Too Long Without a Library

 Too Long Without a Library

Dear Editor:

(As sent to Dennis Walcott, president and CEO of Queens Public Library)

I am writing to express my extreme displeasure at hearing that the Seaside branch of QPL will be closed for a FULL YEAR beginning the end of May 2024, for a new HVAC installation. I am a longtime, enthusiastic library user, and a supporter of the QPL Foundation. My husband and I use the Seaside branch weekly.

When I learned that it would be closed for a year (after other closures over the past such as renovations, Sandy updates, COVID closure), I was appalled. I cannot believe that any other business, nonprofit, hospital, school, or residence–even larger and more complex sites– would close for a full year for an HVAC installation.

Stacey Pheffer Amato’s office was helpful in getting a response from the NYC Department of Design and Construction which was shared with me, but which was basically a bureaucratic response and not terribly informative. It outlined all the phases of the project–including, for example, removing walls and ceiling, connecting to fire alarms, system testing and inspections–which of course would be part of any construction project. I still cannot understand why this is allowed to take a full year and harm the community.

I was just today asked to attend a rally in support of increased library funding, and I do already send modest donations to the library. But I expect the QPL and its foundation to be good stewards of the library branch in our community, and to demand better in terms of city contractors and processes. Homeowners do this all the time, as do other businesses and non-profits, and they would not stand for such a long timeframe for a fairly routine renovation in a fairly small facility!!

I would appreciate a thoughtful response and valid reasons for this long closure. Thank you so much for all the work you do for the city and for QPL.

Jane Canner, Ph.D.

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