2013-09-27 / Community

Rockaway Library Updates

By Katie McFadden

Most of Rockaway’s libraries may not be fully open yet due to Sandy’s devastation, but Queens Library President Thomas W. Galante, says that good things are to come.

“We are approaching the anniversary of the landing of Super Storm Sandy on our shores. Queens Library has been working hard to help the communities in the Rockaways rebuild, while continuing to provide the educational and informational support that you value,” Galante said. “We are here for homework help, job skills training, education for adults and children, ESOL classes and so much more, to provide the resources needed for learning, personal growth and business development.”

In an e-mail, Galante gave updates on Rockaway’s libraries, including what’s happening, what has happened and what is to come.

Construction is nearly complete at Seaside Library at 116-15 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The staff and volunteers will start returning the books and videos to the shelves in mid-October and the library is expected to reopen to the public at the end of October.

The library at 312 Beach 54th Street in Arverne has been operating a temporary library which offers programs, classes, job search help, homework assistance and more. It is open seven days a week until the end of the year due to supplementary funding from Bank of America. The official reopening is expected by December 2013.

Peninsula Library at 92-25 Rockaway Beach Boulevard has been operating out of a trailer as the building requires extensive re-building due to storm damage. The design is nearly complete and it is expected to reopen by spring 2014.

Far Rockaway Library at 1637 Central Avenue has a lot in store. Workforce 1 has joined the library to offer free services and programs that help connect people to jobs. Another new program called “Single Stop” is expected to begin in November. The program, funded through the Robin Hood Foundation, will allow professional case managers to meet with customers to outline the benefits for which each family is eligible, such as food stamps, health insurance, child-care subsidies, tax credits, energy assistance, public assistance and housing assistance.

While the Far Rockaway library will have plenty of new services, they’re also preparing for a complete re-design. The brand-new Queens Library at Far Rockaway is in final design and will be coming in 2016.

“We have come a long way, and expect see all the waterfront community libraries to be as good as new very soon,” Galante said.

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