Queens Leaders Protest Cuts to Library

Borough President, City Council Members Hold Rally at Flushing Branch

A bevy of elected officials turned out this week for a rally to support the Queens Public Library following a recent announcement that the library could be forced to cut more than 400 staff members across the borough.

Thomas Galante, the library’s chief executive officer, said earlier this week that the city’s executive budget calls for $25.3 million in cuts to the Queens Library system.

If the City Council does not restore the funding for Fiscal Year 2012, the library will be forced to eliminate hundreds of librarians, clerks and custodians.

Galante joined Queens Borough President Helen Marshall as well as Council members Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, Jimmy Van Bramer, D-Sunnyside, and Peter Koo, R-Flushing, for a rally at the library’s Flushing branch on Wednesday.

“The closure of a library is a waster of a valuable resource that provides a multitude of services for users of every age in the community it serves,” Marshall said. “Yet, we here in Queens face closures of branches that together make up the busiest library system in the city.”

The borough president said the Queens library drew more than 14 million visitors, who loaned a total 23 million items.

Under the city’s proposed cuts, the library would be forced to layoff 471 staff members, 48 borough branches would be closed four or five days per week, only 13 libraries would be open five days per week and the borough’s Central Library would be the only branch open on Saturday.

In addition, there would be no Sunday library service in the borough.

“Libraries provide invaluable services and programs that enrich our communities and improve the academic performance of children in our schools,” said Van Bramer, who is chairman of the Council’s Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee.

Fiscal Year 2012 would be the fourth consecutive year that the borough’s library system budget declined, resulting in shorter hours as well as fewer books and videos on the shelves.

There will be a rally against the proposed cuts on May 26 at City Hall.

Mitch Schwadron May 21, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Artiedoowop, Get this through you addled mind, The City, the State, and the federal Government are separate entities, the actions of one do not necessarily effect the actions of the others. But we should adopt the actions of the Duchy of Gran Fenwick and declare war on the US, lose the war and ask for rebuilding subsidies. And stop blaming the Democrats for everything.
Arthur J caputo May 22, 2011 at 02:51 AM
What a laugh.,blaming the democtas or do you men republicans?It's just a coincidence that every state in the union is crying the same tune. Cut schools, Social security, cut hospitals , cut medicare, medi aid cut teachers, etc ,etc,Thay are controlled by the same drum master all marching to the same tune ,saying the same thing . THey supposed to be seperate entities but it's BS.Like the different named oil companies ,all charging the same price fixing price.MEANWHILE , the rich are being subsidized by us, the sucker taxpayer.Billions for oil companies that don't need it ,billions for Israel, an illegal state. Charity begins at home.It's the republicans that are hurting the people of this country and the country itself. If you can't see that ,no wonder your a republican ,your dumb and politically ignorant.
Mitch Schwadron May 22, 2011 at 02:12 PM
Artiedoowop, I guess things in Little Neck are in flux, you live in a community founded by the very people you hate, in a city founded by the same people, in a country where civil rights was made into law by these same people. All of the things that you are claiming as your own were founded or established by these horrible people the Republicans. Climb back under your rock, face away from the sun, and think that the labor unions that you are not a part of, were founded by the Jews, which I am a part of. And while the Unions in NYC are controlled by the Dems, this is not so in the rest of the country. The last strong Democratic labor leader we had in queens was Brian McLaughlin, talk to him, but you'll have to be processed through the visitor's center at the federal jail he's in. 99% of the elected officials incarcerated in the USA are democrats. The way you rant and rave, you would think that you were responsible for 911. Empty barrels make the most nois. Calm down, take your meds and relax on your porch and watch the trees grow.
Mitch Schwadron May 22, 2011 at 02:13 PM
Mitch Schwadron May 23, 2011 at 06:02 AM
Artie, I am sending copies of your rants to the JDL and the Anti Defamation League of Bnai Brith, and to the Embassy and Consulate of Israel, to the attention of the Mossad and Shimbet. We are also warming up a bed for you in Bellevue. I'm sure that Dora will be proud of your actions. You do understand that if it wasn't for the people you hate, you would be unemployed. Enough already, calm down, take your meds, or I'll tell the world that your Tobies long lost gumada By the way, are the straps on your straight jacket too tight?


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