Friday, January 15, 2016

New York Public Library Presents Plans For New $7.5 Million, 5,500 Square Foot Roosevelt Island Branch Library To Applauding Residents Last Night

Last night, representatives from the New York Public Library (NYPL) held a community conversation with Roosevelt Island residents to discuss plans for the new, approximately $7.5 million, 5,500 square foot, Roosevelt Island branch library scheduled to open in late 2017/early 2018.

The NYPL reported:
The new branch will now triple in square footage and will contain numerous new features including:
  • A 670 sq ft community room with assisted listening devices (there was no community room before)
  • A newly formed children's room (640 sq. ft; no children's room before)
  • A dedicated space for teens
  • 5X as many PCs available for patron usage and twice as many laptops.
  • New, padded flooring, furniture and dedicated wall spaces
Construction of the new building begins in Fall 2016, with an expected completion date of late 2017-early 2018.
and released results of their Roosevelt Island community survey of library needs:

What you want in your library:
  • Access to books, information, and expert librarians 
  • Programs for children and teens
  • Exhibitions and lectures
  • Access to public computers and technology
  • Spaces to research, write, study, and learn new skills
What you think is important to your community:
  • Access to technology
  • Larger children’s area
You requested:
  • Community room
  • Quiet spaces
  • Wider selections of DVDs, foreign language materials, and electronic resources

Here's full video of the NYPL Roosevelt Island community presentation last night at the Cultural Center Theater.

Part 1 - Introduction,
  • history of Roosevelt Island branch, 
  • overview of plan and space layout for new library 
  • and survey results (456 responses). 
There were 88,000 library visits last year by Roosevelt Island population of approximately 13 thousand residents. Also,  44% of people on Island have a library card.

Part 2 - Roosevelt Island Branch Librarian Nicole Nelson describes some of the programs and services to be available at the new branch.

Part 3 - Roosevelt Island resident Sharon Berman expresses frustration that the NYPL presentation at the Cultural Center theater did not include Americans With Disability Act accommodation for people with hearing disabilities. The NYPL representatives said that the new Roosevelt Island library branch will have looping technology for people with hearing disabilities.

Part 4 - Questions from residents.
  • Use of outside space adjacent to library controlled by RIOC - may be used for tables and chairs and tot lot play space,
  • size of community rooms for adults, teens and children,
  • integration of Cornell Tech population,
  • storage of historical materials and exhibits,
  • English Learning programs and
  • comments from NYC City Council Member Ben Kallos.

Part 5 - Comments from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

More pictures and info from last night's presentation below.