Once anchored by the Citibank building, the area is now filled with skyscrapers, office towers and luxury high-rises.
The housing boom has allowed thousands of young families and young professionals to move in. Long Island City is one of the fastest growing communities in the country.
Yet simple needs like library services often fall short. The Hunters Point Library, an architectural marvel, has been besieged by delays for years. It’s finally set to open this summer.
The Court Square branch of the Queens Public Library, meanwhile, has been operating out of a 3,200-square-foot, ground-floor space of the Citi building since 2016.
Dozens of children and caregivers cram inside for family programs, leaving their strollers in the hallway. Librarians even came up with a “Bookcycle” concept to deliver books to the neighborhood.
Given their limited resources and space, the library staff has done all it can to provide quality programming for a community that needs more capacity.
The Court Square Library simply needs a larger and permanent home. In March 2020, their lease will expire, offering library officials a chance to find a space that will accommodate more young people, adults and the elderly, all of whom use their services.
That may mean negotiating with the building owner, Savanna, to lease a larger portion of the Citibank building. That requires close collaboration with a corporate neighbor that has admitted it wants to make the most profit out of the building that was once slated to be leased by Amazon.
If that option is off the table, then Queens Public Library and local officials have to start looking elsewhere in Court Square. It’s the best way to local ensure families get what they deserve.