Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins was on hand to cheer the city’s first public library-based sites, 26 branches in Queens, a county of 2.3 million that’s one of the most ethnically diverse in the country.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and New York City’s Department of Investigation (DOI) have launched a joint investigation into Queens Library (QL) president and CEO Thomas Galante. The New York Daily News reports that on February 28, federal investigators arrived at the Central Library branch in Jamaica, Queens, NY. There they served subpoenas to Galante and Frank Marino, a construction consultant whose firm has managed 15 projects for QL since 2008—and who works at the Elmont Union Free School District, the same Long Island, NY, school system where Galante holds a part-time consulting position netting him compensation in the six figures.
The Far Rockaway branch of the New York’s Queens Public Library took its status as a community center to a new level last year when it served as an aid center and emergency supply depot for residents in the seaside community that was harder hit than most by Hurricane Sandy. The library’s role in providing disaster relief put long-standing plans to replace the branch on the fast track. Earlier this month, officials released the plans for a new branch that they think can cement the library’s newfound place as a neighborhood anchor.
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg presented a $68.7 billion preliminary FY12-13 budget on February 2 that, as usual, proposes Draconian cuts for the city’s three library systems.