Community Library Manager
Queens Library at Pomonok
Community Involvement: Sharon Banks has served as community library manager at Pomonok for the past six years.
“I try to make the library visible to the community through neighborhood outreach,” said Banks. The library has sponsored programs for the Queens Community House and has collaborated with the northeast Queens branch of the NAACP by providing programs of interest to the African-American community.
The library also offers more than 150 programs for children of all ages and includes many activities such as arts and crafts, self discovery through group discussions, board games and electronic games. The library also holds monthly book discussions for adults.
“We have a loyal and lively cadre of adults who come in every day to read the daily newspapers,” said Banks. “We always have time to engage in conversations with them.”
Personal: Banks was born and raised in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Hawaii with a bachelor’s degree in business education and received a master of library and information science degree from Queens College. Banks also received a certificate of advanced studies in public library administration from Long Island University.
She has been married for 30 years and has two children, two stepchildren and one grandson. Banks is also an active member of St. Albans Congregational Church and works at The Beaded Neck, where she makes jewelry and plans to retire in the next few years.
Inspiration: As a young woman, Banks was inspired by people who were singled out for making a difference in their communities or professions.
“They seemed so bigger than life,” said Banks. “It’s exhilarating to know that each and every day through what I do at Queens Library I have the opportunity to be the kind of person I’ve admired all my life. That is so soul satisfying.”
Challenge: “I don’t relate to challenges, only to opportunities,” said Banks. “Challenges give me gray hair; opportunities turn the gray to silver.”
Favorite Memory: “A favorite, although painful, memory is being in the library at the time I learned that Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated” said Banks. “That memory has never left me.”