Our organization, which has served the people of Queens for more than a century, consists of 62 libraries, with seven Adult Learning Centers and two Family Literacy Centers. In fiscal year 2010, despite budget cuts that forced us to cut Saturday service in some communities, we remained the highest-circulating public library system in the country, with 50,000 people using our libraries every day. We forged ahead with our collection of materials, award-winning programs and services, renovations, and technology.
We continued to acquire materials for an eager public that read thousands of books and magazines, watched first-run movies, and downloaded digital media, including books and music. We enhanced our collection of more than five million items, delivering materials in languages from English to Arabic to Urdu. And, looking forward, we will use a versatile product, CollectionHQTM, that will make our ability to develop the best collection for each library more targeted than in the past.
In fiscal year 2010, we served our population with innovative programs and services, such as our HealthLink program, which won the prestigious 2010 Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award from the American Library Association. Our Mail-A-Book program kept the homebound connected and engaged with book discussions, lectures and opportunities to chat via conference call. Queens Library for Teens in Far Rockaway received a new sound booth for producing music and spoken word recordings. The New Americans Program completed its 33rd year of helping immigrants acclimate to the United States, while the Adult Learner Program brought its literacy programs to about 6,000 adults, teens and families.
Our firm commitment to new and better utilized buildings for our customers was clear in fiscal year in 2010, when we completed extensive renovations to East Elmhurst, South Hollis and Sunnyside. With customers needing upgraded technology more than ever, we renovated our Cyber Center at Queens Library at Flushing, adding computers and more classes. We also drew closer to completing the Children’s Library Discovery Center in Jamaica, which will bring interactive learning to our younger customers.
In fiscal year 2010, we took the long view of how to improve our organization in the upcoming decade. We began revamping our website with our customers’ needs in mind. We also began an initiative to digitize The Archives at Queens Library, which will ultimately give our customers remote access to this special collection of Queens’ history, including rare books, photos, maps and newspapers.
Queens Library serves the 2.3 million residents of our borough to ensure that we meet their informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs. We are grateful that our customers look to us to help them enrich their lives.