By Mark Hallum
A plaque was unveiled and will be mounted in the McGoldrick Library in Broadway-Flushing for its namesake priest who sought to promote education in the then-rural community that became north Flushing.
Joseph Brostek advocated to have the little-known figure today recognized with a monument and was joined at the ceremony by Queens Library President Dennis Walcott and Rev. Joseph T. Holcomb of St. Andrew Avellino Parish. The church sits just across the street from McGoldrick Library at 157th Street and Northern Boulevard and was also founded by the cleric who died in 1930.
“Father McGoldrick loved reading and education. He knew that someday he would open a school. In 1921 he joined the Queens Public Library board of trustees and worked very hard with the community to have a library established,” Brostek said. “Father’s efforts to get a library were successful and the Broadway-Flushing Community Library was opened in 1929. He died in 1930 and not long after, the board of trustees voted to change the name of the library to the McGoldrick Community Library in his honor.”
Of the 65 branches of Queens Library, only four are named after people and not just for the communities they serve. The McGoldrick branch was named after the priest in 1933, but the location changed several times before it settled in its current building at 155-06 Roosevelt Ave. near Leonard Triangle.
Somewhere in this confusion of so many location changes, the meaning of the name became disassociated with the library itself, according to Brostek.
The McGoldrick Library, founded in 1929, was only open for about a year before McGoldrick died.
“As one of the four libraries named after individuals, this library will no longer be the outlier not having a plaque in that person’s honor,” Walcott said.
Also delivering remarks at the unveiling ceremony were state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), state Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) and Community Board 7 District Manager Marylyn McAndrews.
“Father McGoldrick was an incredible man in the sense that he had an incredible vision, and one of those visions was simply to educate our young people and give everyone the opportunity to read and be educated,” Holcolm said before leading those in attendance in prayer.
Kim said the McGoldrick Library plays a significant role in the community because it does not only offer classes that teach students so they can pass exams, but real world skills such as introductory lessons in Korean.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 260–4564.
Source: Times Ledger