Detailed Latest News and Press Releases

Format: 2018-01-18



Elisabeth “Lisi” de Bourbon has joined Queens Library as the new Director of Communications. Ms. de Bourbon is a seasoned communications strategist and former journalist with a background in the private and public sectors.

She joins Queens Library from Phil and Company, a public relations firm specializing in non-profits, and advised such clients as the Museum of the City of New York and Union Theological Seminary.

Prior to that, she was a Vice President in the city practice at Rubenstein Communications, where she managed public relations for The Frick Collection’s original expansion project, and also represented Hunter College, the Museum of Modern Art, Friends of the High Line and Pickard Chilton, a New Haven-based architecture firm, proactively publicizing their programs and accomplishments.

Before working in the private sector, de Bourbon served for 12 years in various communications roles in New York City government under former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, most recently as the Director of Communications at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. At LPC, she managed the agency’s media relations, internal communications, website, social media channels and publications.

Ms. de Bourbon also served as a reporter for 10 years at The Associated Press on the New York City and business news desks and at The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She has an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and received a B.A. in public policy at Hamilton College.

“The work of the Director of Communications connects everyone at the Library to the communities we serve,” said Dennis M. Walcott, Queens Library President and CEO. “I look forward to Lisi’s immediate impact on our organization, and I join the rest of our staff in welcoming her to Queens Library.”

A New Way to Track Our Capital Projects


Queens Library has launched an online capital projects tracking tool to provide comprehensive information about the progress of capital improvements to its libraries. The Capital Projects Tracker is available at www.queenslibrary.org/capital. Queens Library is the only one of New York City’s public library systems to offer such detailed, transparent information online.

Dennis M. Walcott, President and CEO of Queens Library, said: “There are nearly 100 active Library capital projects on any given day in Queens and more in development, ranging from technology upgrades to interior renovations to expansions to brand new facilities, all planned to realize first-class library service. In our outreach and engagement with stakeholders, we have heard a desire to learn more about these projects. We are deeply committed to transparency and communication with our customers and the public. In response to your requests for more information about capital projects and to provide a window into the process, we have created an online Capital Projects Tracking Tool.”

In FY '17, Queens Library received the largest capital funding in a single year in its history—$50.9 million. The funds are badly needed to build and renovate libraries. At the same time, the unprecedented investment underscores an increased obligation to report out to the public and various funding stakeholders.

The Capital Projects Tracker lists which projects are funded, who funded them, what upgrades are planned, and what stage projects are in, plus information about how the capital process works.  Anyone can click on any Queens Library location to see information about active, completed, and future capital projects for that library. Information will be updated quarterly.

“We hope the Capital Projects Tracker will facilitate an ongoing conversation about meeting capital needs at a time when the demand for Library programs and services is greater than ever,” said Dennis M. Walcott.

Archives at Queens Library Closed Temporarily


The Archives at Queens Library, located within the Central Library at 89-11 Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, is moving to newly renovated space in the same building. The Archives will be closed to customer service through the end of July while they move.

The public is invited to visit the Archives in their new home, beginning in August. It will feature new décor and climate-controlled storage for the valuable, interesting and informative collections in their care. The mission of the Archives is to preserve the history of the four counties of Long Island, with a special emphasis on Queens. Their collections include many thousands of photographs, books, journals, maps, genealogy resources such as census records and old phone books and artifacts of historical value.  Many are one-of-a-kind. A selection of photographs are available digitally. Go to digitalarchives.queenslibrary.org.

Queens Library Makes Key Executive Appointments


JAMAICA, NY, May 16, 2016  -- Dennis M. Walcott, President and CEO, Queens Library has announced several key executive appointments. Nicolas Buron has been selected to be Chief Librarian and Senior Vice President. Kelvin A. Watson has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President. Gitte Peng has joined the organization as Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President.

In announcing the appointments, Mr. Walcott said: "Queens Library's mission is pivotal to the educational and cultural profile of the borough. These talented individuals will help me continue the great work that Queens Library does, and propel it into a solid future."

Nicolas  Buron is the new Chief Librarian and Senior Vice President. He has been with Queens Library since 1993. He began as a librarian, then was promoted to a library manager. He took on increasingly complex responsibilities and most recently served as Vice President of Public Library Services. In addition, Mr. Buron has been active with the American Library Association. He served as a Councilor and on the Board of the Young Adult Library Services Association.

Prior to his appointment as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President, Kelvin A. Watson served as Queens Library's Vice President/Chief Information and Technology Officer. He joined Queens Library in 2012 as Director of E-Services and Strategy. Mr. Watson is president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.  He serves on the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries and the Metropolitan New York Library Council Board.  He is a lecturer at Queens College's Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Prior professional affiliations included USDA, Borders, the Library Corp and Ingram Book Company.

Gitte Peng is the new Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President. Gitte previously served as Senior Education Policy Advisor for the Mayor's Office, where  she served as Chief  Advisor on all issues of education policy and school reform. She played a lead role in crafting and implementing historic school governance reform legislation establishing mayoral control of the city's public schools as well as developing and overseeing the educational vision, strategies, and initiatives throughout the system. She is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School and an independent documentary filmmaker.


Queens Library Partners with NYCitizenship


In partnership with the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, library users can take advantage of citizenship legal services and financial counseling at Queens Library locations. The program is called NYCitizenship. The goal is to assist New Yorkers along the path to citizenship.

Counseling appointments are currently available at Central Library in Jamaica, Queens Library at Flushing and Queens Library at Jackson Heights. Beginning in May, appointments will also be available at Queens Library at Ridgewood. To make an appointment, please phone 311 or call the NYCitizenship Hotline at 212-514-4277. 

“Public libraries are on the front lines of fighting inequality. Queens Library has long history of providing tools that help new Americans succeed. We offer free English classes, digital literacy workshops in multiple languages and provide popular reading materials in 50 languages. We are so excited to offer library customers free qualified legal assistance and financial empowerment through NYCitizenship and to partner with the Mayor’s office to help our newest New Yorkers towards the full benefits of citizenship,” said Dennis M. Walcott, President and CEO, Queens Library.