue to advocate for a library in Middle Village.