Queens Public Library Marks Centennial Anniversary of the Woodhaven Branch
Celebration Includes Time Capsule Burial, Concerts, and a Scavenger Hunt
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar and Councilwoman Joann Ariola Will Commemorate the Centennial
QUEENS, NY _ Queens Public Library this week will mark the centennial anniversary of its Woodhaven branch – one of its four Carnegie libraries – with a series of events, including burying a time capsule, a historic presentation and a scavenger hunt. State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar and Councilwoman Joann Ariola will commemorate the occasion on Saturday, Jan. 6.
The branch, at 85-41 Forest Pkwy., first opened its doors to the public on January 7, 1924. The building, constructed with money bequeathed to New York City by the industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, was the last Carnegie library completed in Queens. The other three are the Astoria, Poppenhusen, and Richmond Hill branches.
The high demand for the Woodhaven Library’s services was immediately evident. When it opened, the library had 1,271 volumes and 1,000 more were soon added. Within a month, librarians reported there were only 11 children’s books left on the shelves.
The branch has since served as a lifeline to the Woodhaven community, drawing 110,000 visitors and loaning 120,000 items each year prior to the start of the pandemic in 2020. The library also hosted a UPK program from 2014 to 2021.
“Over the past century, this library has been the cornerstone of Woodhaven, offering generations of residents free books, newspapers, magazines and other materials, as well as after-school programs, storytimes, English classes, technology workshops, and more,” said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “We are proud of the sustained impact of the library on the community and look forward to continuing to provide free access to information, knowledge and opportunity to all for many years to come.”
“As we gather to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Woodhaven Library, it is a profound honor to reflect on the enduring significance of this beloved institution,” said State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. “For a century, the Woodhaven Library has stood as a beacon of knowledge, a sanctuary of learning, and a haven for the curious minds of our community, especially our children. It has been a sacred space where the transformative power of books and education has touched countless lives, nurturing a love for learning and empowering generations to reach for their greatest potential. In a world that is ever-changing, our local library has remained a steadfast symbol of stability and growth, while offering an updated, safe harbor for the exploration of new ideas and the cultivation of essential skills. It is within these walls, that I remember visiting as a young teen, where the minds of our youth are ignited, their imaginations set free, and their futures shaped. This library serves as a cornerstone of our community, fostering a love for reading, providing vital resources for academic success, and instilling the values of empathy, understanding, and knowledge.”
“As the first elected official from Woodhaven in a generation, I am proud to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Woodhaven Library,” said Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar. “For 100 years, the Woodhaven Library has been an anchor institution of our community. Generation upon generation has entered its hallowed halls to discover the joys of reading, learn about the world around them, gain mastery of the English language, and even get help with their job searches. Today we begin a week of festivities to celebrate this educational and cultural hub in Woodhaven. I will proudly present a resolution commemorating this historic milestone. On this occasion, we look forward to honoring the library’s past and supporting its bright future.”
“The fact that the Woodhaven Library has lasted for a century is a testament to the vital space it serves in this community,” said Councilwoman Joann Ariola. “Our libraries are much more than simply book repositories. They are community centers and places of education, where people from all walks of life can go to enrich themselves. As we continue to roll out new programs in our local libraries – programs like Hero Story Time, for example – we are showing that places like this are still important assets in our neighborhoods, and will be for generations to come.”