Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder along with City Council Members James Sanders and Eric Ulrich and members of the community and others walked the boardwalk and rallied to save library hours and library jobs. The event started simultaneously from both Queens Library at Arverne and Queens Library at Seaside, walking along the boardwalk, holding signs in support of libraries. The walkers met at Queens Library at Peninsula to hear remarks from government leaders, library staff and library users. Queens Library is facing the largest budget cut in its history, threatening library service across the borough, including the outright closing of community libraries and the loss of hundreds of library jobs.
“Libraries play an essential role in our community, providing valuable resources to Southern Queens and Rockaway families in this tough economy,” Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder said. “With Queens Library facing one of the largest budget cuts in its history, hundreds of jobs, as well as critical services such as Internet access and job-training programs are being threatened. It’s imperative that we maintain funding for our libraries.”
During testimony before the City Council last week, Queens Library president and CEO Thomas W. Galante cited usage in the Rockaways as being a prime example of why libraries are so vital. “Our Adult Learning Program expanded in the Rockaways and is on track to shepherd well over 6,000 adult students into a new stage of their educations through English language and pre-GED classes. Job seekers flocked to the library to take advantage of the complete services Queens Library now offers, from resume and cover letter writing classes, to one-on-one career counseling sessions and links with job placement. New Yorkers who depend on the library for their only access to the Internet use a computer to get online nearly 50,000 times a week. This past year, in our continued efforts to address the digital divide, we greatly increased the basic computer classes and training we offer, we added hundreds of PC and laptops and we began to loan e-readers.”
Queens Library provides free essential information, computer and internet access, help with homework, free healthcare information, job search services and so many other community-based programs, plus the free loan of millions of books and other library materials in every neighborhood in Queens. For more information, go to the Save Queens Library Web site.