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Glendale's Queens Library branch will finally break ground later this summer on the long-awaited renovations to its children's room, which will include additional books and computers, a library spokesman said.
The children's room closed in the 1970s following city budget cuts and its restoration has long been on the back burner, but recently allocated funds by state Sen. Serphin Maltese (R-Glendale) have enabled the project to move forward, library spokesman Jimmy Van Bremer said. The library will break ground on the room in four to six weeks, he said.
"The community has always wanted to restore the children's room, so the library would have a much larger space dedicated to children," Van Bremer said. "We are now able to do that with the funding we've received."
Maltese said he has secured more than $1 million for the project.
"That building is absolutely beautiful and is one of the priorities in Queens for preservationists and historians," Maltese said. "It's an architectural gem, so we have to preserve and enhance it."
The upgraded children's room will include new stacks for books and materials, furniture, carpeting, lighting, additional computers, bathrooms, a restored fireplace, paintings and murals, Van Bremer said. New air-conditioning units and windows have already been installed, he said.
The project would likely be completed in six to 12 months, but the renovation will not affect library service, he said.
The library will later undergo a $1 million second phase of construction that will include a new elevator and the renovation of the main floor's interior, he said. There is no completion date for the second phase, he said.
"I think updating the children's section and making it user friendly for children is a wonderful idea," newly-elected City Councilman Anthony Como (R-Middle Village) said.
The Queens Library also recently added Polish language resources to its online database, bringing the total number of languages on its online system up to 15, Van Bremer said. The borough has a large Polish population in Glendale's neighboring community of Ridgewood.
The library's WorldLinQ system allows users to browse online resources in multiple languages.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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