Books and Reading

Books and reading are at the core of public library service. The Queens Library celebrates the legacy of the printed word by fostering and promoting the understanding of the vital role of books, reading, libraries and literacy in society.

  • Special arrangements with vendors got hot “best sellers” on Queens Library shelves the same day they reached the book stores.
  • The first formal Adult Summer Reading Club program took place in Summer 1999. It provided adults with the opportunity to expand their minds and their social contacts in a library setting.
  • The first “e-books” became commercially available in Fiscal Year 2000. These are hand-held devices into which text is downloaded from a computer. Each one typically stores the text of several books in a compact unit. Queens Library formed a task force to investigate, explore and experiment to see how these might fit into the public library environment.
  • In association with the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Awards, the “Places We Call Home” program series explored identity and the concept of “assimilation” through readings, creative writing workshops, author talks and dramatic presentations.
  • “2000 Reasons to Read” campaign invited children to submit their ideas, focussing their awareness of literacy’s importance. From “I read because my Mom makes me…” to “…because I can get a good job and get rich…” their responses were thought-provoking, to say the least.
  • The Times Talk series of programs returned, bringing library customers face-to-face with New York Times reporters and columnists in an intimate setting. Another series of community-centered programs was sponsored for the first time by Newsday.
  • Children’s book collections were increased in Portuguese, Polish, Greek and Braille. Bi-lingual children’s books were added to several branches.
  • Queens Library representatives purchased hard-to-find volumes at the Warsaw Book Fair, the Hong Kong Book Fair, Guadalajara Book Fair and the Liber Book Fair in Madrid. These resulted in books for Queens Library customers at a 40-50% discount, as well as a larger selection and better quality.
  • A project to make sure that all children’s collections reflect the full range of human diversity necessitated the creation of an extensive, original bibliography

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