Queens Libraries Rally To Save Funding
Borough President Helen Marshall, City Councilmembers Peter Koo and Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, Queens Library President and CEO Thomas Galante, library staff and members of the community held a rally May 8 on the steps of Queens Library at Flushing to advocate for restoration of a proposed budget cut of $26.7 million (31%).
Queens Library is facing the largest budget cut in its history, threatening library service across the borough, including the outright closing of community libraries and the loss of hundreds of library jobs. More than 150 people attended.
The same turnout is expected for the Queens Library “Boardwalk for Books” rally which will be held on Thursday, May 17, at 4:45 p.m. Protestors can meet at either the Arverne or Seaside branches and march along the boardwalk for a grand rally at Peninsula Library at Beach 94 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard at 6 p.m.
The rally held in Flushing this week was attended by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, who has always been a strong advocate against library cuts.
“A library is an important resource for every neighborhood. It’s a place to learn, read, explore, and broaden new visions and learn how to achieve your goals and ambitions.
Libraries here in Queens, America’s most diverse county, also bridge the gap for new immigrants to assimilate in a multicultural society, while providing veteran visitors with the tools they need to build a better future for a new generation.
These threatened cuts must be restored to enable libraries to stay open with full services and programs for the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come through their doors,” said Marshall.
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who is the chair of the Council’s Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee, says the cuts put vital services to the public at risk.
“The Mayor’s Executive Budget, if enacted, would cut $26.7 million in funding to vital services provided by the Queens Library,” said Van Bramer. “These cuts would put over 600 librarians out of a job, close 18 libraries all together, eliminate Sunday services at all branches and potentially keep 30 libraries closed four or five days a week. This cannot happen.
Queens residents deserve a budget. One that preserves all of their services as well as the free educational, cultural and informational programming that make this prestigious institution the strong cultural hub it is in over 60 neighborhoods throughout the borough.
As chair of the New York City Council’s Libraries Committee, I will continue to fight to restore this funding for the millions of people who visit the Queens Libraries each and every day.”
Queens Library President and CEO Thomas Galante said, “”People in Queens need and use their libraries. Libraries make a huge impact on the educational and economic landscape. Libraries provide a great return-oninvestment.
We are calling on the community to speak up for Queens Library and write to their elected officials, asking them to keep library doors open in every community.”
Queens Library provides free essential information, computer and Internet access, help with homework, free healthcare information, job search services and so many other community based programs, plus the free loan of millions of books and other library materials in every neighborhood in Queens.
For more information, go to www.- savequeenslibrary.org.