Wednesday, September 16, 2020

New Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch Looks Almost Ready To Open, But When Exactly Will That Happen - Resident Asks For Temporary Grab And Go Book Service At Current Library

When will the new Roosevelt Island NY Public Library finally open is a question often asked by residents

Plans for the new Roosevelt Island branch library on the first floor at 504 Main Street were first announced way back in July 2012 but construction did not start until October 2018. At that time, residents were told to expect substantial completion of the new library by December 2019. As we know, that has not happened due to a variety of delays and then the Coronavirus Pandemic shutdown.

Last week, I asked a NY Public Library spokesperson:

It looks like Roosevelt Island Library is almost done.

Any status update on when it may open?

The spokesperson replied;
The Roosevelt Island Library renovation continues to move forward. At this time, the Library is also assessing the current branch reopenings and we haven't confirmed future openings as yet. But I will keep you posted on any updates!
Roosevelt Island resident Matt Katz made this request to the NYPL:
As we Roosevelt Islanders await the completion and opening of our new branch facility, our old, store-front branch remains empty. Some branches have been reopened for grab-and-go service but not ours. I would remind you that Roosevelt Island has a large disabled and senior population (including me) that is disinclined to use public transportation off the Island but desperately needs library services. Our tiny branch will be replaced by a new, spacious, modern facility but, in the meantime, it is the perfect size for folks to pick up books they have ordered on-line. Won't you consider making this temporary service available to my 14,000 neighbors until the day we celebrate the grand opening of our new Main Street branch?
A library spokesperson replied:
Thank you for contacting us about the reopening of the Roosevelt Island branch. As you may know, the Library is implementing a cautious and phased approach to reopenings in an effort to protect the safety and health of patrons and staff. The Roosevelt Island Library is in a unique situation in that staff are also currently working towards the completion of the renovation of its new branch, which we expect to reopen in a couple of months. In preparation for the reopening of the new Library and considering the precautions needed to safeguard the community against COVID-19, the Library is taking extremely measured steps and as a result we're not able to confirm the branch's immediate reopening at this time. I understand that this is a difficult response to a very important question. But, please know we understand that Roosevelt Island Library patrons are greatly anticipating its reopening and staff are also eager to return to the Library and serve the community.
Resident Judy Berdy shares these photos of inside the new, not yet open,

Roosevelt Island NYPL branch.

Below is NYPL January 2016 presentation on the new Roosevelt Island branch library

Roosevelt Island Library - FINAL Presentation 1/2016

and video of the presentation.