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LIC's Popular Court Square Library To Open on Saturdays Starting Next Month

By Jeanmarie Evelly | August 19, 2016 3:06pm | Updated on August 22, 2016 8:28am
 The children's room at the Court Square library in Queens.
The children's room at the Court Square library in Queens.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

LONG ISLAND CITY — Queens Library's Court Square branch will be open on Saturdays for the first time in nearly a decade starting next month, officials announced Thursday.

The library, located inside the Citigroup Building at 25-01 Jackson Ave. and currently the only branch serving the family-friendly Hunters Point neighborhood, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Saturday after Sept. 10, officials said.

It had been the only Queens Library location without full six-day service because the private Citigroup Building is closed on weekends, but officials say they've worked it out so the library portion of the building will be able to operate on Saturdays, according to a spokeswoman for Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer's office.

"We're really, really grateful," said Meghan Cirrito, president of The Friends of Court Square Library, a group that formed last year to advocate and raise funds for the branch.

"It was one of the reasons that we even founded the friends group," she said.

The branch is popular with local families because it's currently the only one in the immediate area — the next closest is in Queensbridge. Queens Library is constructing a new branch on the Hunters Point waterfront that's expected to open next year.

The Court Square location underwent an expansion and a new children's room in December to accommodate the number of patrons that flock to it, and Cirrito said story time and other kids' activities are so popular that the library takes reservations for them.

"There's a huge, huge demand for family programs," she said.

The news comes after City Council members announced earlier this week that they've secured $43 million in future budgets to keep all city libraries open at least six days a week for years to come.

"When I was a child, my mother took me to the Queens Library, where I learned to read and developed a love of learning," Van Bramer, who represents Long Island City, said in a statement.

"If our libraries aren’t open on the weekends, many working families can't share those special and vital moments with their children."

While Hunters Point residents have had access to the Queens Library's mobile library on Saturdays — which will remain parked each weekend at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue — Cirrito said having the actual library branch open "can't be beat."

"The mobile library is great, but a full library staff, librarians and clerical staff — there's no comparison," she said.