Aug. 23, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Queens Library will cut the ribbon today on a new initiative meant to bring library resources to more people.
The “bookcycle,” a three-wheeled vehicle that acts as an extension of the Court Square Library, will go into service today in a ceremony at Murray Playground.
The bookcycle can carry up to 250 pounds, and will allow library card holders to borrow a book or magazine on the spot. The station will also allow people to sign up for a library card, reserve library materials, or ask a reference question.
The vehicle also includes a Bluetooth-enabled speaker and microphone for outdoor children’s story times, and will offer free Wi-Fi access down the line.
The bookcycle is the first for library, and will be stationed in parks, plazas and other points in Long Island City.
The ribbon cutting today will be followed by a series of bicycle-themed activities for children and families at Murray Playground, including bike safety lessons provided by Transportation Alternatives and bike license plate making with a Girl Scouts troop. A picture book walk is also part of the day’s festivities.
The bookcycle was purchased through a $10,000 grant from the Queens Library’s Innovation fund, which was established as part of an outreach campaign launched last year. The program aims to make it clear that libraries are safe spaces where everyone is welcome.
The book cycle comes as tensions are running high in Long Island City, especially in the Hunters Point neighborhood, over the announcement of yet another delay to the unfinished Hunters Point Library on the waterfront. The library, initially scheduled for a 2017 opening, has been pushed to the summer of 2019.
The Court Square library is the closest library serving both the Hunters Point and Court Square neighborhoods, with other libraries located further north at the Queensbridge Houses and on 21st Street.
The book cycle ribbon cutting and festivities will take place on Aug. 23 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Murray Playground, located off 21st Street between 45th Avenue and 45th Road.