Gibson, the assistant manager at the East Elmhurst public library, attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the library’s renovation and extension. She was excited about what the improvement means for the future of the facility.
“It is absolutely an excellent project, because currently we are bursting at the seams with students who come after school, both teens and elementary school kids,” Gibson said. “It definitely is needed space.”
Gibson has worked for the Queens Library for more than 21 years, and has been at the East Elmhurst branch since 2009. The Barbados native now lives in the neighborhood, just 10 minutes walking distance from the library.
For Gibson, libraries are much more than just a collection of books.
“It’s a community space,” she said. “Many community groups usually want to meet or assemble here. It’s important to them.”
She explained that she often has to turn groups away because the library doesn’t have enough space to accommodate them.
“Many will come to ask to hold a meeting with a room already booked,” she said. “We really welcome this space. I’m so excited.”
Gibson said she’s most excited for the kids who will get to use the bigger space, which includes a quiet reading room.
“There’s very limited space for parents and children to sit and complete their work,” Gibson said. “We have structured after-school programs, and for other kids not involved in the program there’s no space for them.”
She hopes that will change come 2019, when the new, expanded and improved library will open again to the public.
“East Elmhurst is definitely a community, we welcome each and every one,” Gibson said.