For over 100 years, Queens Library has been serving its community, and as we move forward into the 21st century, we are excited to meet new opportunities. With a circulation of nearly 23 million in fiscal year 2008, Queens Library is the fifth-largest circulating library system in the world.
Over the past year, our progress has been myriad and diverse — from establishing new partnerships to enhancing those already forged, making Queens Library a singular advocate for residents of our city and state.
We continued to extend our services beyond our walls, hosting job fairs, college fairs, and health care fairs for and within our communities. Our partnership with the Queens Economic Development Corporation on the StartUP! Business Plan Competition, supported by the Queens Borough President’s office, helped hopeful business owners learn how to write a winning business plan. And, working with St. John’s University, we offered scholarships to qualified students interested in pursuing careers in library science.
We realize that the virtual world has an incredible impact on the work we do. In fiscal year 2008, our customers were able to access the Internet on library computers at even higher speeds and, with WiFi access throughout the system, used their own wireless laptops to access the Internet. Queens Library also expanded its virtual collection, permitting customers to check out eBooks, audiobooks, videos, and music for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Queens Library serves people of every age and population, with about 28,000 diverse programs in 2008. One program that best sums up our appeal to all ages is the Summer Reading Program, with recommended booklists ranging from babies and toddlers to adults. In 2008, we exceeded all previous records for membership, with an amazing 68,617 customers signed up for Summer Reading. We also hosted an event with the New York Mets at Queens Library at Long Island City, featuring Mets players reading to eager kids.
In 2008, Queens Library continued to be a beacon for new Americans: those who look to our system for materials in their own languages, English classes, health literacy classes, and more. Our Adult Learner Program reached out to more than 5,000 customers in 2008 and our Family Literacy Program, geared especially toward parents and children, continued to flourish. Queens Library at Flushing also dedicated Window on Dynamic Korea, a special area dedicated to books focused on Korean culture and history.
Thank you for helping to make Queens Library an invaluable resource. We are grateful for your interest, your excitement and your support. We look to you, our supporters and friends, to join us as we embark on our exciting and enriching journey forward into the next year and onward into the 21st century.