The Kew Gardens Hills Library is open again!

Like 56 other Queens Public Library branches, the Kew Gardens Hills Library reopened for full service on July 12.

The branch was shut down last year, and was then used as a Covid-19 testing site from October through June, leaving the community and area bookworms eager to peruse the shelves once again.

“We are thankful to NYC Health and Hospitals for their presence in our community, helping thousands of our residents access COVID tests over the past year,” Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal (D-Flushing) told the Chronicle in an email. The representative had penned a May letter to QPL President Dennis Walcott requesting the branch be restored to full service. “But as our city moves further along in its recovery, the reopening of the library to the community is enormously meaningful. As we have come to see, shared community space is a necessary part of civic engagement and a hopeful sign of recovery.”

To celebrate its reopening, the Friends of the Kew Gardens Hills Library set up a booth and recruited 25 new members.

“The library opened! We’re very pleased and very excited about that, because we suffered not having a library,” said Ethyl Haber, the group’s president.

Haber said the only negative was the branch’s new hours of operation. Traditionally, the Kew Gardens Hills Library had been closed Saturdays and open Sundays, the opposite of most branches throughout the city in order to accommodate the neighborhood’s Jewish population. For now, the branch is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday.

Ewa Kern Jedrychowska of the Queens Public Library told the Chronicle the change is only temporary.

“We have been gradually reopening and expanding service throughout our system this summer,” she said in an email. “Saturday service at Kew Gardens Hills is temporary and we are looking to replace it with our usual Sunday service there in mid-September. We also plan to add Sunday service at Central Library at that time.”

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