Grant to replace books at Sandy-damaged libraries


| ctumola@queenscourier.com |

Photo courtesy of Queens Public Library
Photo courtesy of Queens Public Library

A nonprofit is helping Queens Library get back on its feet by putting books back on its shelves.

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is giving a $250,000 grant to the Queens Library Foundation to replace more than 140,000 books and other library materials that were damaged by Sandy.

“Our public libraries provide essential resources to New York City residents,” said Megan Sheekey, president of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “We are grateful to the Queens Library System for its dedication to keeping its doors open in impacted neighborhoods and serving community members.”

Library branches in communities such as Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways were particularly damaged from flooding and are still trying to get back up on their feet.

The Broad Channel Library just reopened in early March. During Sandy, two feet of water inundated the building, ruining 16,000 books and ultimately costing $940,000 in damage.

Other branches have yet to reopen. During repairs, temporary facilities are serving the community.

“The Rockaways and Broad Channel lean on their community libraries for computer and broadband access, education, schoolwork support, job skills training, consumer health resources and their daily information needs. We are so grateful that the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City will help Queens Library restock the empty shelves and provide the critical information that will help the community rebuild,” said Thomas W. Galante, president and CEO of Queens Library.

Officials say a total of $2.2 million in books, DVDs and magazines must be replaced, including picture books and homework help materials for children, large print books, books in Russian, Spanish and other languages, materials for job-seekers who want to learn more about employment trends and build their skills, and so much more.

In addition, to the Mayor’s Fund grant, $1 million in additional grants have already been raised for replacement costs.

 

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