Finally Johnny can read!
He can read, use the computers, do his weekend homework, develop his language skills, and plan for his future career on Saturdays in Queens at all 63 library branches.
With great fanfare and much press coverage, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, along with other politicians and Queens Library officials visited the Jackson Heights Branch in Queens, the Windsor Terrace Branch in Brooklyn and the Chatham Square Branch in Manhattan to launch six-full-days-a-week citywide library service.
We think this is one of the best things for the residents of Queens and the other boroughs that the City Council has achieved in many years.
By including a total of $320 million in funding for all three library systems citywide in this year’s Fiscal Year ’08 budget, every library will be able to increase their vital programs to the communities that they serve.
As Speaker Quinn said, “Libraries are not only places of learning; they are places where you can explore the furthest corners of the globe, regardless of your economic background. Increasing service to six-full-days will give our kids the chance to take a giant leap toward their future, through enhanced access to summer and after-school programs.”
We agree that our kids are the big winners with the increase to Saturday hours. Nevertheless, they are not the only members of our borough that will benefit.
Hard working adults will be able to utilize the libraries’ adult and business workshops and lectures. They will be able to improve their literacy too.
Senior citizens will have more access to performances and self-betterment courses offered by the Queens Library.
Immigrants and non-English-speaking residents will enjoy more opportunities to attend workshops - often presented in their native tongues - to help them assimilate to the new culture that they find themselves in and to learn about career opportunities too.
“If we are going to give people a better chance to compete in today’s competitive job market, we must make sure that our libraries are as accessible as possible,” said City Councilmember Helen Sears.
We agree with Sears and hope that next year when it comes time to think about our budgeting for our most treasured of resources, our libraries, that the City Council will be able to find the dollars necessary to restore Sunday hours in all of our branches too.
Adding full-day Saturday service will create 200 additional employee positions and new jobs are always good for the city.
Currently only six Queens libraries are open on Sundays - let us make our goal having all of them open seven-days-a-week next year.
Sundays must be next!
Finally Johnny can read!