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Annual Report 2005
The Best Customer Service
A clear vision for the future
The best way for Queens Library to help enrich lives is to provide customers with the best customer service, the best library buildings and the best organization.
In Fiscal Year ’05 , Queens Library circulated 18.9 million items, more than it has ever lent before. More than 23,600 free programs were attended by almost 490,000 people. 14.3 million people came through the doors in person, another 22.5 million visited electronically.
Staff answered 11.4 million reference questions. We call that “business as usual.” Why stop there?
Advances in technology, new information formats, more library hours, innovative services for new populations, have helped us enhance what Queens Library can do to enrich the lives of everyone in Queens.
Providing the best customer service in Fiscal Year ’05 included:
- designing a new, easier to use information portal. More than a website, it is a gateway to a wealth of online information.
- extending Sunday hours at Central Library, Flushing and Jackson Heights libraries through June to support the end of the school year.
- enhancing the library’s online catalog with the images of the book’s cover, tables of contents and first chapters of select items.
- expanding morning and evening library hours, as increased funding permitted, thanks to the support of the Mayor and the City Council.
- installing a wireless network in 12 libraries for more laptop computer access.
- piloting “Read Down Your Fines,” a program to help children whose library cards have been blocked because of overdue fines, to “read” them away, rather than paying.
- instituting reciprocity of library card access between Queens Library and the other NYC libraries.
- instituting rotating materials collections in Thai, Tagalog and Tibetan to serve readers of those languages.
- making digital electronic books and audio books available for downloading, as well as e-magazines in Chinese.
- beginning a conservation study of the Long Island Division’s map collection.
- providing Ask-A-Librarian service via telephone, e-mail, real-time online chat as well as traditional face-to-face desk references.
- acquiring the personal letters of actress and former Astoria resident, Ethel Merman, for the Long Island Division.
- exhibiting top quality Gallery shows, such as Ancient Threads, Newly-Woven and NASA @ Your Library.
- hosting marquee library programs, always free. Among them were famous authors in intimate settings, such as Malachy McCourt and Walter Mosley; gala cultural festivals, such as the Tibet Cultural Festival at the International Resource Center and the New Americans Program’s Latin-American Festival; world-class music, opera and dance performed close to home, such as the Sunday Concerts at Central and the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series.