The highest circulation in the United States. Open six — even seven — days a week. Over 11.5 million reference questions answered. These figures are a small sampling of what Queens Library means to our customers, staff, and supporters, and reflect how we are enriching lives day after day, book after book, program after program.
In fiscal year 2007, Queens Library continued its firm commitment to customer service and to our public’s well-being. For example, we joined with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the American Cancer Society, and Queens Cancer Center to establish Queens Library HealthLink. HealthLink makes cancer screenings available to the public and also increases access to preventive care at local libraries.
We also partnered with the Queens Economic Development Corporation with support from the Queens Borough President’s office on the first annual StartUP! Business Plan Competition. More than 400 people, all of whom were working on entrepreneurial businesses, received training at Queens Library, and learned how to write a strong business plan to help a start-up succeed.
In tandem with various technological enhancements, we launched NextReadsTM e-letters, a unique service that delivers reading lists right to our customers’ e-mail accounts. And our Bookmobile began offering RFID self-service checkout and a wireless zone to customers.
It was also a year of beginnings, and our brand-new, state-of-the-art facilities in both Cambria Heights and Long Island City brought our outstanding menu of services to an increased population. In addition, 12 libraries were renovated, including Forest Hills, Maspeth, and St. Albans.
What a great year it was for our youngsters, too! In addition to using our BOOST (Best Out of School Time) afterschool homework help and enrichment programs, over 27,000 children and teens enjoyed our Summer Reading Program, reading books and participating in programs designed just for them.
We who live and work in Queens are well aware that our borough is the most diverse in the country. That’s why Queens Library is always looking for ways to serve our fluid, ever-changing communities, and, to support them, our collection boasts materials in approximately 70 languages. This past year, the International Resource Center at Queens Library at Flushing collaborated with Shanghai Library in China to develop the Collaborative Online Reference Service (CORS), offering expanded service to our Chinese-speaking customers. And our Adult Learner Program, which teaches adults to read or write English and new Americans to speak English, served over 5,000
customers in fiscal year 2007.
This past year, we also celebrated our 100th anniversary of incorporation, and look forward to another century of leading the way in technology and connecting to our communities. With every library in Queens now open to our public at least six days a week, we are well positioned to reach even more people, and are dedicated to meeting the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of our diverse and changing population.
Whether people are downloading audiobooks, writing business plans, searching for careers, watching modern dance, or just picking out bestsellers, they are enriching their lives. We want to thank you for making Queens Library such an important part of that enrichment.