CORONA — Five libraries, including one in Corona, have been selected by a panel of literary legends and city leaders to win the first-ever NYC Neighborhood Library awards, picking up a $10,000 prize to improve their programs.
The Charles H. Revson Foundation awarded the prize Tuesday to five libraries that serve residents across the city, with the president of the foundation saying they "reflect the extraordinarily important role that neighborhood libraries play in communities all across the city."
The libraries were selected from 10 finalists by a panel that included author R.L. Stine, who wrote the popular "Goosebumps series;" Kurt Andersen, author and host of WNYC's Studio 360; and the city's commissioner of immigrant affairs, Fatima Shama.
The Corona Library was recognized along with the Macon Library in Brooklyn, the New Dorp Library on Staten Island, the Seward Park Library in Manhattan and the Sheepshead Bay library in Brooklyn.
The Corona library, on 104th Street and 39th Avenue, serves approximately 267,000 visitors and circulates 300,000 items a year — but the numbers don't even begin to explain the impact the library has on the community, according to the Queens Library.
"It is unbelievable. It is a library, community center, social service agency, neighborhood club, all rolled into one," said Joanne King, director of communications for the Queens Library.
People go to the library for everything from homework help to ESOL assistance, she said, and the building is usually packed from the time it opens until it closes.
The library has more than 25 computers available to customers, and offers limited free printing.
In the library's nomination form, one guest said the library "is a trusted and safe place where all folks regardless of socio-economic or ethnic backgrounds can come."
The prize money will be used for books and other materials for the shelves and library programs, according to King.
The Corona Library, 38-24 104th St., Corona, is open Monday through Friday with varied hours. For information on special programming, visit their site.