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Queens Chronicle

Light, airy library opens in Glen Oaks

$18.1 million building is funded by city; replaces old on Union Turnpike

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Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:59 am, Thu Sep 5, 2013.

After almost four years of waiting for it to be ready, residents of Glen Oaks can now visit their new branch library at 256-04 Union Turnpike.

The $18.1 million three-level building, which replaces the 50-year-old 10,000-square-foot facility, is almost twice as large at 18,000 square feet.

Although it’s been open for a couple of months, the official ribbon cutting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 11 a.m. A free kids carnival will be held on Sept. 4 from noon to 4 p.m.

For those who haven’t seen the glass-enclosed structure, it’s light and airy with special areas for adults, children and teens. There are also two meeting rooms that will be open to the public.

The exterior is constructed of fretted glass that filters the light and heat. The ,design won a prize for excellence from the city’s Art Commission. Another prize winner from the Art Commission went to an installation in the children’s reading room. Titled “The Opposite of a Duck,” artist Janet Zweig designed circuit boards with LEDs that hang from the ceiling in a looping form.

The artist came up with hundreds of unanswerable questions that are displayed on the boards such as “Is an apple alive when you eat it?” and “What color is a mirror?” Zweig did her research through an online dialogue with philosophers from around the world.

The library features computer workstations on every level, a sky-lit reading lounge, 24/7 exterior self-service check-in and self-service check-out and an outdoor program area.

Since the old branch closed and was torn down, library users had to use a much smaller storefront across the street.

Already using the new facility are members of the Chandy family of Glen Oaks. On Monday, Sindhu Chandy brought her sons Steve, 3, and Shone, 7. The mother said the boys love coming to the library and especially like the educational video games.

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