Archbishop Molloy gets 21st Century library


| mchan@queenscourier.com |

Photos by Joseph Sommo
Photos by Joseph Sommo

Books and bookworms alike at Archbishop Molloy High School now have a new place to call home.

Students and faculty at the Briarwood school welcomed a brand new, state-of-the-art library in September at the start of the school year.

“It’s fantastic. It is light-years ahead of what it used to be,” said alumnus Joseph Sommo, who is also the school’s alumni communications coordinator.

In order to accommodate the increased technological demands and advances, the former library — which was first erected over 50 years ago when the school was constructed in 1957 — was stripped down and rebuilt inside and out.

“Education is constantly changing and evolving. We need to keep up with the pace,” Sommo said. “This is something that had to be done, and everybody is thankful for it. It needed to be rebuilt. It wasn’t up to the times. The infrastructure was old, and it hasn’t been updated since the school was built. It needed the technological upgrades.”

The school’s newly-modernized William J. Murphy Library features an expansive research lab that boasts 40 laptop computers dedicated to online research, which is supported by more than one linear mile of cable implanted during construction. New additions also include a unique college preparatory center and a multimedia conference room that serves both faculty and students.

In addition, energy-efficient lighting, climate control, carpeting with new wood-crafted furniture and a library database — which serves as a more efficient, green solution in maintaining records — were also installed during the transformation.

“It’s been 50 years since we did major renovations in the library,” said Richard Karsten, the school’s president. The new library is a state-of-the-art solution for the next 25 years. It’s a clean, safe and well-lit environment for students to work in.”

The “ambitious” project was completed over the course of “one short summer,” Karsten said, adding that the “effective execution” came after one year of planning. The renovation broke ground in late May this year after classes ended and was completed before the first bell of the semester rang.

“It was old fashioned to say the least,” Sommo said. “It’s a lot more welcoming and inviting than before. There are a lot more students in there now, trust me. A lot of them used to go down to the lounge. The library is a place that everyone gravitates toward now. It’s cozy and it’s a good place to get your work done. It’s definitely received an update that is worthy of the school, its students and faculty.”