The Flushing Library will reopen its doors on Monday to offer its full lineup of services sine the pandemic began in early 2020.
The hiccups started in March 2020, when the 41-17 Main St. location, which is one of the busiest branches in the country, closed its doors as COVID-19 started ravaging New York City. It reopened for staff only in July 2020 and began offering to-go services four months later, but closed once again in March 2021 when the city started using the facility to administer vaccines. That, too, had to be put on pause in June, when the building's heating, ventilation and air conditioning system had failed, the Queens Public Library said in a press release.
The system failure came around the same time as another planned closure of the library involving the construction of a second elevator and the renovation of its existing one, the library said. That project started in December 2021 and will be ongoing at night after the library opens, until it is completed.
As for the HVAC system, the library said heating has been restored and a temporary chiller was set up while a new system is installed sometime over the next two years.
"Striking this balance has been an enormously complicated undertaking that involved a great deal of thought, time, and creativity," said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott in a statement. "Our team came up with a solution that enables us to carry out our mission as we work to provide greater access to all the resources Flushing offers, and the staff at Flushing have done an outstanding job making sure the library is as ready, inviting, and inspiring as possible when the public returns."
The Flushing Library drew 1.7 million visitors in 2019. It will be open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.