BY MEGAN MONTALVO
After more than five decades of operating as cultural center and place of learning, the Langston Hughes Community Library will formally be recognized as a literary landmark.
On Jan. 16, Queens Library officials announced that the United for Libraries Trustees, a national network of library supporters, will honor the branch’s newly-announced status at the 28th Annual Langston Hughes Celebration on Feb. 9.
In a letter addressed to Queens Library’s President Thomas Galante, who was first to receive the news, United for Libraries’ Executive Director Sally Reed said, “I am most pleased that you’ve applied for this designation for a man who had such significant impact on African-American literature and American literature generally.”
In addition to Galante and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhust), who uses the library’s auditorium for community events and meetings several times a year, also lauded the achievement.
“It’s a wonderful and fitting honor for a magnificent community institution,” Peralta said. “Langston Hughes Library is an integral part of the community and is an invaluable resource that provides access to a board spectrum of knowledge, information and entertainment, as well as assistance in everything from learning a language to homework assignments.”
Throughout his lifetime, Hughes wrote more than 860 poems and was heralded as an author of short stories, plays, essays, anthologies and journalist from the 1920s until his death in 1967.
Although he lived in Harlem, the library was named in Hughes’ honor in 1969 when it was founded by residents of the Corona-East Elmhurst community in 1969.
According to Queens Library, in 1987, the responsibility of the branch was shifted to Queens Library, but to this day, the founding group still has responsibility for funding and operating the after school Homework Assistance Program and the Cultural Arts Program.
For those interested in attending the plaque presentation, festivities will begin at 11:00 a.m. inside the library at 100-01 Northern Blvd. All activities will be free of charge and will include a screening of a Hughes-inspired biographical film, music performance and a presentation of six scholarships by Marshall in honor of African American Heritage Month.
For more information, call Queens Library at (718) 990-0700 or visit www.queenslibrary.org.
Reach Reporter Megan Montalvo at (718) 357-7400 Ext. 128 or email@example.com.