New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

A New "Pearl" on Staten Island

The Mariners Harbor Library designed in the shape of an oyster to reflect the maritime history associated with Mariners Harbor, has recently become the 88th branch of The New York Public Library system.  

“For more than a century The New York Public Library has provided New Yorkers with the tools they need to support lifelong learning,” said NYPL President Tony Marx at the library’s opening.  “We celebrate a new library – a new pearl on Staten Island – one that continues that tradition, designed to support and cultivate the education of all students of Mariners Harbor, young and old.”
 The one-story, 10,000 square-foot Mariners Harbor Library at 206 South Avenue is LEED Silver certified, and has an open, airy design with large windows and skylights. The branch also features adult, young adult and children spaces, ADA accessibility, 38 new public access computers, 10 laptops available for patron use, WiFi capability, and a multi-purpose community room. A beautiful ground-floor exterior garden and terrace is set to open later this  year.
Designed by architects Anna Torriani and Lorenzo Pagnamenta of Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani.  Project construction of the Mariners Harbor Library was managed by City of New York Department of Design and Construction.
“We are thrilled that Mariners Harbor now has their long awaited library,” said architects Lorenzo Pagnamenta and Anna Torriani. “The cracked open oyster shell design reveals to the Mariners Harbor users their pearl - their library -and connects them to the neighborhood, to the nature and to the virtual knowledge beyond.”
“Libraries are not only places of learning but also places where you can explore the furthest corners of the globe.  The opening of the Mariners Harbor Library will give Staten Islanders the chance to take a giant leap toward their future, and provide access to services more readily available,” said Speaker Christine Quinn.  “I want to thank the Administration and my colleagues in the Council for securing this funding and for demonstrating just how vital a role libraries play in our communities.”
“The excitement in the communities of Mariners Harbor and Arlington is palpable, the long awaited opening of the New State of the Art Mariners Harbor Library has finally arrived,” said Councilwoman Debi Rose, 49th District, NYC Council. "Children and Families will now have access to the vast resources of the NYPL.”

“This library will be a great benefit to the entire community, but especially to its children,” said Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro. “I’ve often said that when children learn to read, they can read to learn. I know that this library will serve generations of children as they grow from elementary school students to high school and college students, and hopefully on into their adult years, as they continue learning and perhaps even bring their own children here.”
“The story of the Marnier's Harbor library is a long novel, begun in a time long ago,” said New York State Senator Diane J. Savino. “For over 80 years as the people of Northwestern Staten Island have requested a library to nourish their children and their community with the tools needed to be a center of prosperity education and learning; today that story has a very happy ending with the opening of this wonderful building.”
“As a longtime advocate for access to educational resources, I consider a library to be a symbol of a community that places a high priority on learning and positive development,” said Assemblyman Matthew Titone.  “With the North Shore undergoing a renaissance, I am excited to welcome the New York Public Library to Mariner’s Harbor. The 88th branch of the NYPL has been a long time coming. Advocates have been fighting for this library since 1938, and today we are making history, as an American institution comes to a neighborhood reinventing itself for the 21st century.”
“The library’s exterior, reminiscent of an oyster shell, pays tribute to the neighborhood’s maritime history – while its open, light-filled interior meets the needs of a modern library,” said DDC Commissioner David J. Burney, FAIA.  “This terrific design, by Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani Architects, reflects a shift in library architecture from the austere institutions of old to the transparent, community-based facilities of today.  It was a pleasure to work with our colleagues at the New York Public Library to deliver this much-needed addition to the Mariners Harbor community.