The city’s executive budget has been released. It proposes a cut to Queens Library of $29.6 million, part of a proposed cut to libraries citywide of $100 million. If that proposal were to become reality, the impact on library service hours and the number of job layoffs are unthinkable. Our representatives in City Hall and the City Council value libraries. They have demonstrated it in the past. Nevertheless, the proposed cut is enormous. Elected officials have limited revenue resources and tough choices to make.
It is up to the people of Queens to show the City Council and City Hall that library hours and library jobs are critical to this city. Libraries in Queens urgently need your help. Go to www.savequeenslibrary.org. You will be able to sign our electronic petition and send an email to your elected representatives. Or, stop in to any library and sign the paper petition or write a postcard.
Speak up for Queens Library! Tens of millions of our neighbors use free library resources or attend free library programs. They enjoy quiet reading time, sharpen their skills for their next big job, use the computers, prepare for an important exam for work or school, find out more about a health condition or email a friend far away. To do that, libraries must remain open for service at least five days a week or more.
As we speak with our elected officials, we will also be talking about how critical a stable funding stream is for libraries in the future. We need to be able to better plan for the library services you need from year to year and be assured of being able to buy books for the shelves.
For now, I hope I can count on everyone to speak up for Queens Library. Go to www.savequeenslibrary.org on your computer or smartphone, or stop at the library and sign the petition. You need your library. Right now, your library needs you.
Thomas W. Galante,
President and CEO, Queens Library