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Invest in All New Yorkers: Invest in Seven-Day Service

Posted by: yetheart, March 10, 2017 5:02 pm
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Advocacy season for New York City’s libraries got locally underway Wednesday, March 8, as Queens Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott testified alongside the leaders of the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library at the preliminary budget hearing for the NYC Council's Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations.

The three library systems are collectively seeking $34 million in additional operating funds from the City, in order to provide seven-day service in at least one community library in each of the 51 council districts in the city, including 12 in Queens. Queens Library also wants to expand crucial services and resources for our customers, including the STACKS afterschool program and Google CS First computer science clubs; 2,000 additional mobile hotspots for our lending program; and robust translation services.

Prior to the hearing, library advocates and members of library union DC 37 joined President Walcott, NYC Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, NYPL President and CEO Tony Marx, BPL President and CEO Linda Johnson, Subcommittee on Libraries Chair Andy King, and Council Members Carlos Menchaca and Mark Treyger for a press conference and rally on the steps of City Hall.

“With seven-day service, we can expand services to our immigrant population; expand services to our homeless population; expand services to our children and our families; and make sure that all these individuals are able to achieve the American dream,” said President Walcott during the rally.

“We know that libraries make a difference every hour, every day, every minute that they are open,” said Council Member Van Bramer during the budget hearing. “The more that we can expand those hours and days of service, the more people will be helped.”

Several QL staff members testified before the Council, including Langston Hughes Community Library’s Nagat “Nancy” Almatare, a Yemeni immigrant who improved her English skills, got her high school diploma, and is now on her way to finishing college thanks to the help she received from Queens Library.

“I remember one of my close family members coming here from Yemen, and she asked me, 'How did you learn how to speak English?' It was a simple answer: Queens Library," said Almatare. "I just want to thank all of you who have supported people like me to succeed, and to be free, and most importantly to be safe."

There will be plenty of chances for you to help tell your legislators to #InvestInLibraries and invest in all New Yorkers. Stay tuned and visit Queens Library online and in the months to come!

Photo, from left to right: NYPL President and CEO Tony Marx, Queens Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott, NYC Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Subcommittee on Libraries Chair Andy King, and BPL President and CEO Linda Johnson on the steps of City Hall.

 


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