Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Latest Information On New Roosevelt Island New York Public Library Branch Opening - Video Of Community Conversation With NYPL

On November 20, the New York Public Library (NYPL) convened a Roosevelt Island Community Conversation at the Good Shepherd Community Center to talk about the planned $5.7 million new Roosevelt Island branch library at 504 Main Street.

NYPL representatives, together with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos, presented current plans for the new Roosevelt Island branch library (which at approximately 5 thousand square feet is double the size of the current branch) and listened to the thoughts and ideas on the programs and services that residents would like to see implemented for the new library.(Picture of Ms Brewer, Mr. Kallos, NYPL's Dawn Chance, Nicole Nelson and George Mihaltses).

Here's what happened at the NYPL Roosevelt Island Community Conversation.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer began the Community Conversation noting her strong support for the project and the dialogue between the NYPL and Roosevelt Island community.

NYC Council Member Ben Kallos also expressed his support for the new Roosevelt Island library, announced a student summer reading challenge for next summer and described constituent services provided by his office.

George Mihaltses, Vice President of Government and Community Affairs, reported that last year the Roosevelt Island branch library had 89 thousand visits, circulated 115 thousand items and ran 526 programs all within its 25 hundred square feet of space. Mr. Mihaltses described the Roosevelt Island library as:
... being used very much by this community. We are really excited about building another branch that is going to be twice the size of that branch and we are sure that those numbers will continue to go up.

We will be able to do more programming and more exciting things for the community....

Christoper Platt, NYPL Vice President Of Library Services (and a Roosevelt Island resident) provided an overview of NYPL services.

Carolyn Broomhead, NYPL Research Community Manager described historical research materials available about Roosevelt Island located at NYPL including:
  • a volume titled The Heritage of Roosevelt Island by Susan Wade which contains all the public documents relating to the history of Roosevelt Island,
  • the Blackwell Family first mortgage in 1792,
  • the original plantings at Lighthouse Park
  • Meridith Monk Roosevelt Island performance and
  • a fascinating newspaper story from the 1820's about a stolen violin resulting in concert recitals on Welfare Island.

NYPL Vice President for Capital Planning and Construction Joanna Pestka described the architectural plans for the new library. Ms. Pestka said that the library is scheduled to open in the spring 2018. It was previously announced that the library would open in 2017. Ms Petska noted if NYPL can shorten the construction schedule they will do so.

NYPL Library Network Manager Dawn Chance reported on how the current library is used by residents and noted that the library and its staff act like;
... the little engine that could...

Roosevelt Island Branch Manager Nicole Nelson discussed present uses and future plans for the new library.

Following the NYPL presentations, Roosevelt Island residents shared some of their ideas.

Roosevelt Island Community Literary Associates (RICLA) member Lorraine Lasker suggested a research library dedicated to Eleanor Roosevelt and additional branch library space on the second floor

 Future Home Of NYPL Roosevelt Island Branch At 504 Main Street

of 504 Main Street.

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach reported on suggestions from parents for the new library.

Resident Joan Markey asked the NYPL to digitally scan Roosevelt Island historic materials including our first newspaper, the Island View.

Matt Katz requested performance space at new library and encouraged NYPL to work with Cornell Tech on the future library.

Background information on the new Roosevelt Island NYPL branch at previous post here and here.

Also, don't forget to nominate the Roosevelt Island library for the 2nd annual NYC Neighborhood Library Awards to win $20 thousand. Here's how.