The New York Public Library celebrated the grand opening of its new, larger Van Cortlandt branch today, with Chief Operating Officer Iris Weinshall, Library Manager Peter Pamphile, elected officials and excited members of the community cutting the ribbon on the new, long-awaited library.
The new branch, located at 3882 Cannon Place in the Bronx, replaces the 2,700-square-foot Van Cortlandt Library, which opened in 1968. The new branch is more than twice the size of the former library, with 5,800 square feet of public space. In addition to dedicated spaces for children, teens, and programming, the new location will provide an adult reading room and separate community room, more computers and laptops, additional on-site programs, classes, and workshops for all ages, and much more.
“The Van Cortlandt Library served its community well for over 50 years, but the much-loved institution has long needed a larger space to support its growing community,” said New York Public Library Chief Operating Officer Iris Weinshall. “The Library so appreciates that its partners in government understood that need and how critical the Library is to the people of the area. With their support, we now have a brand new, much bigger, modern library that will allow us to expand our offerings and best serve this community. This long-awaited project has been part of an unprecedented amount of capital investment in our branch libraries, which for over 100 years have strengthened communities across New York City. We’re immensely proud to cut the ribbon on the new Van Cortlandt Library and look forward to its next 50 years of service.”
“The new Van Cortlandt Branch Library is a wonderful amenity for the Northwest Bronx, and I am proud to have provided this project with $600,000 in capital funding. Libraries play a key role in communities as meeting places, education centers and public spaces. Libraries are especially critical for our youth, to nurture their love of reading and create lifelong fans of literature. I am proud to be a supporter of libraries in our borough, and I invite all Bronx residents to enjoy the brand new Van Cortlandt Branch Library,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr .
“This is a very exciting day for the Van Cortlandt Library! This site has worked for over five decades to service our northwest Bronx community, and with nearly 60,000 site visits in 2018 alone- it was clear that our community was in need of a larger space. I am thrilled to have partnered with New York Public Library, the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., NY Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, and former NY State Senator Jeff Klein to allocate a collective $8 million toward this state of the art 5,800-square-foot branch. With this new site and technology, I know this center will continue to be the heart of the Van Cortlandt Village community,” said NYC Council Member Andrew Cohen.
“Libraries are such an important part of our community and that is why I am thrilled that we are opening the new Van Cortlandt library here in Van Cortlandt Village. I’m proud to have contributed to the funding of this project along with my colleagues in government. This new state of the art facility will be twice as large as the old one and will have so many features for children, for seniors, and everyone in between. I thank the New York Public Library and everyone who helped bring this important project to fruition,“ said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz.
“The new and expanded location for the New York Public Library’s Van Cortlandt branch will serve as a vital resource for the community – a space for kids, teens, and adults to grow their educational prowess, learn from one another, and engage more deeply with the research tools that the New York Public Library has to offer. Thank you to my fellow elected officials for their work to secure the necessary funding for this project, and congratulations to the New York Public Library Van Cortlandt branch staff and trustees. I look forward to supporting the institution’s development and success,” said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi.
“I am delighted to stand with residents and community leaders to welcome the new Van Cortlandt Library building to our neighborhood. This library renews the importance of public libraries within our community and will be an invaluable asset in our efforts to expand educational opportunities for area youth and adults as well as provide an excellent venue for hosting community programs and upcoming events,” said Congress Member Adriano Espaillat.
The Library is grateful to Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, City Council Member Andrew Cohen, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz, former State Senator Jeff Klein, and the New York State Education Department for their support of this project.