LONG ISLAND CITY — After being discontinued in November, mobile library service will return to Hunters Point next month, as the neighborhood waits for construction to finish on its first brick-and-mortar library branch.
The library-on-wheels — housed inside a bus where patrons can check out books and DVDs and access free WiFi — will be parked on Center Boulevard near Gantry Plaza State Park from 12 to 5 p.m. on Sundays starting April 9.
The bus was stationed in the neighborhood for the last few years to offer service to residents when plans for a new designated library branch in Hunters Point were delayed after initial construction bids for the project came in over-budget.
But the local mobile service was cut last November because service at the nearby Court Square branch was extended to include Saturdays, a Queens Library spokeswoman said.
While the Court Square location is currently the closest branch to Hunters Point, some residents say it's not particularly convenient for those living on the waterfront, which is about a 15-20 minute walk away.
"Some people are finding it just too far, a little prohibitive," said Meghan Cirrito, who heads The Friends of Court Square Library group.
She recently started a petition to bring the mobile library service back to the waterfront until construction of the Hunters Point branch is finished.
"The 7 train is not running on some weekends. [For] people with small children, it can be a little bit too far of a walk especially in cold weather," she said. "The community really needs [service] at least one day a week."
Queens Library spokeswoman Elisabeth de Bourbon said the mobile service is being restored based on interest from the community, and will continue through summer into early fall.
It will now operate on Sundays, because the Court Square branch is open on Saturdays, she said. The bus will offer programs such as story time in addition to lending materials.
Construction on the permanent, 21,500-square-foot Hunters Point library branch has been underway since 2015 and is expected to wrap up this year, officials have said.