No New Books for Queens

It’s no news that many libraries across the country have reduced book purchases because of budget cuts. A few have even stopped purchasing books altogether, hoping that funds will be restored before the public notices.

Queens Borough Public Library CEO, Tom Galante, however, is making no bones about his library’s decisions. Last week, he told the local NPR station, WNYC (via Publishers Lunch Automat, subscription only), that they chose to maintain hours rather than buy books,

Galante said the mission of the library has shifted subtly, from lending books to providing English lessons, aiding job seekers and providing Internet access.

“It really comes down to libraries being about community — being a place for seniors in the morning, kids after school,” Galante said.

2 Responses to “No New Books for Queens”

  1. Deborah Emin Says:

    REZ Reading Series in Kew Gardens (Queens) and my publishing company (Sullivan Street Press) are kicking off a year-long fund raising campaign to raise money for the library to buy books.
    We have already begun the work by getting the word out to as many people as we can so if you would like to help, please send the money directly to the library here:

    We have only 3 bookstores in all of Queens and now a library that can’t afford to purchase books. We need all the help we can get.
    Deborah Emin

  2. Christine Mills Says:

    I feel the pain. Our small, rural branch library in Ohio has been under a purchasing freeze for almost 2 years at this point, with no end in immediate sight. The only items added to our collections have been through donations. To add to this, hours and services have been cut, as well as staff benefits and wages. We have lost several wonderful employees who didn’t want to leave but had to in order to support their families.
    We have maintained our patrons because we are part of the community. I thank the stars above that our system joined a consortium years ago that allows us to share books from other libraries at no cost to our patrons.
    Our challenge now comes in the form of levy passage in order to maintain our community presence.
    Good luck, Queens!!