It’s National Volunteer Week! Service Takes Many Forms here at the Library, and this year we want to highlight the winners of the Friends of QPL Shining Star Award.
The Shining Star Award is given to individual Friends members that demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities that inspire and motivate others to action; and groups that exemplify a collaborative spirit and strive to work together to provide ideas, resources, and opportunities that uplift their community.
Here's our conversation with Shining Star Award recipient David Pecoraro, President of the Friends of Rosedale Library. Learn about his beginnings with the group, his experiences during his tenure, and what lies ahead for the Friends of Rosedale Library.
When did you first become involved with the Friends of QPL?
I was approached by the branch manager, Pat Eshun, to help form the Rosedale Friends since she saw me in the library frequently, and I became one of the two initial founders of the group.
What attracted you to becoming involved with the Friends of QPL?
I have been a Rosedale resident for over 56 years and have used this branch since we had a card catalogue and took out books using a photostat machine. My mother, the late community leader Sheila Pecoraro, helped save the branch by leading a sit-in during the 1970s NYC fiscal crisis. Later, the branch served as a place for reading for my sons Daniel and Samuel. It was just second nature to get involved when asked by Pat.
Why are the Friends of QPL an asset to your community or neighborhood?
Many of the working-class community of homeowners in Southeast Queens use this library for research, reading and video materials, and as a safe place for kids while their parents are at work. The Rosedale Friends have worked with our phenomenal staff and our great City Council Members—first Donovan Richards and then his successor, Selvena Brooks-Powers. With the discretionary funding they have provided, we have been able to set up events that have benefited the community, including our annual Jackie Robinson tributes and our annual Dream to Read events to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Thanks to the efforts of our council members, we hope to see a needed branch expansion.
What have been your proudest moments to date during your time as a Friend of QPL?
Our January 2021 online storytime reading and Dream to Read Book Give-Away in celebration of the 59th Presidential inauguration were a pair of memorable events linked to important historical events and figures. Also, we organized a memorable LGBTQ+ Pride event in Rosedale when we invited the partner of civil rights and labor icon Bayard Rustin to explain his history and significance.