Flushing Library has renovated its Children’s Room.
Queens Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott unveiled the new and improved children’s room in front of a group of second-graders from PS 244 at the 41-17 Main St. branch last Friday. Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and representatives from state Sen. Toby Stavisky’s (D-Flushing) and Assemblyman Ron Kim’s (D-Flushing) office were in attendance for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The children’s room, located on the library’s first floor, now includes a giant wall of detachable LEGO blocks, a larger selection of children’s books and materials, and new computers and furniture.
The 5,880-square-foot room also includes a brand-new Early Learning Center for infants and preschoolers that has a puppet theater, a playhouse and informative books and other materials for caregivers. According to Walcott, the renovation took 21 months to complete and cost $1.5 million.
Councilman Koo spoke to the second-grade students and emphasized the importance of reading.
“Children are our future,” Koo told the students “That’s why we invest in children, that’s why we built a special room for you. We want you to be our future leaders and our next librarians, police officers, firemen, politicians, doctors. It all starts from reading books, no matter what occupation, you have to start by reading books at an early age.”
Koo said Flushing Library has one of the highest circulation of books in the entire country and he believes that a successful library equals a successful community.
“I have a hypothesis,” he said. “When a community has a high-use library, the schools in that district will be good and the economy gets better. Everything is related to library. We have three blue-ribbon schools in our district and that’s not easy. We encourage students to focus on education and reading.
“It’s very important to be prepared, kids are our future.”
PS 244 students helped cut the ribbon and toured the room and its new features.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart