Happy National Friends of Libraries Week! It’s the annual celebration of library Friends groups and everything they do for their neighborhood libraries.
In honor of Friends of Libraries Week, we asked the staff at our branches to talk about the special relationship they have with their Friends groups, and how their Friends have supported them and their communities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit our blog all week to read their stories!
Hear from our elected officials about the importance of our Friends groups!
Thank you again to all the Friends of Queens Public Library!
The Corona Friends are normally a vibrant, active part of our Corona community, but they have outdone themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine.
Our Vice President, Gianina Enriquez, has been an active part of QPL’s Facebook Live programs, performing her incredible, interactive Spanish storytimes, and she's been going into the community to bring diapers and groceries to homebound families. Our Corona Friends came together to organize #CoronaCuenta, an online celebration of Corona that also emphasized to our viewers the importance of filling out the 2020 Census, particularly for neighborhoods like Corona.
The Corona Friends group is at the heart of our Corona community.
Rosemary Kiladitis, Assistant Manager, Corona Library
Douglaston/Little Neck Friends
The Friends of Douglaston/Little Neck Library organized the following programs and participated in many activities in the past year prior to the COVID-19 closure:
- AARP Fraud Watch workshop last November
- They gave the branch $100 for our Arts and Crafts programs
- They hosted a program on bees and beekeeping
- On a regular basis, the Friends donated various arts and crafts supplies that we requested: crayons, wine glasses and mason jars, pinecones, beads, ribbons, etc.
- They participated in QPL's system-wide Caribbean Arts Festival, Migration of Colors, and were very active representing Douglaston Library
- They are very involved in the renovations plans for Douglaston Library and invited QPL management to their monthly meetings to update them.
The Friends of Douglaston/Little Neck are an active and helping group and we hope we will see them soon once QPL re-opens fully.
Milena Nenova, Manager, Douglaston/Little Neck Library
Cambria Heights Friends
As a library manager, I love being able to offer programs and events to the community. Programs offer common experiences that bring people together—often resulting in interesting dialogues, an exchange of ideas, and even friendships! And to put it simply, they are fun!
The Cambria Heights Library Friends group has been really excellent during the pandemic, going above and beyond—every day! They have stepped up their game to offer innovative and amazing online programs ever since we closed our doors. Even though Cambria Heights Library is open to the public now, we still have limited services, so we will continue to offer online programs for the time being—thanks to our Friends, led by President Angela Sinclair!
So what have they done so far? To start off, in the spring, Aletta Seales, our Friends Secretary, , organized two amazing Poetry Open Mics that got great attendance! They were wonderful events that brought people together online, after we were stuck at home for so long being quarantined. I was so happy to see my friends and colleagues from the library once again—except this time from my computer at home in Brooklyn. The poetry was so beautiful, and I loved seeing and listening to everyone!
Then our Friends Vice-President Wanda Best organized some amazing online events as well! She was a presenter at an "Elder Abuse Information Session," “Self-Care During COVID-19," and “Healthy Interpersonal Relationships.” These were informative sessions, and Ms. Best is always such a warm person and she reminds us how important self-care and self-love are, now and always!
Ms. Best also recruited speakers to talk about an important event that weighed heavily on all of us—the murder of George Floyd. She was the moderator of a Police Accountability Discussion, which brought in a lot of people online. She also helped facilitate “Our Stories, Our Voices: Black Men Speak Their Truth,” another amazing online program, for Father’s Day!
And our Cambria Heights Friends group is not resting at all! They are working hard to continue to offer online events! October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and on October 31st, Wanda Best will be hosting a Healthy Relationships vs. Unhealthy Relationships program. In November, the Cambria Heights Friends will host a program on Relationship Fraud with speaker Adan Welligton. And in December, author Ama Karikari Yawson will do an storytime featuring her book Sunne's Gift.
Cambria Heights Library is so lucky to have such a wonderful group of Friends! Now that we do events online, our community has expanded to the whole world because everyone is welcome to attend, no matter where they are! If you are interested in attending our future events, or if you’d like to communicate with our Friends group, or make a donation to help them continue their work, please feel free to e-mail me and I’ll put you in touch! Be safe, wear your masks! See you online!!!
Kacper Jarecki, Manager, Cambria Heights Library