METRO Member Spotlight: Corona Library

Corona Library, one of the five winners of the first-ever Charles H. Revson Foundation's NYC Neighborhood Library Award, is located mere blocks from the 103rd street stop on the 7 line in the heart of Corona, Queens.

20140121_Corona2.JPGThe Corona community first had access to library materials back in 1910, when a librarian would trek to Queens to bring fresh selections to the community's traveling collection. A year later, the library's materials found a more permanent home in a rented storefront in Corona, by then a bustling city center, developed in tandem with the Long Island Railroad. Decades later, the library relocated into a city-owned building on the site where the current library building stands today.

Reflecting the diversity for which Queens is known, Corona opened its arms to the Latin American community in the middle of the 20th century and people of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent in the 1960s. Today the library houses materials in English, Spanish, and Chinese to meet the needs of the 2,300 customers who visit the library each month.

Queens Library's Corona Branch is among the leaders in bringing new technology to its customers. The first ever to own self-service stations using RFID technology, the branch now features self-checkout machines, an automated book return system, and up-to-date computers. After the most recent renovation, the library boasts an expanded reading room with vaulted ceilings as well as a sizeable children's room.

20140121_Corona.JPGBecause of their commitment to bringing the best possible services to their customers, the beloved branch faces chronic overcrowding. Librarians have come to realize that their primary limitation is a lack of space. Meanwhile, the library's staff has learned creative ways to balance demand for resources. They work tirelessly to be good neighbors within the community. It is not uncommon to spot a librarian at a community meeting, at Corona's street fairs, or at open houses at neighborhood schools.

"We maintain good relationships with diverse members of the public, private organizations in the community, and with local leaders," says Vilma Daza, Community Library Manager. With constant attention to their mission to improve the lives of their friends and neighbors, it is easy to see why the library received such an outpouring of support for their nomination for the NYC Neighborhood Libraries award The library's supporters ultimately helped the branch secure much-needed funding to help their librarians to continue their great work with the Corona community.