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Annual Report 2004
The President Of The Board of Trustees
As President of the Board of Trustees, I am honored to serve this great institution along with my fellow Trustees.
The Trustees have enthusiastically accepted their role, partnering their efforts with the Interim Director, staff and government agencies to supply quality service to all who enter a branch of the Queens Library.
To maintain the Library’s standard of excellence, which produces record numbers of customer visits as well as record circulation of books and materials, is indeed a challenge. Queens Library has met that challenge.
The past year’s productivity is an acknowledgment that Queens Library’s priorities are on target and positions us for continued success.
Queens Library’s alliances with those in city, state and federal governments are healthy, functional and productive. Every effort will be made to build on these relationships. These alliances greatly assist the Library to get out its message and make incredible things happen
The Interim Library Director
The Queens Library made great strides in 2004 while we positioned the organization for a bright and exciting future. The roots of our organization date back to Andrew Carnegie creating an institution to “help those who will help themselves.” Queens Library has now evolved into 63 libraries that are the center of every community in Queens. We continue to provide information through books and reference sources as we did a century ago, but we have enhanced those services through electronic journals, the Internet, online research databases, and an extensive collection of multimedia materials. Outreach and programming services—a core element in a community library—continue to bring people into the library, to come together, and to enrich cultural understanding through thousands of programs offered each year.
As the world evolves and technology becomes more of an integral part of our everyday lives, Queens Library, as a provider in the Information Age, will continue to leap forward into the future through the use of advanced information technology. While doing so, we will continue to nurture a love of reading and learning through books as evidenced by thousands we teach to read each year and millions of books loaned.
Economic times are challenging. As we began Fiscal Year 2004, our City operating support was $10 million less than just a few years ago. As we closed the year, $2 million of that reduction was restored but $8 million remained. Even so, we continue to position ourselves as the best public library system in the world now and for the future. At year-end, we secured a record $31 million in capital funding to expand and renovate our libraries and technology infrastructure in the future. The new technology, currently being designed and prototyped in our information technology “lab,” will be implemented in 2005 and 2006, and it will undoubtedly cause a historic and dramatic improvement in our ability to more efficiently lend and return the 54,000 items borrowed by customers each day. In the end, the technology investment, coupled with facilities redesign, will generate operating efficiencies to allow us to be open to the public for more hours of service. As these efficiencies take hold, we expect new record-setting circulation as we reallocate resources strategically and better market our services to our customers.
The future of Queens Library is bright, with many exciting innovations ahead. As a stakeholder of the Queens Library, stay tuned — the best is yet to come.
Thomas W. Galante