The CEO of the prominent Queens Library, Thomas Galante, implored the New York State legislators in Albany, NY to increase state funding to libraries comparable to the requisite necessity of these public educational institutions.
Despite the dilemma of the unfolding of the ramification of sequester, in the state capitol, both Republicans and Democrats joined, Galante, the Queens library maverick leader of more than 63 up-and-running community libraries – in his requests at a rally in the Legislative Office Building on Library Legislative Day.
“Libraries are educational facilities; nothing is partisan about libraries,” said one speaker to a roar of applause, notably from a contingent of Queens Library advocates donning orange T-shirts with the words inscribed on the back, “I Love My Library Queens library Enrich Your Life.”
“Libraries are an essential service. Libraries stand at an important moment. Libraries spent the last 20 years getting people what they want, give libraries what they know they cannot get,” he asserted to a sea of library advocates seated and standing.
Beyond collaborating with libraries throughout New York State to secure immediate restoration of $102 million statewide from 2007, as state funding for libraries takes a dive as the circulation of library material increased to 11 percent, a significant percentage of the Library Legislative Day participants’ future are dependent on the future of Queens Library..
For a large percentage of immigrants aware of Queens Libraries resources, the American dream is tangible. While Queens Library’s well-dispersed community libraries are housed in the most ethnically-diverse county in the U.S., immigrants frequent the more than 19,000 children’s program and weekday after-school programs.
Additionally Queens Library, a magnet of vast opportunities, offers English language coupled with educational classes to in excess of 8,000 adults without cost.
Upon meeting with die-hard library supporters like State Senator Malcolm Smith and Assembly women Vivian Cook and Barbara Clark on this breezy cold day, Sandra a South American student felt compelled to reveal to state legislators that within four months she learned English at the Adult Learning Center at Queens Library in Jamaica, NY.
“My teachers at the ALC are volunteers,” said the grateful Library Legislative group member, giving only her first name. “They are intelligent, dedicated, punctual, efficient and are concerned about their students,” added the math professor only weeks before she returns to her country after achieving her goal of speaking English proficiently.