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Photo via Google Maps
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The Glendale Community Library on 73rd Place in Glendale.

The multimillion-dollar renovation of the Glendale Library is set to begin this month, but that means local residents will soon have very limited access to its resources.

Officials from the Queens Library announced in March that the Glendale branch will be closed on April 14 through the fall of 2019. The 18-month project will involve $4.7 million in renovations to the decades-old building, including a wheelchair-accessible entrance, an elevator, a book drop, and improvements to the interior and the garden outside.

During the closure, local residents will have access to a mobile library unit on site on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning on April 27. The Queens Library also encouraged residents to use the other facilities in Community District 5, like the Ridgewood and Middle Village Libraries. The Ridgewood Library is at 2012 Madison St.; the Middle Village Library is at 72-31 Metropolitan Ave.

Queens Library Director of Communications Elisabeth de Bourbon confirmed that existing programming at the Glendale Library will be moved to nearby locations and the staff will be transferred to libraries that are short-staffed.

Some patrons of the library have expressed their frustrations in the past at the length of the project and the need for more mobile library hours. Community Board 5 Chairman Vincent Arcuri addressed the issue at the Board 5 January meeting; he said the lack of mobile library hours was a funding issue. He then directed his statements toward Councilman Robert Holden.

“The community would love to see a storefront open on a daily basis in the area while it’s under construction,” Arcuri said. “If you could find money in the Council, we’d appreciate it.”

When contacted on April 5, Holden told QNS that his efforts to do just that were unsuccessful.

“I tried to work with Queens Library about opening an annex until the library is reopened, however, [Queens Library] President [Dennis] Walcott suggested that it wouldn’t be financially feasible,” Holden said in an emailed statement. “I am hoping instead that we might be able to access the mobile library service more frequently and will continue to try to work that out with the Queens Library.”

Physical construction will not begin at the Glendale Library until early May once all necessary permits are approved and asbestos removal is completed, according to de Bourbon.

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