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Stay cool: Queens Public Library, HANAC offer cooling centers for residents during heat wave

Jul. 28, 2023 By Bill Parry

As the mercury soars into the nineties during the first heat wave of the summer, Queens Public Library announced extended hours at two branches in neighborhoods where the heat is even more intense due to the lack of tree canopies.

In response to the city’s Excessive Heat Warning, the Flushing branch and QPL’s Central location in Jamaica will remain open until 8 p.m. so that people can cool off for two additional hours while enjoying a book, meeting their neighbors, using WiFi, and more.

The rest of QPL’s available locations will be open regular hours on Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The public can call 311 or visit QPL’s website to find the address of the nearest library.

QPL will operate on a normal schedule on Saturday and on Sunday when the heat wave is expected to ease.

Meanwhile, HANAC will provide air-conditioned cooling centers to older adults and vulnerable community members at several locations across the borough. The Astoria-based nonprofit will provide space until 7 p.m. at its JVL Harmony Innovative Older Adult Center at 27-40 Hoyt Avenue South in Astoria, the NYCHA Ravenswood Senior Center at 34-35 12th St. in Astoria, and at the Angelo Petromelis College Point Senior Center at 13-28 123rd St. in Flushing.

“We want older adults to be safe while the Queens community deals with this current heat wave,” HANAC Executive Director Stacy Bliagos said. “Running an air conditioning unit can get expensive, especially for those on a fixed income, and they should not have to choose between using AC or buying groceries. Any older adult can come to HANAC JVL Harmony Innovative Older Adult Center, Ravenswood Senior Center, or the Angelo Petromelis College Point Senior Center, free of charge, and relax in our air-conditioned spaces. It also offers them an area to socialize, rather than staying isolated while dealing with extreme weather.”

New York City recommends that members of the public utilize cooling centers such as these during heat waves if they don’t have access to a cool environment or are at risk for heat-related illness.

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