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The letters to Santa Claus from youngsters at homeless shelters in Queens are pouring in and we need your help in making their dreams come true.
This year, the Queens Chronicle’s 19th annual toy drive is helping children living in two city shelters: The Kings Inn in East Elmhurst and the Metro Family Residence in Elmhurst. We are also donating gifts to Dove House, an emergency shelter for battered men or women and their children in Eastern Queens.
The Ozone Park branch of the Queens Library will close at the end of business Friday for repairs, according to library spokeswoman Joanne King.
The building, which is located at 92-14 Rockaway Blvd. on the corner of Rockaway Boulevard and 93rd Street, will get an entirely new heating and ventilation system. King says the library will be closed for about three and a half weeks while the work is done. The project will cost $420,000, King said.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) recently announced a new proposal to use libraries citywide as “one-stop” community resource centers for the public to access governmental programs and services.
The pilot program will provide services such as immigration, tax preparation, healthcare screenings and English classes, depending on what is needed in a given community.
It’s small, but it’s important.
The Broad Channel branch of the Queens Library is a kiosk compared to other, larger locations in the system, but for the people of the small, close-knit community in the middle of Jamaica Bay, it’s a piece of home.
The iconic Woodhaven branch of the Queens Library will undergo a renovation of its first floor later in March that will force the closure of most of the site for about three weeks.
But the library will not be completely shuttered during the upgrades. Queens Library spokeswoman Joanne King said the branch will operate out of a temporary space on the lower level of the nearly 90-year-old building at 85-41 Forest Parkway.
Architects of the Hunters Point Library aren’t taking any chances.
Following Hurricane Sandy, architects with Steven Holl designing the modern glass and cement library on Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue have decided to construct the 21,500-square-foot building on a hill that’s a foot higher than previously planned.
Wow! The Queens Chronicle’s 18th Annual Holiday Toy Drive sure was a success. Literally hundreds of children — infants, teenagers and everyone in between — got toys, clothes and other gifts for Christmas, thanks to our readers.
Our reception area became an obstacle course as the donations piled up. The conference room looked like a miniature Toys “R” Us warehouse. Santa’s little helpers at the front desk — office manager Lisa LiCausi, our main toy drive coordinator, administrator Stela Barbu and new accounting staffer Giselle Faura — were kept more than busy receiving contributions, packing them up and ensuring they would go to the right recipients. Of course Publisher Mark Weidler got involved directly, as always, loading the gifts into his SUV and, with LiCausi, personally delivering them to many of the recipients.
A enterprising critter has found a way to escape the recent stint of dangerous and unpleasant weather that crippled much of Queens, the city and region, by taking shelter at a library in South Jamaica — and the neighborhood children love their new furry friend.
For the rest of October the folks at the Queens Library will be hosting a variety of “Halloween Spectacular” events around the borough.
At “Halloween Crafts,” children are invited to make different Halloween-themed paper decorations to kick off the library’s “Spooktacular Halloween.” Some of these crafts will include paper jack-o-lanterns, bat banners, trick-or-treat paint art and much more.
Residents living in the Mitchell-Linden area of Flushing can expect a brand-new, larger library facility in 2014.
Queens Library spokeswoman Joanne King said last week that the first-floor space purchased last year at the 31-32 Union St. condominiums will become the new branch in the winter of 2014. The library also will acquire 720 square feet of adjacent space in four years for a total of 8,400 square feet.
Students from Voice Charter School and PS 111 chanted “Mayor Bloomberg, give the money back” on June 14 at the Long Island City branch of the Queens Library rally protesting a potential $26.7 million cut.
Less funding could force the library to layoff 605 people, close 18 branches and force some libraries to open only one to three days a week, according to the Queens Library spokeswoman.
About two dozen people, most of them children, waved signs and chanted “Save our library” outside the Laurelton branch on Monday to protest the mayor’s proposed budget cuts to libraries in the city.
Many of the youngsters said they go to the library regularly to do homework and conduct research for class projects. Parents consider the branch a safe haven where their children can learn and engage with others of similar age.
It was a familiar sight — dozens of people standing on the steps outside the Flushing Library on Tuesday, waving signs and chanting to protest the mayor’s budget cuts to libraries in the city.
The mayor’s executive budget includes a $26.7 million, or 31 percent cut, to the Queens Library, beginning July 1. The system has sustained $48.5 million in reductions since 2008, according to library spokeswoman Joanne King.
During a recent Community Board 3 meeting at East Elmhurst’s Louis Armstrong Middle School, a question was posed: What if our libraries were only open two or three days a week?
With proposed budget cuts for the Queens Library, outlined in February by Queens Library President Tom Galante, a doomsday scenario was announced with potential job layoffs, reduced hours of operation and closed libraries, based on Mayor Bloomberg’s preliminary Fiscal Year 2013 budget.
E-readers are compact, lightweight and can hold many books simultaneously — and now you can borrow one for free at the Queens Library’s central branch in Jamaica.
The pilot program began on April 12 with the location equipped to lend 50 e-readers. It is the first time such items have been available at a public library in the city. People can check one out for seven days, and renew it twice. There is a cost of between $85 and $130 for customers who lose or damage an e-reader.
Members of a community group in Elmhurst are battling the destruction of the existing Elmhurst Library at 86-01 Broadway because they say it has a historic facade that should be preserved.
But the Queens Library and area politicians say the building’s demolition — scheduled for Monday, Jan. 9 — is all but a fait accompli. The $27.8 million plan for a new library in its place, which would double the branch’s size, was finalized some time ago as part of a process that began in 2003, according to Joanne King, a Queens Library spokeswoman. The new building is scheduled to be completed in 2013.
The Queens Public Library has purchased seven adjoining street-level commercial units at 31-32 Union St. in Flushing for future customer service use.
The space, totaling more than 10,000 square feet, was acquired from DelShah Capital, owner of Sunrise Terrace, a building with 32 residential units at the corner of Union and 32nd Avenue.
Patrons of the Elmhurst Library will be shuffled around for a little more than a year as their cramped building makes way for a larger, modern structure.
The new building will be on the same site as the existing one, at 86-01 Broadway, when it opens in 2013.
Walk into the new Children’s Library and Discovery Center in Jamaica and one can not help but be mesmerized by the playful colors and artful design of the space, but beyond that there are a variety of books, computers and interactive exhibits to challenge the mind.
The $40 million facility is part of the Central Library in Jamaica and will open the first week of July, but officials gave the Chronicle an exclusive inside peak at the space on Friday.
Patrons of Queens public libraries are allowed to use their one hour of Internet time however they’d like, even if they want to watch pornography. At least formally, it doesn’t matter if the person using a nearby computer is a youngster.
Public porn viewers are protected under the First Amendment, but a new bill authored by councilmen David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) and Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) aims to protect children who may be close by.
Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) announced on Tuesday that three Queens libraries will receive more than $1.3 million in public library state construction grant funds.
The three facilities are the Flushing Library at 41-17 Main St., the Bayside Library at 214-20 Northern Blvd., and the Central Library at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica.
The library is the last place one would expect to see a heated game of football, but at the Lefrak City branch, kids stand along the sidelines, cheering for their friends as they score. Every Friday at 4:30 p.m. the library hosts a free Wii Sports Challenge for kids to compete on the popular video game console.
Many people may take the library for granted, but for some, it is a vital part of their community.
Union leaders predict 44 Queens Library workers will lose their jobs on Friday, after contract negotiations with the library revealed a $2.4 million budget gap that could “only be solved by the layoffs … or deep concessions made by union members,” according to Local 1321.
Alba Delgado, 50, of Glendale was tired of looking at her computer like it was some kind of scary foreign object, so she decided to do something about it. She is taking advantage of a computer class for older adults at the Ridgewood branch of the Queens Public Library.