Peninsula Library to Celebrate Summer with 31-Hour Festival


This weekend, the library will be open all night—and even on Sunday! Queens Library Peninsula Branch is celebrating straight through the weekend with a 31-Hour Summer Festival full of activities taking place from the beach to the boardwalk to the library itself.

Peninsula Library, at 92-25 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, will open its doors at 10 a.m. as usual on Saturday, August 26. However, it won’t be closing at 5 p.m. like every other Saturday. They’re going straight through to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 27. That’s right, 31 hours to use the library for normal operations, like computer access and book borrowing, but that’s not all. Much more will be taking place in and around the library, from games to movies, arts and crafts to yoga, concerts, mobile library access by the boardwalk and plenty of other activities for the whole family.

The Corona library branch was the first to have a 31-Hour festival back in June, and it went so well that Queens Library decided to do it again and bring it to Rockaway. “Part of our goal is to make sure we find different ways to engage the community and have our libraries go beyond our walls. We felt it was extremely important to provide hours that are normally not available for people to enjoy it. We first did it at Corona and it was a huge success, so we said, let’s move it to Peninsula,” Queens Library President Dennis Walcott said.

In aiming to expand beyond their walls, in addition to extended hours, the library is going mobile. On both Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a mobile library van on the plaza at Beach 94th Street and a pop-up library from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. right on the boardwalk. The van and pop-up library will allow people to check out books, get a library card, connect to the WiFi and will give the library more exposure beyond their walls and the ability to inform the public about the great activities taking place at Peninsula branch during the festival and regularly. “The van is a good way for us to promote these events on the boardwalk and to let people know to come to the library,” Peninsula branch manager Matthew Allison said.

Some of the events taking place at the library itself include breakfast, knitting, a community resource fair, story time with the NYPD, painting, mason jar and kinetic sand projects, face painting, a teen Uno tournament, book jeopardy, origami, balloon twisting, workshops, trivia, tie-dye, skateboard building workshops, and more. On the beach, around Beach 94th Street, you’ll find story time, sunrise yoga, guided meditation and more. For the full schedule of when each event is taking place, head to or call the library at 718-634-1110. Participants can pick and choose what events they attend.

While the library would normally close at 5 p.m. on Saturdays, that’s when the party will begin. There will be crafts like origami from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed be free refreshments at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., get ready to dance right outside the library to the calypso, reggae and soca tunes of the Steel Impressions Steel Band. After the concert, when it starts to get dark, there will be back-to-back movies under the stars starting at 9 p.m., first with animated film “Finding Nemo,” and then the classic “Jaws.” As the night goes on, there will be a bonfire and scary story time outside of the library starting at 12:30 a.m. Be sure to save your voices and energy for a Karaoke Dance Party inside the library from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. For those insomniacs, there will be board games at 4 a.m. As the sun comes up, activities will start on the beach with sunrise yoga at 6 a.m. and guided meditation at 7 a.m. Breakfast  will be available at the library at 8 a.m. The day will continue with plenty of other fun until a jazz concert at 3 p.m. wraps everything up and Peninsula closes at 5 p.m.

“This festival is a good reminder that the library is here and open for all and we’re finding different ways to bring people in and make them understand that we’re willing to go out to them to provide services,” Walcott said.

“We’re hoping people enjoy the weekend and that maybe people will come and become more familiar with the library and the different services that we provide. A lot of Queens Libraries have a friends group and we hope to start one, so maybe after this festival there will be more energy and we can make it happen. We have a lot of programming throughout the year and a lot of potential and we hope that people see that this weekend,” Allison said.

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