Pop-Up and Mobile Libraries to Bring Books to Hunters Point This Summer

By Jeanmarie Evelly on May 23, 2014 11:19am 

 Mobile and pop-up libraries are being launched at Gantry Plaza State Park this summer.
Mobile and pop-up libraries are being launched at Gantry Plaza State Park this summer.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

LONG ISLAND CITY — Hunters Point residents will be able to borrow books this summer despite delays in construction of a neighborhood library.

Queens Library and Friends of Hunters Point Library will bring mobile and pop-up libraries to Gantry Plaza State Park and to a nearby Food Cellar grocery store, according to an announcement Tuesday.

The temporary libraries are being offered amid delays in the construction of a new library branch at Hunters Point. The city had to tweak its plans for the facility after a first round of construction bids for the project came in millions over budget, library officials said earlier this year.

Starting May 31, a mobile library will be parked at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue — the site of the planned Hunters Point library — on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., offering books, digital downloads and other materials for patrons of all ages.

The Friends of Hunters Point Library will also be running a pop-up library at the park on Saturdays, which will offer reading activities, starting with a children's story hour starting at 11 a.m. and closing at 2 p.m.

Both will be in the park each week this summer, except for July 5.

At the Food Cellar at 4-85 47th Rd., a mini-library using a "take a book, leave a book" model will be set up, part of a partnership between the grocery store and Urban Libraries Unite. The space will offer WiFi and a free downloadable digital library.

Both the mobile library and the Food Cellar mini-library will be offered year-round, while the pop-up library will run through August, according to a Queens Library spokeswoman.

"The Hunters Point community deserves a world class library and we are very much looking forward to seeing that vision become a reality," Friends of Hunters Point Library president Mark Christie said in a statement.

"While we wait on the bricks and mortar we are so pleased to have the Mobile Library service and excited to bring this sun and volunteer fueled pop-up library service."

There is still no set timeline for when construction of the Hunters Point library will begin, according to a Queens Library spokeswoman.

The city's Department of Design and Construction sent the project out to bid again this month to a list of pre-qualified contractors who specialize in complex construction, according to a statement from the agency. The bids are due back June 18.

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