The marathon event featured a community organization resource fair, workshops on fair housing and legal assistance, and panels on community safety and inclusivity. The overnight session was part of the “Queens Library is for Everyone” campaign.
“This is another part of showing how we’re open and available for everyone, no matter who you are,” said library CEO Dennis Walcott. “It really showcases the depth and breadth of our services, resources and materials we have available.”
The programming also included chess and board games for teens, children’s story time and crafts, and a film screening of the movie “Coraline.”
From 2 to 4 a.m., the library broke out into a karaoke and dance party. At 5 a.m., there was sunrise yoga, followed by a Zumba class at 6 a.m. The events concluded with an open mic led by Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella, which ended at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Walcott said the combination of fun and serious gives library customers a chance to see a little bit of everything.
“Our goal is to find different, creative ways to keep our hours flexible for our populations,” he said. “Even if we only have one person in here at that hour, it doesn’t matter. That’s one more person receiving a service that individual wouldn’t have received if this library was not open.”
Walcott said he chose Corona to host the session because it’s an immigrant-heavy and active library community. Though not as large as the Flushing, Central or Elmhurst branches, it ranks among the highest in usage per square foot, according to the library.
“We also want to impact the type of discussion that’s taking place around immigrant services and the fear that’s out there,” he said. “We don’t care who you are, what your background is. We’re here to provide assistance, services and information.”
Walcott said he’s already hearing from other branches looking to have a similar overnight session at their location.
“We’ve had a demand from our different libraries to do this,” Walcott said. “People are very interested and saying, ‘What about us?’ and ‘Me next.’ That’s a great thing.”