Library Cuts Epitomized In Creative Game
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Queens Library President & CEO Thomas W. Galante, children from P.S. 111 in Long Island City and the community participated in a carnival at the library that had a message. Each of the midway-style games in the "Broke Down Carnival" had limited access, like libraries could if the proposed budget cuts are not
restored. For example, there was a bean bag tossing game. Some of the holes in
which the bean bags would land were labeled "closed today." It was designed is
to dramatize how fewer library hours will limit what children and adults in the
community can accomplish. To maintain a fun atmosphere, all children who
participated received prizes.
New York City's Executive Budget calls for a cut to Queens Library of $26.7
million in fiscal year 2013. If the proposed budget cuts are not restored, it would mean
reducing library service to unthinkable levels.
* Layoff of 605 people who provide critical public services
* 18 libraries in Queens closed altogether
* 30 libraries closed 4 or 5 days per week
* Only one library open on Saturdays
* No Sunday library service at all
* People in Queens would have much less access to use computers, borrow
materials, get homework help, prepare for a new job and so many other important
"Queens deserves a budget that invests in libraries not one that slashes
much-needed funding for the easily accessible educational, cultural and social
programs they offer," said Van Bramer, Chair of the New
York City Council's Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee. "Over the past
month, an overwhelming number of Queens residents have been outspoken and very
clear about the need to push back against these tremendous cuts. With only two
weeks left until we adopt the budget, I promise to continue advocating and
fighting for the millions of residents of our borough who use Queens Library
every single day."
And Galante remarked, "Free public libraries are more critical to the fabric of our democratic society than ever before. We are a digital bridge, a community hub, a center of lifelong learning and the place where new opportunities are realized every single day. As the
needs of our patrons change, we have evolved too. With your support, we will
continue to provide free and equal access to information and break down barriers
for all New Yorkers to discover knowledge, to enhance their education and to
better their lives."