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Milestones in 2003

Milestones in 2003

Despite deep budget cuts, a reorganization of library staff and a reduction in library hours, Queens Library was still able to accomplish significant milestones in 2003.

  • 16.9 million library items were circulated and 15.9 million people visited Queens Library. An additional 688,447 people visited the library electronically and viewed 14.4 million web pages.
  • More than 22,000 programs were offered which included information, entertainment and literary offerings and were attended by 478,081 library customers. Of that number the Job Information Center and Special Services Department hosted 816 branch programs for adults that were attended by 21,491 people and the New Americans Program hosted 88 cultural events and 37 coping skills workshops which were attended by 7,405 people.
  • In FY’03 the library’s collections contained 9.7 million items. 764,459 new items were purchased.
  • To support budget restoration, a massive petition drive and postcard campaign yielded over 53,000 signatures (equivalent to the number of visitors to the Queens Library each day the system is open). They were collected into a stack almost 4 feet tall and presented on the steps of City Hall by the children of Queens to the Mayor, the Speaker of the City Council, the Queens delegation to the City Council, and the oversight committee chairperson. Additional efforts to advocate for funding were made with an American Library Association-Queens Library co-sponsored national rally to “Save America’s Libraries” which was held during National Library Week in April at Flushing Library. It was covered nationwide by National Public Radio.
  • There were 1,026 active general and literacy volunteers providing 52,062 hours of service.
  • There are more than 2,000 members of Friends of the Library, active in 28 branches. They benefited their branches by providing active advocacy during the City’s budget negotiation process.
  • Newsday, provided $50,000 to support Summer Reading Clubs in FY 04. This support will continue for years to come.
  • The New Americans Program (NAP) was awarded a Federal LSTA grant to produce “¡Bienvenidos a Queens!” which will provide Spanish-speakers with a Spanish-language online directory of community agencies that offer critical services in Spanish. The site was launched in the Fall of 2003. NAP also won the International Channel Award for outstanding service to the immigrant communities of Queens.
  • Tumblebooks, a children’s e-book collection, was piloted in Central Library and Flushing Library.
  • Queens Library and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage launched an 8-month long lecture series on becoming a home buyer and the mortgage-lending process in both English and Spanish, part of a national campaign sponsored by the ALA and Wells Fargo to boost home ownership in minority communities.
  • Firstfind.info website was launched in partnership with the Westchester Library System for those with limited literacy skills.
  • There were 862,461 registered borrowers in FY 03.
  • The first Queens ESOL Network Conference was held at Flushing Library Adult Learning Center. In addition, 114 Adult Learner Center programs in English for Speakers of Other Languages had total attendance of 7,822 adults.
  • Library staff answered more than 5.1 million directional and reference questions.