60 Percent Increase of Previous Space; Includes Modern Upgrades for LaGuardia’s 50,000 Students, 3,000 Faculty & Staff, and LIC Community
Long Island City, NY (May 12, 2017)—LaGuardia Community College yesterday celebrated the completion of a major expansion of the college’s library to nearly 60,000 sq. ft.—a 60 percent increase of the previous space. Highlights include open areas where students can study and collaborate, new state-of-the-art computing capabilities, and large windows to draw in natural light and welcome the Queens community to the college—in a modern, comfortable space designed with input from LaGuardia students, faculty, and staff.
With an annual attendance of more than 650,000 people, the library is the most heavily utilized space on campus. It serves the college’s 20,000 degree-seeking and 30,000 non-credit students, and 3,000 faculty and staff. As well, visitors from Queens and beyond regularly access the library.
CUNY Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management Judith Bergtraum, CUNY Director of Design, Construction & Management Robert Lemieux, LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, New York State Senator Michael Gianaris, and City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, attended a ribbon-cutting to mark the opening of the newly expanded library. Staff representing Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan attended on her behalf. Click here for photos of the event, which also included LaGuardia faculty, staff, alumni, and students.
Chancellor James B. Milliken said the upgraded LaGuardia library was a critical investment reflecting the University’s goals of increasing access, improving preparation, retention and graduation rates, and expanding online programs. “In the 21st century,” he said, “modern libraries—with welcoming study spaces, state-of-the-art technology, and well-stocked with books and e-books—are essential for study and research, and transformative for students.”
“This library expansion is long-overdue for our exceptionally hard-working students, who are striving to make better lives for them and their families,” said LaGuardia President Gail O. Mellow. “Our student population is largely low-income, new immigrant, or otherwise disadvantaged—many face numerous challenges on their way to a college degree, from financial burdens, juggling work (often more than one job), raising children, and other responsibilities—and they deserve and need a convenient, comfortable, modern space where they can grab time to study and reflect.”
“As well, with new floor-to-ceiling windows facing the intersection of Thomson Ave., Queens Boulevard, and Van Dam Street, the design of the library expansion symbolizes the openness of our college as a place where people of any background can pursue their higher education goals. We welcome all of Queens to the college, and want them to know that the LaGuardia Library is here for them as well,” said Dr. Mellow.
Western Queens Elected Officials Celebrate the Library Expansion
“The transformation of LaGuardia Community College’s library will enhance its reputation for high-quality and affordable college education that produces job-ready graduates with respected academic credentials,” said Queens Borough President Katz. “This modern and expanded library will serve as a top-notch education resource for LaGuardia students for decades to come.”
“I was thrilled to join President Gail O. Mellow, LaGuardia students, faculty, and staff to cut the ribbon on the beautifully renovated and expanded library at LaGuardia Community College,” said City Council Majority Leader Van Bramer. “This library will bring new group study rooms, more seating, improved natural lighting, and resources that over 650,000 students will take advantage of each year. I’m proud to have allocated funding to transform this library into a modern space for research and collaboration that will prepare the next generation of leaders.”
“Expanding LaGuardia Community College library helps our students commit to excellence and contributes to their success,” said Senator Gianaris. “It is more important than ever to invest in education and bring additional resources and opportunities to our colleges. I am proud to celebrate this library expansion with LaGuardia Community College.”
“The library is the focal point for the entire college, with over 650,000 annual visits by students, making it the most heavily used part of the LaGuardia Community College campus,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “By expanding and modernizing the library, LaGuardia is offering students the hi-tech library they need. Under the far-sighted leadership of LaGuardia President Gail Mellow, this new and improved library will help LaGuardia’s diverse student body get a great start in building successful futures.”
“The expansion of the library at LaGuardia Community College will be a great asset and investment to the many students, teachers and faculty who work and attend this wonderful institution” said Assemblywoman Nolan. “I would like to thank President Gail O. Mellow and everyone at LaGuardia for making this project possible.”
More about the Library Expansion
“At last, our world-class students have a world-class library,” said Scott White, LaGuardia Chief Librarian. “We’re thrilled that we’re now able to provide patrons with more efficient access to research materials, and improved collaborative study spaces.”
Additional features include a 75 percent increase in library seating (from 420 to 732 seats) with new high-tech group study rooms, modern reading rooms, individual study spaces, and public computers—all with IT and audio-visual capabilities. It provides a new home for the college’s Media Services, where students may borrow laptop computers and access other services, and adds much-needed office space for library faculty and staff.
The expansion is centered on a reorganization and enlargement of the library’s second floor—with upgraded furniture, painting, and new flooring, and a new staircase and expanded elevator service connecting it to the library’s first floor.
The second phase of the library renovation will upgrade the first floor to match improvements made to the second floor. Planning for this phase is underway, and is expected to take two years. Click here for more information about the library renovation.
Community visitors with a valid ID may enter the library during college hours and access reference materials on-site. Faculty, staff, and students with a valid LaGuardia ID may borrow materials from the library.
Click here for more information about the LaGuardia Community College Library.
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LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, educates more than 50,000 New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Our guiding principle Dare to Do More reflects our belief in the transformative power of education—not just for individuals, but for our community and our country—creating pathways for achievement and safeguarding the middle class. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all US college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education. We invite you to join us in imagining what our students, our community, and our country can become. Visit www.LaGuardia.edu to learn more.