2013-02-06 / Features

Central Library Adult Reading Reference Area Renovated


(L. to r.); Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Queens Library President and CEO Thomas W. Galante; Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Councilmember Leroy Comrie shelved books to inaugurate the Central Library’s newly renovated Adult Reading and Reference Area. (L. to r.); Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Queens Library President and CEO Thomas W. Galante; Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Councilmember Leroy Comrie shelved books to inaugurate the Central Library’s newly renovated Adult Reading and Reference Area. Councilmember Leroy Comrie, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and Queens Library President and CEO Thomas W. Galante shelved books to put the finishing touches on Central Library’s newly renovated Adult Reading and Reference area today in Jamaica. Queens Poet Laureate Paolo Javier read his poetry to commemorate the occasion.

The Adult Reading and Reference area of Queens Central Library is re-opening following an extensive renovation. The new area includes a bright, colorful new interior décor, an expanded media center, self check-in stations, a new general reference area, specialized job information and health reference areas, a quiet room, and automated returned-book and media sorting so returned books go back on the shelves in the shortest possible time. The books have been rearranged so they are easier to locate, too. This is part II of a $47.8 million full renovation that is being phased so the library remains open for service while work is ongoing.


Queens Poet Laureate Paolo Javier. Queens Poet Laureate Paolo Javier. Last year, a new Cyber Center and the Children’s Library Discovery Center opened for service. The final portions will be ready for customer service early in 2014. Central Library welcomes more than two million visitors annually and is the main public research library for the county. This is the first major renovation since the building opened in 1966.

The project was funded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Marshall, Comrie, the Queens Delegation to the City Council and the state of New York.

“With the Adult Reading and Reference area reopening, the Central Library will be able to continue to actively serve Queens’ residents now and into the future,” said Comrie. “Libraries continue to be an important part of our community; as they provide a place where people can do their schoolwork, learn new skills or conduct job searches. Libraries also help community based organizations by serving as a facility where other not-for-profit entities can host their activities or programs. I would like to thank Borough President Helen M. Marshall, Queens Library President and CEO Thomas W. Galante, Chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, along with the rest of my colleagues in the city council for helping to make this project a reality.”

Marshall remarked, “This library is a tremendous resource in the community that has the ability to link information in a quiet setting and convenient location with thousands of users who may want to expand their education, advance their careers or research a health-related issue. I am certain that the refurbished Adult Reading and Reference department will be just as popular as the Children’s Discovery Center, which has attracted more than a half-million children since opening 18 months ago. I am happy to have supported both of these projects that focus on the future.”

“The renovation of the Queens Library’s Adult Reading and Research Areas enhances this great institution’s ability to provide thousands in our borough with state-of-the-art library services in a beautiful and comfortable environment,” said Van Bramer, Chair of the city council Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee. “The Queens Library continues to enhance its infrastructure enabling them to give Queens’ diverse population the quality services they deserve. I applaud the Queens Library for their ability to help millions improve their skills and engage minds every single day.”

“So many people use this library, it is as if the entire populations of both Philadelphia and Boston visit every year. With its highly visible emphasis on job information and health information, as well as the full range of research and community library services, this is a library that benefits everyone in Queens,” said Galante.

The architect of the project, Gensler Architecture Design, planned the space to look and feel like Queens itself. The décor features dynamic, high-energy color and the layout consists of “parkways” and “boulevards”. Wall art includes images of iconic Queens, old and new.

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