Waiting for the library


To the editor:

As the people and businesses of New York City make valiant strides to safely reopen while we are still battling COVID-19, I am left with a nagging question for which I have not received a satisfactory answer: Why is the Riverdale branch of the New York Public Library still closed, especially when the Spuyten Duyvil and Kingsbridge branches are both open?

I am sure I am not alone in my frustration and curiosity.

While it is nice that these two other branches have reopened, it is dismaying that the New York Public Library has not seen fit to include Riverdale in its plan to reopen branches. Spuyten Duyvil and Kingsbridge are not easily accessible for some people in North Riverdale — especially senior citizens, the disabled, those who do not have an automobile, mothers with young children who formerly visited the branch after school, etc.

The list of people marginalized by this sustained closure is extensive and dispiriting to contemplate.

Additionally, I am deeply concerned about the welfare of the Riverdale branch’s staff. Have they been laid off? Furloughed? Reassigned to other branches in the library system?

From numerous exchanges over many years, I know they are friendly and helpful, consummate professionals, and a credit to both our neighborhood and the public library itself.

I know I am not alone in hoping to see the Riverdale Library’s black wrought-iron gates on Mosholu Avenue reopen soon. For decades, it has been a pillar of our community.

It is needed now more than ever.

Joseph Smith

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Joseph Smith,