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Message from the President of the Board of Trustees & the Library Director

State Senator Serphin R. Maltese received the Board of Trustees 'Library Champion' Award for his dedication to and advocacy of the Queens Library. Presenters are Library Director Gary E. Strong and Board of Trustees President Patricia Flynn.

A Message from the President of the Board of Trustees…

As we go to press with this annual report, New York City is beginning to recover from an unspeakable tragedy — a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in Manhattan and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. It was not just an attack on our people and structures, but on our democratic way of life.

“The mission of the Queens Borough Public Library is to provide quality services, resources and lifelong learning opportunities through books and a variety of other formats to meet the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs and interests of its diverse and changing population.” This service is provided free of charge, regardless of income, place of birth, ethnicity or any other identifying trait. It is assumed that everyone has the inalienable right to know and to think. Public libraries guard the most democratic ideals in our society and put them into practice every single day.

More than ever, I am proud of Queens Library’s public service accomplishments in Fiscal Year 2001, and along with my fellow trustees, am proud to devote my time to strengthening it.

Patricia Flynn,President of the Board of Trustees

…and the Library Director

Our pride in Queens Library’s successes in Fiscal Year 2001 is deeply overshadowed by the events of September 11, 2001. In a sense, however, Queens Library’s role in the community was magnified during those dark days. The people who staff the library in your community immediately stepped up to the plate, doing their jobs to provide the quality of library service you have come to expect. I am proud of each and everyone of them.

In the time directly following the tragedy, most normal activity throughout New York City simply stopped. But, our libraries were full. The community came to Queens Library to get news and information. They came to be in the company of neighbors and for the reassurance of doing the mundane. Customers used our computer workstations to send e-mail to friends and family around the world, comforting both sender and receiver. Staff assembled lists of resources where library customers could find needed counseling or where donations could be made to help in the recovery efforts. Traffic on the library’s web site was heavy. People in Queens turned to their library for information resources as well as for a calming sense of continuity. Never has there been a more concrete example of how central this institution is to the well-being of the population we serve.

We are looking forward to serving Queens with new and better library services in Fiscal Year 2002. We are resolved to provide not only the educational, informational and recreational resources, but also the vital sense of support and community that draws library customers in good times and bad.

Gary E. Strong,
Library Director