Tag Archives: Books

Children throw spaghetti at Whitestone librarian in the name of literacy

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

For a moment, Susan Scatena became the meatball in a tangle of spaghetti on Friday.

Scatena is a children’s librarian for the Queens Library in Whitestone and every year she performs some kind of stunt if her young readers finish a certain number of books. It’s part of an effort to increase readership over the summer. This year, children in Whitestone read 6,300 books. Last year, Scatena read to an alligator after they surpassed their goal.

Children chanted “sit in it” in unison as Scatena filled an inflatable pool with spaghetti and sauce. Once she sat in it, they threw spaghetti on her that their parents brought with them.

“OK kids, that’s enough,” she said after everyone had expended their spaghetti supply. “Come back next year.”



Grant will go to Queens libraries

| squigley@queenscourier.com

Times are tough and the Queens Library has been facing deep cuts, but a New Year has brought with it a gift to help offset budgetary constraints.
Carnegie Corporation of New York President Vartan Gregorian announced that the organization will be giving $5 million to the public library systems of New York.

The Queens Library, which serves 2.2 million of New York’s student population, adult learning community and literary enthusiasts alike, will be receiving a $1.5 million infusion. Just last year alone, the city cut $3 million from libraries.

Some library patrons already have their hopes set for what is to come with the grant. Borough bookworms anticipate such luxuries as better access to best sellers, reopening of libraries on Saturdays, more children’s programs, part-time work opportunity, more computers and of course, elongated rental periods.

“Sometimes, especially during the holidays, seven days is just not enough time to finish an 800-page book,” said Ellen,  a Bay Terrace Library frequenter.

However, some are a little more skeptical about the possibility of any immediate and meaningful change. Faithful Queens Library patron Andy told The Courier, “The libraries need all the money they can get their hands on, because they aren’t getting it from [Mayor Michael] Bloomberg. These days, even $5 million is just a drop in the bucket, but hey, every bit helps.”

Queens Public Library spokesperson Joanne King said that they cannot yet be sure of exactly what change, if any, is to come, saying, “I can’t say things won’t change because it is simply too early to tell.”

King said that after the budget cuts, the library has a “desperate need to fill in the losses.”

The New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library will also benefit from the grant.

With this latest contribution, the Carengie Corporation would have donated $15 million to New York’s libraries over the last 14 years.

China’s first lady visits Forest Hills Library

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Library Left to right: Madame Ma Chow Mei-Ching, Queens Library President and CEO Thomas Galante and Hwai-Min Wood, manager of the Forest Hills Library.

Patrons of the Forest Hills Library received a once-in-a-lifetime lesson on Chinese culture on October 13.

The first lady of the Republic of China, Madame Ma Chow Mei-Ching, visited the library, located at 108-19 71st Avenue, to present a donation of 10 children’s picture books. The books, which are written in Chinese, were contributed with the purpose of encouraging young Americans to learn more about the traditions of China.

Along with her gift, Madame Ma entertained children with tales about the Chinese Zodiac and educated them in the art of creating an origami mouse – the first of the 12 animals of the Zodiac.

A group of elementary school students from the southern Taiwanese county of Pingtung who are traveling with the first lady regaled visitors with a musical performance, which included ancient melodies from the Paiwan aboriginal tribe.

“Queens Library was honored to welcome Madame Ma Chow Mei-Ching and her guests,” said Joanne King, the associate director of communications for Queens Library. “Queens has more than 195,000 people whose first language is Chinese and who have strong cultural ties to their homeland. It is our mission to provide them with reading material in their own language, and to provide our English-speaking library users with a greater understanding of the great art, culture and economy of China. Library users in Queens will make good use of this generous gift, and we are so appreciative.”

Donating a love of learning

| jlane@queenscourier.com


Patrons of the Rego Park Library can now learn about the Republic of Tatarstan directly from the source.

Upon returning from a trip to Russia and Tatarstan, Senator Toby Ann Stavisky visited the library, located at 91-41 63rd Drive in Rego Park, on September 21 to donate three books she acquired on her journey. Tatarstan’s capital city, Kazan, is the subject of all three books, which are written in English and Russian.

“I am delighted to donate these books, because I know the Queens Library is known for its diverse collection,” said Stavisky, who was on the trip with a legislative delegation. “I hope my Russian-speaking friends enjoy them.”