The history of the Mapleton Branch began on June 1934, when, due to popular demand in the community, a local library opened on 20th Avenue. Less than a year later, on February 5, 1935, the branch library opened in a former storefront on 18th Avenue, with books and staff transferred from the former Astral Branch. Soon, this site also proved to be too small for its rapidly growing collection and on September 6, 1955, a new branch, designed by architect George Boehm, opened on the corner of 17th Avenue and 60th Street. This large new library accommodated a staff of 12 and a collection of 34,600 volumes.
Today, the branch operates with a much larger staff and collection. In the years since the building's opening, the community has continued to change and grow and the branch has had to keep pace with that growth.
The Mapleton branch is located in a residential area and serves several public schools and yeshivas. The busy, multi-ethnic neighborhood consists of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews, Russians, Italians, Asians, Pakistanis, Poles, Latinos, Arabs and other nationalities. In order to serve this diverse community, members of the branch staff are able to provide service in a total of thirteen languages: English, Russian, Ukrainian, Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Spanish, Italian, Albanian, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and Hindi.
Neighborhood events on 18th Avenue include a Columbus Day parade, the St. Rosalia Feast and the Children's Carnival for Passover and Succos.