Queens Library Also Hosts Book Bag Giveaway for City Students at Library Location

Far Rockaway – Today, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Donovan Richards, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joined Queens Library President Bridget Quinn-Carey to celebrate the planned rebuilding of the Far Rockaway Branch of the Queens Library System. The current Far Rockaway Library will be demolished to make way for a new library building at the same location. The Rockaway Branch of the Queens Library will move into a temporary adjacent location in Fall of 2016 as demolition reconstruction begins, with a goal of reopening in late 2019.

During budget negotiations with the de Blasio Administration, Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Member Richards were able to secure over $6 million dollars in capital funding, allowing the Queens Library to reach full financing for this project. In prior years, the Queens Borough President has added a total of $22 million toward the construction of the new Far Rockaway Library.

“Libraries make a difference in the lives of many New Yorkers, and this City Council is proud to support the Queens Library in their plans to rebuild and improve the Far Rockaway Branch,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito. “From serving as a hub for education, communal activity, and access to services, to providing internet access for those who don’t have it at home, libraries are a pillar of communities across the five boroughs. I’d like to especially thank Council Member Richards, Majority Leader Van Bramer, and Borough President Melinda Katz for their continued partnership in supporting this project.”

“Today we are planting seeds for the next generation to lead us into the next century. This newly redesigned library and its added services will go a long way in enriching people’s lives through education,” said Senator James Sanders, Jr.

“The Far Rockaway library is a necessary and vital element of our community that provides necessary resources that help residents find employment, study for exams and learn new skills,” said Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Far Rockaway). “A new fully-loaded library will help our neighborhood reach that next level as we continue to bring in added resources and opportunities to ensure our residents acquire the essential tools for success. I’d like to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito for helping us reach the financial finish line. I’d also like to thank Mayor de Blasio, Borough President Katz, the Queens Library, and my colleagues in the Council and in Albany for ensuring that we achieved this great victory for the Far Rockaway community.”

During the event, the Queens Library hosted a book bag giveaway for students in the area. The Library’s donation provides 300 students in the community with book bags as they prepare for the upcoming school year. The Queens Library includes 62 local branches which are open to the over two million residents of queens free of charge.

“Significant investment has gone into this long-awaited branch of the world-class Queens Library system,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The new library building will serve as an upgraded anchor for the Rockaway community and its families.”

“The Council’s more than $6 million investment into rebuilding a brand new, state-of-the-art library branch for the neighborhood of Far Rockaway reinforces our City’s commitment toward ensuring every New Yorker has access to free library resources and award-winning services, “said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair of the Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee. “I applaud Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and my colleague Council Member Donovan Richards for their dedication to increasing the Queens Library’s footprint in the community and ensuring every Far Rockaway resident has increased access to one of our borough’s greatest institution’s which continues to improve lives.”

“The Far Rockaway community depends on their public library for so many things: technology access, job readiness services, small business resources, educational materials and programs for all ages. They have long outgrown the current facility. Now, thanks to the generous support of Borough President Melinda Katz, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Member Donovan Richards and Assembly Member Phillip Goldfeder, a new, state-of-the-art library is on its way,” said Bridget Quinn-Carey, Interim President and CEO, Queens Library.

“Far Rockaway has gone through many changes since I was a child coming to the library,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “This brand new library will help revitalize the community and give Far Rockaway a great new public space to help our families grow and prosper. I commend Borough President Melinda Katz and the City Council for securing the funds needed to ensure that Queens Library and the Far Rockaway branch can serve our families for years to come.”