Around Town: Langston Hughes - Langston Hughes Community

Around Town:
Langston Hughes
100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona
Hours: Mon. 1–8 | Tues. 1–6 | Wed. 10–6
Thurs. 1–8 | Fri. 10–6 | Sat. 10–5:30
abo u t
lib r a r y
Langst on
H ug h e s
24 public access computers (about
10 are dedicated to the homework
Languages for Materials:
English, Spanish, Chinese
Special Sections:
Black Heritage Reference Center
(includes circulating materials)
Special Services:
Performance-ready auditorium; used
extensively by the community
40 Years and Going Strong
Library at Langston Hughes (known
formally as the Langston Hughes
Community Library and Cultural
Center). It marks 40 years that Langston Hughes has served the
public with its premier collection,
the Black Heritage Reference Center
of Queens County. This circulating collection of print and nonprint
materials about the Black Experience boasts over 45,000 volumes of
circulating books, periodicals, theses
and dissertation, and audio and video
materials. Langston Hughes also has a
reference collection of microfiche and
microfilm, databases and a permanent
art collection of Africana paintings,
prints and sculpture.
In addition to the Black Heritage
Reference Center, Langston Hughes
also offers a wealth of programming for customers, including artist
exhibitions, musical performances,
seasonal creative writing workshops,
dramatic presentations, a day to honor Langston Hughes and his poetry, a
Kwanzaa celebration, and much more.
“Langston Hughes provides a service
to the borough of Queens that’s not
duplicated elsewhere in the borough,”
says Andrew Jackson, Executive
Director of Langston Hughes. “Our
programs and services supplement the
special collection.”
Jackson points out that Langston
Hughes has evolved along with its
changing community, and that its programming and collection reflects this.
“Corona-East Elmhurst was mainly
a black community when Langston
Hughes opened,” says Jackson. “Now,
it’s multicultural. Because of that, we
have a Mexican festival, host Latin
bands in the courtyard, provide Asian
string music programs — we do
everything. And everything is free.”
2009 is a banner year for Queens
received grant funding for this “experiment in community control,” the
LAC submitted a proposal to Queens
Library Director Harold Tucker, and
Langston Hughes gained full Queens
Library status in October 1987.
With a staff member dedicated to
information technology, Langston
Hughes provides computer classes
in English and Spanish to the public.
And, through its homework program,
the library assists about 100 children
from first through seventh grade.
With its wealth of activities, space
is at a premium. “We’re focusing on
more space for the collection,” says
Jackson, “which means we’re moving into digital preservation. We also
need dedicated space for our
young adults, who come in
on a regular basis.”
Our purpose is always to serve
the community.
One of the most unusual and special aspects of Langston Hughes is
that it was founded by members of
the community. The Library Action
Committee of Corona-East Elmhurst,
Inc. (LAC) was an ad hoc committee
of the local Community Corporation,
one of New York City’s anti-poverty
programs. Nearly 20 years after it
“This is my neighborhood, and Langston Hughes has allowed me to flourish
here,” says Jackson. And his explanation of the library’s value is simple.
“Our purpose is always to serve our
community,” he says. Come in today,
and experience the value of this truly
unique institution for yourself.
The original Langston Hughes Cultural Center was in a former Woolworth’s in Corona-East Elmhurst.