Queens Library director Thomas Galante, Councilman James Sanders Jr., Assemblywoman Michele Titus, Eugene Johnson of the Friends of the Library and others celebrate the reopening of the Arverne Library.
Nine months and $2.8 million after closing for renovations the Arverne Library reopened last week to rave reviews. “It’s gorgeous,” said Councilman James Sanders Jr. who appropriated $1.5 million – the bulk of the funding. Assemblywoman Michele Titus secured a $50,000 New York State grant for the renovations.
Talking about the new children’s section Titus said, “This is what we needed. This is what our children and our community needed.”
Tom Galante, the director of the Queens Library, said there are a few tweaks left, such as finishing the façade and installing a banner on the exterior of the building. In addition “there’s going to be a canopy on the outside that comes out to cover a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week exterior book return.” Galante said the library should be ready in about six weeks for an official ribbon cutting.
Welcome to the new Arverne Library!
Eugene Johnson thanked everyone involved in making the dream of renovating the library a reality. “When those kids start coming through that door going ‘ooohh and aaah’ that is worth everything that we had to go through,” said Johnson. Behind him library workers stand among the books and kids-size tables of the children’s section.
The councilman, who called libraries critical and fundamental, surveys the teen section of the library. The library is divided into three sections for adults, children and teens with computer terminals for all age groups.
Carolynn, 8, receives tutoring from Ariel Yang, the branch community library manager, on the new self-service electronic method to check out books. Carolynn was the first to check out books from the new Arverne Library.
A section in the front has been set aside for adults who come in to use computers, read or just meet with others.
Inside every book is a computer chip making it possible to check out books electronically, Galante tells Titus.