October 31, 2014

Borough President, New York Mayor Granted New Powers over Queens Public Library

Queens Central Library

New legislation passed by the New York state House and Senate and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the Mayor of New York and Queens Borough President new authority to appoint and eliminate members of the Queens Public Library (QPL) Board of Trustees. The new law is sponsored by Queens State Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry and authored in part by Borough President Melinda Katz. It is widely seen as a response to the fact that calls for more oversight and transparency from the board over questions about the compensation of QPL CEO Thomas Galante and his relationship with contractors doing construction work for the library have been largely ignored by the current board.

NYPL Ditches Controversial Renovation Plans in Midtown Manhattan

New_York_Public_Library_May_2011

In a major about face, the New York Public Library (NYPL) backed off its renovation plans for the system’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building as of May 7. Rather than eliminating the stacks at the central library—a decision that had caused no small consternation among New Yorkers, including newly minted mayor Bill de Blasio—NYPL representatives are now offering an alternative plan that leaves the building’s research collection on-site, ending plans to sell the Mid-Manhattan library across the street and relocate the circulating collection into the 42nd Street main branch, and making renovations to the Mid-Manhattan instead.

Queens Public Library CEO’s Compensation in The Spotlight

Galante

The water surrounding Queens Public Library (QPL) President and CEO Thomas W. Galante just keeps getting hotter. In the weeks since the New York Daily News published a story detailing his $392,000 annual salary and the pricey renovations done to his office while QPL branches were suffering staff cuts, Galante has consistently denied any wrongdoing, even while other city officials call on him to step down from the post he has held since 2005.

New York Libraries Face Five Percent Cut

New York Libraries Face Five Percent Cut

New York libraries are facing close to a five percent budget cut with just $81.6 million allocated in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive budget—down from the $85.62 million granted to libraries last year.

NYC Kids Rally for Libraries; City Council Members Urge Full Funding

NYC Kids Rally for Libraries; City Council Members Urge Full Funding

More than a dozen New York City Council members, the presidents of New York’s three library systems, and several hundred librarians, library staff, supporters, advocates, and children from nearby schools rallied on the steps of city hall to protest $106 million in proposed funding cuts. Council members Jimmy Van Bramer and Vincent J. Gentile also pledged to introduce legislation that would create a baseline of stable funding for the city’s public library services.

Cleveland, New York Gain Portable Reading Rooms

The Cleveland Public Library has installed a portable reading room in a trendy downtown district in the hopes that locals who flock to the area to dine and shop will also check out the library’s new open-air book kiosk. Dubbed the BookBox, the custom-designed galvanized metal and reclaimed wood structure, which opened July 21, houses […]

NYC Politicians Urge State to Ban Sex Offenders from Library Children’s Rooms

New York Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr. of Queens have asked the New York state legislature to pass a law barring sex offenders from children’s reading rooms in libraries.

Library Budget War Heats Up in New York City

queensdemonstration

Library activists in New York City have been gearing up to fight proposed massive budget cuts. On May 26, hundreds of supporters of the Queens Library converged on City Hall to protest Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget for FY12. Under the mayor’s latest proposal, which still must go through the City Council, funding for New York […]