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Annual Report 2011
Message from the Director & CEO
Building the Best Queens Library for the Future
Fiscal year 2011 was a year of significant advancement in key service areas, continuing into 2012. This past year, our firm commitment to building strong and lasting foundations — in new buildings, technological development, and outstanding service — was clearer than ever.
This past year, we opened a brand-new facility: The Children’s Library Discovery Center. Several years in the making, this amazing two-story, 14,000 square feet state-of-the-art, interactive library is also part museum, part classroom, part playground — and all fun! With museum-quality exhibits, a special early childhood area, video microscopes, computers, and books, the Children’s Library Discovery Center has quickly become a destination for thousands of eager kids, as well as teachers and caregivers.
With renewed capital funding, we have become better positioned to meet the future with renovated and expanded libraries and new, state-of-the-art green facilities for our customers. We are continuing to plan Queens Library at Hunters Point which, when completed, will be a stunning new space on the East River in Long Island City.
With newly renovated, beautiful libraries, including Arverne, Auburndale, McGoldrick, Ridgewood, Seaside and Windsor Park, we have cemented our commitment to superb customer service. Self check-in machines at many of these renovated libraries allow customers to return their materials 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are 15 of these already installed, with even more scheduled for FY ’12.
Many of our building renovations, including the Children’s Library Discovery Center and the dedicated teen room at Queens Library at Flushing, showcase our unwavering commitment to teen and children’s services. Our new construction of spaces specifically for kids and teens, together with the Teen Library in Far Rockaway and thousands of after-school programs, clearly prove that we believe in the future of our kids.
In fiscal year 2011, we made technological advances a key priority. We invested significant time and resources into expanding our online services, including a new website. We also worked on building a mobile site, making it easy for our customers to access Queens Library via smartphones; and developing a mobile app for all who use Queens Library.
We continued to enhance our programs and services with the help of public and private grants. For instance, a National Telecommunications and Administration grant of over $3 million provides for increased access to technology through public computing centers and assists underserved populations in job readiness and technology training.
Another exciting grant, focused on Western Queens, has allowed Queens Library to grow our ecological programming, with composting sites, an ongoing green movie series, and a wildly popular green resources fair — just a few examples of the innovative programs this grant has facilitated.
We continued our ongoing after-school programs for children in every community, with our annual summer reading program breaking previous records. (In 2011, an astounding 86,579 people participated!) We also provided enhanced services for the homebound through our award-winning Mail-A-Book program, reached out to new Americans with key programs tailored to their needs, and hosted an international conference with librarians from all over the world.
We thank all of our customers, stakeholders, Friends of Queens Library and staff for ensuring that Queens Library is the community destination — physical and virtual — for the people of Queens, New York City and the world.