Sept. 4, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
The East Elmhurst branch of the Queens Library will absorb a neighboring vacant lot, to expand by more than 50 percent.
Queens Library spokesperson Joanne King said that the 7,500 square-foot library, which is located at 95-06 Astoria Blvd., will gain an additional 4,000 square feet. The space will allow for a new meeting room, a Cyber Center, a skylit atrium and an outdoor reading patio, among other features.
An existing teen space will be expanded, and the library’s front façade will be redone.
The library community has long anticipated this expansion, ever since the vacant lot next door was acquired by the city several years ago, the branch’s Community Library Manager Johnnie Dent said.
Among library-goers, “the question is always when, when, when,” she said.
The library was renovated in 2009. According to King, some funds were left over from the renovation, allowing the expansion project to move to the contract bidding process.
“The extension could not be more needed at this time,” Dent said. “We’re overloaded.”
She said she hopes a bigger space and added programming will help the East Elmhurst library attract new groups, to accommodate the neighborhood’s growing population, especially among seniors.
King estimated that the project will take about three years, assuming bids are in line with library resources.
It sounds very promising, but an out door reading patio sounds like a waste because it will be used only in good weather, I don’t see anyone reading a book outside in the winter.