April 7, 2015 By Michael Florio
The Sunnyside Library is in the running to win $20,000.
The library, located at 43-06 Greenpoint Ave, was selected as one of the 10 best branch libraries across the five boroughs. Now, it has a 50-50 shot of winning $20k.
The top five libraries will receive $20,000 as part of the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards, which is being funded by the Revson Foundation. The winners will be announced May 20.
The Revson Foundation asked New Yorkers last year to nominate their favorite branch library–of the 207 branches that are located in the 5 boroughs. The organization received more than 13,000 votes, with Sunnyside accounting for more than 200 of those.
Fifty libraries were initially selected based on the votes and the stories that the public provided about the importance of a given branch.
“People wrote amazing stories on what the library has been doing for them and how helpful the staff is,” said Julie Sandorf, the president of the Revson Foundation, which created the awards. “That is what we look for.”
The list of 50 branches was then presented to foundation representatives, who then narrowed the list down to 25 branches. The organization then went on site visits to each of the 25 libraries, to check out the facility and the staff.
A panel of judges then whittled down the list down to the top 10 branches.
Sandorf said the Sunnyside Library stood out because it received a good number of votes and was viewed highly during the site visit.
“The staff was very welcoming,” Sandorf said. “They serve such a diverse community and people in all stages of their lives, from young children to seniors.”
The foundation also noted the story of an immigrant worker who was thankful her daughter was able to use the Sunnyside branch to do her homework.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said he was not surprised that Sunnyside Library was viewed so favorably. “This is an incredible library,” he said. “It is 7,500 square feet and yet does a circulation of about 300,000 per year. It does the business of a much larger library.”
Sunnyside is one of three Queens libraries in the finals, along with the Cambria Heights and Langston Hughes libraries.
“We are incredibly proud that three of the libraries are from Queens,” said Joanne King, Communications Director from Queens Library.