Help the library to buy new books

Two library organizations are seeking help to aid the Queens Library after drastic budget cuts crippled the organization’s ability to serve the community.
The Friends of Queens Library and the Queens Library Foundation announced an emergency “Buy-a-Book” campaign on December 15 to buy library books and other materials for the Queens Library. This campaign follows a cut in the organization’s “new materials” budget, as public funding sources have fallen short.
Joanne King, associate director of communications for the Queens Library, said that the city’s budget for the library has been cut several years in a row.
“There is a complete moratorium on purchasing new materials,” said King, when asked about the severity of the cuts.
In 2008 the Queens Library was able to purchase more than one million homework help books, best sellers, reference works, magazines and videos to lend. This year, funding can only cover a few thousand purchases at best, meaning there will be a very scarce selection for library customers. King said the recent recession was responsible for the severely curtailed budget.
The two organizations are asking for donations of as little as $5. According to the Queens Library Foundation’s web site, $25 can buy a new book. JPMorgan Chase & Co. will also match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $60,000, according to the foundation.
The Queens Library serves Queens county’s 2.3 million residents. The library, with 23 million items in circulation for fiscal year 2010, boasts one of the highest circulations of any public library system in the world.
Donation envelopes can be found at your local library, local retailers or online at the Queens Library Foundation’s web site, www.queenslibraryfoundation.org.

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