Arverne Library $2.8 Million Renovations Moving Along
Queens Library CEO Thomas Galante and Assemblywoman Michele Titus – who secured a $50,000 New York State grant for the renovations – toured the, now gutted, library and discussed the plans that will modernize the facility.
The library will have separate areas for children, teens and adults. Each area will have several computer stations and will be separated to give those using them more privacy than before.
Titus talked about the new children’s area. “This new children’s library is going to be so child friendly.
It’s going to be beautiful. I think that that’s what our children deserve,” said Titus last Thursday. “They don’t deserve the status quo that we might have had decades ago. You need something new and modern, and that’s what Mr. Galante is bringing out here to the borough of Queens.”
She added, “We’re going to have carpet. We didn’t have carpet before.
It will be colorful. You can sit on the floor, read books. It will just be more children-like.”
While the operating budget for libraries all over the city has taken hits, capital funding had already been secured. In addition to Titus’ grant, the $2.8 million renovation is being funded by $420,000 from the New York State Queens Assembly delegation and $1.5 million allocated by Councilman James Sanders Jr. “Recognizing that Queens was always undercounted in regards to state funding for libraries, our delegation made a permanent decision that we put capital dollars here in the borough of Queens,” said Titus.
“That money has been used for leverage to get funding from the city level and the federal level and other sources to go forward with expansions.”
The library will not only look different, it will also have new technology that will, eventually, be available throughout the borough.
“It’s totally gutted down to its original shell, new plumbing, new heating, new air conditioning, carpet, finishes,” explained Galante. “We’ll also be in- stalling new technology. There’ll be an expanded computer lab here than what was here before. We’ll also be able to put in some new technology we’re putting in throughout the borough starting this year for 24-hour a day, 7-day a week self check-in. Kind of an ATM piece of equipment on the outside of the building that you can walk up to, it reads the microchip in your book and it opens up a slot and it returns an item that you want to return. That will make it more convenient for people to return any time of the day as well.”
Galante added, “The best part is when you walk in the door, when it’s done, it’s like you walked into a new place.”
The Arverne Library is scheduled to reopen at the end of May or the middle of June. Until then, the facility is working out of a trailer next to the library.