New York City Councilwoman Linda Lee and City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams announced Tuesday that the Queens Village Public Library will receive $9.5 million in funding. The funding will be used to provide the library with its first major renovations since opening in 1952.
In addition to providing restorations to the interior and exterior, the funding will allow for the installation and repair of an HVAC system as well as roofing repairs and/or replacement. According to Lee and Adams, this funding will help the library improve and impact the lives of those in the community.
“Our libraries really became such a crucial and important piece of the pandemic and the recovery of it and [Queens Village Public Library] really opened their doors, doing everything from food pantries to COVID testing and vaccines, as well as the regular services that people in the neighborhood needed,” Lee said. “I just wanted to thank [the library staff] for being here and offering help and support.”
Prior to serving as Council speaker, Adrienne Adams was a trustee for the Queens Village Public Library. According to Adams, libraries like this play an important role in society as informational hubs and community centers for people of all ages and backgrounds.
“Today we’re celebrating significant investments for the Queens Village [Public] Library that will have tangible and demonstrable impact for this neighborhood,” Adams said. “When the renovations are completed, this library will be fully refurbished and revamped for the people of this great community. Public libraries are critical to the success of great neighborhoods. I am thrilled that Queens Village will finally have an upgraded branch.”
The library’s president and CEO, Dennis Walcott, was extremely grateful to the New York City Council and the Women’s Caucus for getting this funding approved in the budget. He also praised Adams for continuing to advocate for the community even after taking on a position with a lot of responsibilities.
“The money that’s been allocated by the City Council will allow the library to thrive, flourish and grow and to serve the public,” Walcott said. “We are here for the community. We serve the community and make sure that we are there for the community in so many different ways. This allocation will ensure the transformation of the Queens Village branch into a modern, vibrant and accessible space that meets the changing needs of the community.”
Also present at the ceremony were Assembly members Clyde Vanel and David Weprin, Community Board 13 Chair Bryan Block, Queens Village Civic Association President Mohamood Ishmael and Ann Terry of the Creedmoor Civic Association.
In addition to serving the 23rd Council District in Queens, Councilwoman Lee also serves as chair of the New York City Council’s Committee on Mental Health, Addictions and Disabilities, co-chair of the Queens Delegation and Vice-Chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. She became the first Korean-American elected to the City Council and first woman and person of color to hold the seat after winning her election last November.