Oct. 8, 2015 By Michael Florio
The Queens Library will be extending its hours so that every branch will be open at least one weekend day beginning on November 15th.
Currently, just 20 of the 63 Queens Library branches open on weekends.
Several branches in western Queens are currently open one weekend day. The Broadway, Jackson Heights, Long Island City (37-44 21st Street), Sunnyside and the Steinway branches are open Saturdays.
However, the Astoria, Corona, East Elmhurst and Woodside branches are part of the 43 branches that operate just Monday-Friday. Those branches will now be open Saturdays. They will reopen on Saturday, November 21, and will operate from 10 am to 5 pm.
The Court Square branch will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays since it is located inside the Citibank building, which is shut on weekends. However, library users will be able to go to the existing mobile branch at Gantry Plaza State Park that is open Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm.
The library is able to offer the extended hours after the City budget included additional operating expenses of $43 million citywide, with $12 million going to Queens.
”Six day library service is back in Queens!” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer in a statement. “If budgets are a reflection of our values, then truly this budget shows that we, as a City, value the life changing services of our City’s libraries.”
The extended hours will give library users increased access to computers, free books and help with school work, according to the organization.
The funding also went toward hiring approximately 100 new employees.
“The wide array of resources the Queens Library offers children, seniors, immigrants and professionals is invaluable and a democratizing force in our borough,” said Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland in a statement.
“To have our libraries open on the weekends and provide greater access to them is a great victory for us all.”