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All-Free Library Daily Services & Programs - 6

October 1, 2017-2018

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On 7/25/2018 the local library guild 1321 Celebrated her 30th Birthday at Riccardo by the Bridge restaurant in Astoria, Queens.

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On 7/25/2018 the local library guild 1321 Celebrated her 30th Birthday

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On 7/25/2018 the local library guild 1321 Celebrated her 30th Birthday. The president of DC 37 was addressing at the party.

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Photo with Mr. Weiqing Dai (manager of Jackson Heights Library) and Mr. John Hyslop (President of Local 1321)

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Photo with Mr. Weiqing Dai (manager of Jackson Heights Library), Mr. John Hyslop(President of Local 1231) and Mr. Xinye (Paul) Qiu, Assistant Manager of Flushing Library

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Painted by Rockya Jafar, page in the children's room, 2018

July 8, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

As we begin a new fiscal year, I would like to reflect on some of our accomplishments in the past 12 months and update you on the progress we have made on our five-year strategic plan.

I am pleased to report we ended Fiscal Year 2019 on an extremely positive note. We reopened East Elmhurst Library on Friday, June 28, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of a spectacular expansion and renovation of the building. Nearly 900 people streamed through the doors that day.  

The restoration of service at the branch came two weeks after City Hall approved a $33 million increase to the operating budgets of QPL, Brooklyn Public Library and The New York Public Library to cover rising costs and needs as well as maintenance and repairs of our spaces, with $8.9 million for QPL. We also received $52 million for capital expenses to upgrade our buildings. We initially faced a $16 million reduction in expense funding and no additional money for capital projects.  Because of the effectiveness and importance of your work, City leaders made it a priority to spend more money on libraries, not less.

They, like the 10.9 million people who visited our libraries, the 1.7 million people who attended our programs and the

1 million cardholders who borrowed our materials 11.5 million times last year, understand that we are constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of our communities and customers.

Our Renewed Promise to the Public, launched in April, reflects our history of anticipating and responding to the new ways in which people learn and grow. Conceived to honor and serve the diversity of our customers, the initiative has resonated in New York City and beyond. It included changing our name to Queens Public Library, a new logo, colors, website, and tagline, “We Speak Your Language,” and a sharpened focus on customer experience. 

All of our locations now have tablets dedicated to Google Translate as well as Travis translation devices at every site, enabling staff to have conversations in multiple languages with customers. We also provided implicit bias workshops and equity, diversity, and inclusion dialogues for staff, in addition to cross-cultural training, enabling us to deepen our understanding of our customers and one another. Separately, we started to update our job descriptions for a number of community library service positions and offered a full day of professional development training at Langston Hughes for assistant library managers. 

As FY 2019 unfolded, we recognized that we cannot deliver great service unless we are feeling good ourselves. This past year we developed a comprehensive wellness program featuring step challenges and a staff cookbook with nutritious recipes, and we continued our Weight Watchers group, morning yoga at Central, and information sessions about a variety of health-related topics such as knowing your cholesterol, BMI, and other health data.

Some librarians at Court Square had the opportunity to exercise and connect with their community at the same time as they pedaled QPL’s first-ever Book Cycle around Long Island City, Astoria, offering card sign-ups, free Internet access, books, and other materials.  They were among the winners of the first round of the Queens Public Library Foundation Innovation Fund grants in FY 2018. 

The Fund awarded a second round of grants last year for initiatives such as a multi-branch robotics league (and the exciting QPL FIRST LEGO League championship), services for adults with disabilities, college and career readiness programs, and a book creation workshop. This year, anyone – not just public service staff – can apply for one of the grants, generating even more opportunities for creativity on behalf of our customers.

We made many other advances in FY 2019 as well. We tripled our Internet bandwidth across the Library system to improve connectivity for the public and staff, eliminated the need for visitors to use their library cards to access Wi-Fi at our locations, introduced new self-checkout devices at Central and Flushing, and installed nine additional multi-functional scanning, copying, and document translation devices at our locations, bringing the total number to 20 so far. 

In terms of the number of people who used QPL’s technology last year, we hosted 460,000 Wi-Fi sessions, drew 6.1 million visitors to our website and saw our computers used 2.7 million times.

We also made progress with improving our infrastructure, as we broke ground on a new replacement building for Far Rockaway and opened a temporary library adjacent to the Teen Library on Cornaga Avenue.  We successfully negotiated a seven-month extension of our sublease for Court Square Library through March 2020, and we completed the purchase of and opened our new operations center in Jamaica to consolidate our maintenance and custodial services in one location, and to free up the space in our libraries where equipment and supplies were stored. 

On the programs front, we launched six system-wide initiatives designed to promote consistent and quality programs at our branches. These included “It’s Time for Kind,” a series of events and activities held between Thanksgiving and the new year that began with a canned food drive, “Traveling Shoes: Black Migrations,” to celebrate Black History Month, “Inspiring Women in Science,” to honor Women’s History Month, “National Library Week,” to draw attention to the importance of libraries, “Bring Your Story,” to observe Immigrant Heritage Month and“Let’s Make Some Noise,” to recognize Pride Month. 

QPL once again made itself heard at the Queens Pride Parade in Jackson Heights and the Pride March in Manhattan, and reinforced its central role in the community in February, when we marched together in the Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing.

Our economic development programs fared well this past year, too, as Jamaica FEASTS, the business incubator for aspiring food entrepreneurs, received additional funding from the City to expand beyond Jamaica. The Library also began the first year of a three-year grant from the State last year for programs that help put adults on a path to financial security. 

Another area of expansion involved our cultural offerings. This winter, we collaborated with Queens Museum to offer space at three separate libraries for art exhibits for the Queens International. Last July, we partnered with the BPL and NYPL to offer Culture Pass, the hugely popular program that offers free passes to more than 50 cultural institutions in all five boroughs. To date, members of the public have made 72,494 reservations for them, offering customers another avenue for growth and opportunity. 

We did some great things together in FY 2019 to meet our mission to transform people’s lives by cultivating intellectual and personal growth in our customers and by building strong communities.

I want to thank each of you for your hard work and for your commitment to welcoming and inspiring all. I look forward to accomplishing more with you in the coming year as we work towards realizing our vision for a society that is vibrant, informed, cohesive and empowered.

Have a good evening.

Dennis

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Painted by Rockya Jafar, page in the children's room, 2018

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The Honorable Jose Peralta
188 State Street Room 415, 
Legislative Office Building
Albany , NY 12247

Dear Senator Jose Peralta:

I am writing the letter of our THANKS to you for allocating $10,000 state fund for Lefrak City Library of Queens Library operation funding. 

We will certainly make best use of the fund to benefit the Lefrak City community as well as the whole 13th Senatorial District in Queens. 

As you know there are quite a number of celebrities in our community and a great variety of ethnic groups from almost 50 countries, we are going to organize more programs and events to meet their informational, entertaining and daily life needs. Our children and teenagers are an important part of customer groups. On top of our weekly programs we will present more informative and interesting programs for them to grow healthy and knowledgeable. As you may have known that Queens Library is waging the campaign of "Queens Library Is for Everyone" right now. In this campaign Lefrak City Library staff are reaching out to all corners of our community and to have innovative programs to spread out this idea to welcome in more customers, especially the new Americans, no matter what their immigration statuses are. 

Lefrak City Library is getting stronger with your generous funding support. We, the library staff and the community leaders, the Board of the Friends of the Lefrak City Library with Mr. Ronald Williams as the president and Lefrak City Tenants Association with Ms. Malikah Shabazz as the president, we are all very much grateful to your great support in all these years.

In order to best use the fund any ideas/suggestions from you and your office staff are all welcome. Of course, you are most welcome to visit and inspect Lefrak City Library anytime!

Thank you very much and Best Regards,

Greg Gao, July 20, 2017

Greg Gao
Lefrak City Community Library Manager
Queens Public Library
98-30 57th Avenue,
Corona, NY 11368
718-592-7677 (phone)
718-760-2647 (fax)

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August 1, 2017 1:30 pm

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm Greg Gao, community library manager at Lefrak City . Today we, Queens Library staff and Lefrak City community leaders and members are very happy here to welcome State Senator Honorable Jose Peralta coming to our library to make his important announcement about allocating state fund to support the six community libraries in the 13th Senatorial District that includes Lefrak City library. Senator Jose Peralta's  generous funding will greatly enhance all the six libraries' ability to provide still better services and more exciting programs to meet the communities’ informational and recreational needs. It is especially significant at the time when the whole Queens Library is engaged in the campaign that "Queens Library is for Everyone" no matter what their immigration statuses are.   Thank you very much, Mr. Senator Jose Peralta. Now I'd like to introduce Queens Library CEO and President Mr. Dennis Walcott.

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