The Mitchell-Linden neighborhood of Flushing just got a brand-new library that’s larger than its old one and will get even bigger in two years.
Although the branch at 31-32 Union St. opened Tuesday, the official unveiling is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sept. 30.
But even Monday morning, as workmen finished up their chores, passersby tapped on the window asking if the branch was open yet. “It’s been like that,” said branch librarian Farzaneh Momeni. “It’s so much nicer than the old branch.”
The old library, which was rented, was located a few blocks away at 29-42 Union St. It opened in 1962 with 5,900 square feet. The new facility was purchased by the Queens Library in 2011 and features 8,800 square feet.
But in two years, the library will take over an adjacent corner property when the tenant’s lease expires. Remodeling will give the branch a total of 10,000 square feet.
The one-story facility has separate spaces for adults, children and teens, with plenty of computers and even a magazine sitting area. The only thing missing is a designer coffee shop.
The branch is the 12th busiest in the system and library officials expect it will remain popular.
The $6 million renovation was handled in-house and officials thanked Borough President Helen Marshall, Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and the State of New York for funding the project.
The library also features self-check-in and -out with 24/7 check-in.
The old library space closed in June with limited service provided by the mobile library once a week since then.
A tour of the new facility showed a modern library with European overtones in the decorating. A community room has large glass doors that can open completely to accommodate larger crowds.
“A library is a community center today; a place to cool off in the summer and a destination during emergencies, among other things,” said Frank Genese, vice president of capital and facilities management for the Queens Library.
Although books are a major commodity, there are also DVDs, audio books and laptop work desks with power outlets.
The new space was purchased for $3.5 million and is located in Sunrise Terrace, a 32-residential unit condo.