ROOSEVELT ISLAND, NY — A brand-new public library was opened its doors Monday on Roosevelt Island, the culmination of a yearslong effort to give the island a bigger branch with better amenities.
The 5,200-square-foot, $7.8 million branch replaces the island's former branch — a one-room library that "while beloved, could no longer serve the needs of the growing community," the New York Public Library said in a news release Monday.
The new branch opened Monday morning for grab-and-go service. Located at 504 Main St., the library is on the first floor of a former school building.
Work began on the new branch in 2018, with city officials initially pledging to open the facility by the end of 2019. It contains double the space of the old branch, and will offer patrons a number of new resources once it opens for in-person service.
"As our resilient City enters a hopeful new year, the Library is proud to kick it off by giving Roosevelt Island the new library that they have long needed, wanted, and deserved," NYPL President Anthony Marx said in a statement.
The old library opened in 1976 and joined the New York Public Library system in 1997. Despite its small size, the facility received about 81,000 visits between 2017 and 2018, library officials said.
The new library is ADA accessible. Amenities include separate children's and teen areas, an adult reading room, a collection of 16,000 books for browsing, 29 computer workstations, a community room, a landscaped entry area with a book drop, outdoor bench seating that will serve as a local bus stop and an audio induction loop for the hearing impaired.
Funds for the project were allocated by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Councilmember Ben Kallos and former Councilmember Jessica Lappin.
"Roosevelt Islanders have always loved their public library and now they are going to love it even more," Kallos said in a statement.
To start, the library will be open for grab-and-go service from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.