Tag Archives: Queens Library

Sunnyside library to temporarily close


| editorial@queenscourier.com


The Sunnyside branch of the Queens Library will close at the end of business on Saturday, June 21 to install a new roof.

The library, located at 43-06 Greenpoint Ave., is expected to reopen in mid- August.

A mobile library will provide limited service every Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the closure. Readers can also visit near-by branches at 25-01 Jackson Ave. in Court Square, 37-44 21 St. in Long Island City and 54-22 Skillman Ave. in Woodside.

 

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Op-ed: Don’t miss an opportunity to invest in Queens


| oped@queenscourier.com


JOSEPH FICALORA

Here is a good investment: a service that is proven to change lives. A service that is free for all, withheld from none, and guaranteed to positively impact the future of all your neighbors. This investment returns an average of $6 on every $1.

This is the opportunity that the Queens Library, one of the borough’s greatest institutions, has to offer. Investing in the library is investing in the people of Queens.

Thanks to an improved fiscal outlook, the City is well-positioned to begin to expand library service and hours in every library, which is something our patrons want and need. This means increased access to programs: adult education, job preparedness, school work assistance, computer use, consumer health information and more.

As a city, we must continue investing in the physical infrastructure that protects the assets of each of our 62 community libraries and the knowledge and educational dividend they return. To miss this opportunity based on sensational headlines and unproven innuendo would truly be a disservice to the people who rely on the Library.

I have been a volunteer on the Board of Trustees of Queens Library since 2000. I volunteer my time and expertise because I know first-hand about the enormous, positive impact the Queens Library makes on the community. The Queens Library is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking public resources we have. It is consistently a national award winner.

Queens Library’s outstanding performance and invaluable contributions to the quality of life cannot be divorced from its management and governance. If the Board or the senior management were lacking, surely the library could not achieve the high level of excellence that it does.

The Library has an outstanding track record regarding capital improvements to its community library branches. It works with the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) to consistently build and upgrade libraries across the borough.

When it can achieve building projects more rapidly and at lower cost by self-managing the construction process, it has done so. All expenditures of City funds are then under the oversight of DDC, the Office of Management & Budget and the Comptroller’s office. While an onerous review process, it is a customary and necessary part of the public review which enables this highly efficient, both in time and money, renovation of library space. It makes good business sense and is prudent public policy. In addition, the Queens Library recently requested that the Independent Budget Office review and analyze this process.

The Queens Library Board of Trustees has regularly taken aggressive action to enhance our governance practices. We are not above criticism and not averse to making changes.

The Library’s Board of Trustees has been ahead of the curve in implementing the mandates of the New York State Non-Profit Revitalization Act. This action, ahead of the law’s implementation in July, has established a new library board Audit Committee; and requires trustees and key employees to provide financial disclosures, as well as meet required independence mandates. All of these actions are geared toward enhancing oversight and transparency.

As taxpayers, we all have the right to know that funds are being spent prudently. The Queens Library is providing records of all City funds to the City Comptroller’s office, and as of this writing, the City Comptroller’s office has already reviewed thousands and thousands of financial records.

I am confident that when the cloud clears, when the inquiries and audits are completed, that the integrity of the library and its leadership will be confirmed.
In the end it is critical to stay focused on the mission of the institution and our role, as trustees, in its future: to reinvest and serve as caretakers for one of the nation’s great library systems and the more than 12 million constituents it serves each and every year.

Joseph Ficalora is President of the Foundation Board and has served on the Queens Library Board over the past 15 years, and in that time, has been Chairman of the Administrative Committee and Chairman of the Board.

 

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Free lunches for kids to be distributed at Queens libraries this summer


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Liam La Guerre

BY PAULINA TAM

Twenty-two Queens Library locations, in partnership with the city’s Department of Education (DOE), will be distributing free summer meals to children and teens 18 years and under starting June 27 to August 29.

Bagged lunches will be served every Monday through Friday between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. and each will generally include a fresh sandwich, fruit, milk and sometimes a salad, according to library spokeswoman Joanne King.

“The library is an open public space and we want to attract people to come to the library,” King said. “While they’re here they can have free access to other programs. The Queens Library also has a very robust summer reading program and we want to encourage people to get involved with that so they can be better prepared for the academic program in the fall.”

There is no application, qualification or ID necessary to receive a free meal. Children and teens are recommended to arrive early to get lunches, while supplies last. The Queens Library is just one of many agencies collaborating with the DOE, and interested parties could call 311 to get a full list of participating locations.

Listed below are the participating Queens Library locations:

312 Beach 54 St., Arverne

14-01 Astoria Blvd., Astoria

117-11 Sutphin Blvd., Baisley Park

218-13 Linden Blvd., Cambria Heights

1637 Central Ave., Far Rockaway

41-17 Main St., Flushing

202-05 Hillside Ave., Hollis

89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica

134-26 225th St., Laurelton

98-30 57th Ave., Lefrak City

37-44 21st St., Long Island City

40-20 Broadway (at Steinway Street), Long Island City

92-24 Rockaway Blvd., Ozone Park

158-21 Jewel Ave., Pomonok (Flushing)

103-34 Lefferts Blvd., Richmond Hill

169-09 137th Ave., Rochdale Village

116-15 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Park

204-01 Hollis Ave., South Hollis

108-41 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., South Jamaica

43-06 Greenpoint Ave., Sunnyside

85-41 Forest Pkwy., Woodhaven

54-22 Skillman Ave., Woodside

 

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Library services coming to Gantry Plaza State Park this summer


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ File Photo

Book lovers will be able to enjoy reading at Gantry Plaza State Park this summer.

Queens Library and the Friends of Hunters Point Library have announced a special series of library services coming to the waterfront Long Island City park all summer long.

On May 31, a kick-off of the series will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 pm. and will feature the Volunteer Library Brigade hosting reading hour, book giveaways and more. All activities are free.

“The Hunters Point community deserves a world class library and we are very much looking forward to seeing that vision become a reality,” said Mark Christie, president of the Friends of Hunters Point Library. “While we wait on the bricks and mortar we are so pleased to have the Mobile Library service and excited to bring this sun and volunteer fueled pop-up library service.”

A mobile library will be parked every Saturday, rain or shine, at Vernon Boulevard and 48th Avenue from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and offer books and materials for all ages for loan as well as digital downloads onsite and special library offerings.

The Friends of Hunters Point Library will be supporting a “pop-up” library on Saturdays, weather permitting, offering reading and activities starting at 11 a.m. with children’s story hour.

In partnership with Urban Libraries Unite and Food Cellar, a mini-library will be placed at the Food Cellar in Long Island City. It will be modeled on “take a book, leave a book.” Wi-Fi will be available at the site and there will be a free downloadable digital library.

There will be no service on July 5.

 

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Queens Library announces free coding lessons through online tech portal


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Logo courtesy Queens Library


 

Why pay thousands of dollars for coding classes? Just go to the library.

The Queens Library recently announced its users will have access to Treehouse, a free online interactive education platform that teaches programming languages and how to build websites, so members can obtain more skills and qualify for higher paying jobs.

Through Treehouse, library members will be able to learn how to program a website, create an Android app, and get an introduction to Javascript, Rails, iOS and more.

Users need to have a Queens Library card and account, which are free and available to apply for at any library branch or online for anyone who works, owns property, or goes to school in New York.

The library will also host free Treehouse orientation sessions at the end of May and in June at its Flushing branch and at the Central Library in Jamaica. Dates and times are listed below.

Flushing Branch:  May 30 at 3 p.m.; June 6 at 10 a.m.; June 30 at 3 p.m.

Central Branch:  May 31 at 2 p.m.; June 12 at 10 a.m.

Click here to visit the Treehouse portal.

 

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Whitestone Bridge art contest winners announced


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre/Drawings courtesy of Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association.


 

 

The winners of the Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association’s Bronx-Whitestone Bridge drawing contest were announced and honored in Councilman Paul Vallone’s office Monday.

More than 300 elementary students entered the art competition, which honored the 75th anniversary of the bridge, but only five were selected as winners.

P.S. 79 fourth-graders Athena Koutsothanasis, Mei Jiang and Joanna Li were winners, as well as P.S. 193 fifth-grader Nicholas Berry and Ellie Choe of P.S. 209.

“It was kind of scary, because I didn’t know if I would get it,” Nicholas said about the contest. “I was really surprised that I was able to win.”

The art competition challenged Whitestone elementary schools students to draw — in any form — a version of the bridge on an 8.5-by-11 sheet of paper. They also had to include a reference to the 75th anniversary in their artwork.

Each winner received a City Council citation from Vallone, a $50 check from Welcome to Whitestone and a $10 gift card from Dunkin’ Donuts.

The winners were judged by Devon Michael O’Connor, founder of Welcome to Whitestone, MTA’s Director of Bridges East Raymond Webb and Vallone.

All of the entries in the contest will be on display in the Queens Library’s Whitestone Branch for the public to view.

 

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Queens Library board votes against turning over documentation


| editorial@queenscourier.com


The Board of Trustees of the Queens Borough Public Library voted against turning over all the records requested by the city comptroller’s office, sparking condemnation from politicians.

The vote, which took place on April 8, rejected a resolution submitted by members of the Board, and instead passed a resolution to release all requested financial documentation in accordance with a 1997 court-ordered agreement between the Queens Library and comptroller’s office.

The library, in a statement, defended the vote, saying it “believes in accountability and transparency.”

“The library has released all requested financial documentation in accordance with the court-ordered agreement of 1997. The audit rules have been the standard for several previous administrations. It appropriately includes audit authority over every dime provided by the city, fines and fees collected and book sale funds. As an additional layer of transparency, the library voluntarily provided access to the Worker’s Compensation Fund as requested.”

Additionally, the institution wrote to the city’s Independent Budget Office on Friday, requesting a review and analysis of its capital program, according to a library spokeswoman Joanne King.

In April, Comptroller Scott Stringer filed a lawsuit seeking to nullify the 1997 agreement, according to published reports. In late January, Stringer announced that he would perform a comprehensive audit of the city’s three library systems that would “examine a broad range of fiscal controls,” including the funding of capital improvements, the use of city tax levy funds and the oversight role of the library systems’ individual boards of trustees.

The announcement came after news reports revealed Queens Library President and CEO Tom Galante’s salary and that he spent nearly $140,000 to renovate his office, while many workers have been let go in recent years.

Borough President Melinda Katz penned a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio in March, asking him to suspend the ability of the library to spend any funds on renovations until the issues are resolved.

“No public entity is above the law. Parliamentary maneuvers may buy them some time, but rest assured that I am determined to make sure that taxpayers know how their money is being spent at this library system,” Stringer said.
Katz also criticized the Board of Trustees’ decision saying it “has put itself firmly on the wrong side of any resident of Queens who wishes to see their library run properly.”

 

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Whitestone Bridge art contest draws more than 300 entries


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Drawings courtesy Welcome to Whitestone Civic

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

More than 300 students entered the Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association’s Bronx-Whitestone Bridge drawing contest to honor the 75th anniversary of the bridge.

The art competition challenged Whitestone elementary schools students to draw — in any form — a version of the bridge on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. They also had to include a reference to the 75th anniversary in their artwork.

Only five of the illustrations will be selected as winners, and the artists will each receive gift cards for an undetermined amount from the civic group.

“I wanted to do something [for the anniversary],” said Devon Michael O’Connor, founder of Welcome to Whitestone. “So I put together this drawing contest, which I thought would be nice, and get the kids involved.”

The winners will be judged by O’Connor, Raymond Webb of the MTA Bridges and Tunnels division and Councilman Paul Vallone.

All of the entries will be on display in the Queens Library’s Whitestone Branch for the public to view.

The civic group plans to announce the winners in Vallone’s office next week.

 

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Queens Library to host ‘31 Days of Non-Stop Hip Hop’ in May


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Courtesy

Hip hop is invading the Queens Library next month.

Each day in May, there will be a free hip hop-related event, performance or jam at one or more of the borough’s library branches.

“Queens is the cradle of hip hop, urban fashion, def poetry and everything that goes with it,” the Library said in a statement,” announcing the events, called “31 Days of Non-Stop Hip Hop.”

Queens Library also announced its “Elements of Hip Hop” project, which will help preserve the borough’s collective urban music history.

The events will include a Break Dance Expo, a Family Day Jam, a Graffiti Art Workshop and more:

Thursday, May 1, 4 pm

History of Hip Hop with Kool Herc, DJ Marley Marl at the Teen Center, Queens Library – Central, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica. This event is open to teens only. A free ticket is required to attend.

Friday, May 2, 4 pm

Who’s the best MC: the  Voice of Harlem and DJ Ted Smooth at the Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Saturday, May 3, 2 pm

Family Day Jam: Zulu Nation, Queens Library – Langston Hughes, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona

Sunday, May 4

This week in Hip Hop (a web-only event) #HipHopElements

Monday, May 5, 4 pm

Who’s the Best MC: Actor and personality Marc John Jeffries & DJ G-Money, Queens Library – Langston Hughes, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona

Tuesday, May 6, 5 pm

Queens Memory Hip Hop in Your ‘Hood. Share your memories, your memorabilia and your photos. Queens Library at St. Albans, 191-05 Linden Boulevard

Tuesday, May 6, 4 pm

Teen Fashion Entrepreneurs: Keith Perrin (founder of FUBU) at Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Wednesday, May 7, 4 pm

Teen Fashion Entrepreneurs: Keith Perrin (founder of FUBU) at Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Thursday, May 8, 4 pm

Create your own music experience: Teen Space, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica

Friday, May 9, 4 pm

Battle of the DJs: Media celeb Steph Lova & DJ G-Money, Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Saturday, May 10

Hip Hop Book/Movie List – A Facebook event #HipHopElements

Monday, May 12, 4 pm

Hip Hop College of Music & Arts: Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Tuesday, May 13, 4 pm

Hip Hop College of Music & Arts: Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Tuesday, May 13, 5 pm

Queens Memory Hip Hop in Your ‘Hood. Share your memories, your memorabilia and your photos. Queens Library at St. Albans, 191-05 Linden Boulevard

Wednesday, May 14, 4 pm

Hip Hop Book Review, Teen Space, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica

Thursday, May 15, 4 pm

Poetry Live: Teen Space, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica

Friday, May 16, 4 pm

Break Dance Workshop: Queens Library – Langston Hughes, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona

Friday, May 16, 4 pm

Dance Competition: DUOLIVE (MC Fre and DJ Sid V) at Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Saturday, May 17, 2 pm

Family Day Jam: Zulu Nation, Queens Library at Arverne, 312 Beach 54 St.

Sunday, May 18

This week in Hip Hop (a web-only event) #HipHopElements

Monday, May 19, 4 pm

Break Dance Expo: Queens Library – Langston Hughes, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona

Tuesday, May 20, 4 pm

Create your own record label at Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Tuesday, May 20, 5 pm

Queens Memory Hip Hop in Your ‘Hood. Share your memories, your memorabilia and your photos. Queens Library at St. Albans, 191-05 Linden Boulevard

Wednesday, May 21, 4 pm

Create your own record label: Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue,  Far Rockaway

Thursday, May 22, 4 pm

Create your own record label: Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue,  Far Rockaway

Friday, May 23, 4 pm

Create your own record label: Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Saturday, May 24

Hip Hop Book/Movie List on Facebook #HipHopElements

Sunday, May 25

This week in Hip Hop (a web-only event) #HipHopElements

Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day )

Hip Hop Elements Picture of The Day #HipHopElements

Tuesday, May 27, 4 pm

Intro to Graffiti Art, Queens Library – Langston Hughes, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona

Wednesday, May 28 4 pm

Graffiti Art Workshop: Queens Library – Langston Hughes, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona

Wednesday, May 28, 4 pm

Rock the Mic: DUOLIVE, Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Thursday, May 29, 4 pm

Poetry & Art Showcase: Teen Space, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica

Friday, May 30, 4 pm

Intro to the Entertainment Industry: “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels, Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Saturday, May 31, 2 pm

A Visual History of Hip Hop: “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels, Queens Library at Langston Hughes Library, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona

 

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Library yoga aims to relieve stress in Howard Beach


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

JEFF STONE

Queens librarians are encouraging residents at the Howard Beach branch to put aside their books, for at least one hour starting at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, in favor of a yoga mat.

Irene Failenbogen will be on hand to give library members an introduction to chair yoga. A yoga instructor for 30 years, Failenbogen has spent half of that time helping New Yorkers use the ancient method to relieve stress, improve mental clarity, lower blood pressure and realign tired joints.

She advocates using a chair for novice yogis and people with health problems because, while many of the motions are the same, a chair can provide important assistance when it comes to balance and mastering the proper movement techniques.

A native Argentine, Failenbogen teaches a string of classes at each Queens library before traveling to the next branch. She’s attracted a small following in no small part because of her willingness to help her neighbors.

“I’ve just been part of the melting pot, seeing all these people come into the same class with all these backgrounds and languages,” she said. “We learn so much in life about how to be a spectator, but yoga is about putting yourself out there for the experience. … Many people after class will say, ‘I’m so glad I came.’”

 

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Arverne library to reopen following Sandy damage


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy the Queens Library

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The Arverne branch of the Queens Library is opening a new chapter.

The library will celebrate its reopening on Friday after a $1.36 million renovation following extensive damage from Superstorm Sandy nearly two years ago.

Four feet of water surged into the library during Sandy, ruining books, computers, electrical wiring and furniture.

The rebuilding money was funded by FEMA, the library’s insurance and grants, including one from the Turkish Cultural Center Queens. The library initially reopened for public service on March 18.

The reopening ceremony will feature many Queens dignitaries and a live DJ.

 

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Rosedale library to close for nearly $1M renovation


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Queens Library

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The Queens Library is shutting down its Rosedale branch for a $895,000 renovation, turning a page in its history.

The library branch will close on April 17 for the revitalization of the building, which includes a new heating and air conditioning system as well as new ceilings and lighting.

The building update was funded from money allocated by Councilman Donovan Richards.

Starting on April 30, a mobile library bus will provide library service in Rosedale every Wednesday.

 

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Queens Library CEO claims long hours at $114K consulting job: report


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Queens Library President and CEO Tom Galante logged a seemingly impossible amount of hours as a consultant while performing his day job, according to a published report.

A payroll review by the New York Daily News found Galante, who is currently the subject of an FBI inquiry over construction contracts, billed the Elmont School District $114,673 for work as a business consultant. During that recent seven-month period he allegedly averaged 26 hours of work per week.

At the same time, he claimed he put in an average of 70 to 80 hours a week at his public library gig, where he earns a $392,000 salary, according to the Daily News.

Galante has said that his consultant work is done during his off-hours, the publication reported, but a review of his work logs showed he billed numerous hours for the Elmont job while having a packed schedule for the library.

The CEO and the library have faced scrutiny after news reports revealed Galante’s salary and that he spent nearly $140,000 to renovate his office, while many workers have been let go in recent years.

Galante currently makes the most money of the city’s three library systems’ leaders, according to SeeThroughNY, which list how tax dollars are spent.

Borough President Melinda Katz penned a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this month, asking him to suspend the ability of the Library to spend any funds on renovations until the issues are resolved.

 

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Queens Library earns national awards while facing public scrutiny


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Queens Library

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Federal inquiries into the Queens Library and its CEO may be buzzing in the news, but the organization is making a case for why residents can still have a good read. 

The Library has received national recognitions recently for architecture and modern digital services.

The new $17.1 million Glen Oaks branch was named the 2013 Building of the Year by American-Architects.com, beating out structures from 50 other states because of its design and eco-friendly features.

The Queens Library, which services more than 866,000 active members, also received the American Library Association/Information Today, Inc. “Library of the Future” award for creating a customized interface and a management system so that Google tablets, which can be borrowed on library cards, are useful with or without Wi-Fi access.

The tablet’s interface is pre-loaded with helpful information on a range of topics, including children’s resources, immigration information, job search, language services and library courses. The award will be presented during the Library Association’s annual conference in June.

“Year after year, Queens Library is recognized nationally and globally as a leader in innovative library programs, services and spaces,” a spokesperson for the Library said. “The goal is always to find better ways to serve the community with lifelong learning opportunities from state-of-the-art libraries.”

Besides the honors, the Queens Library is gearing up to launch a new mobile app that will allow users to download free digital materials from their devices. The app will be available on both iOS and Android platforms. Also, the Library has been chosen as one of six organizations statewide to pilot online high school equivalency exams for adults.

Lately, complaints against the Library from elected officials have increased after new reports revealed President and CEO Thomas Galante’s nearly $392,000 salary, while many workers have been let go in recent years. Galante also spent nearly $140,000 to renovate his office, reports said.

FBI and Department of Investigation agents recently appeared at the Library to issue subpoenas for information, according to reports.

Library Board members The Courier contacted didn’t respond for comment.

“We have been requested to provide documents,” Library spokesperson Joanne King said. “Because of the inquiry, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on matters that are the subject of inquiry.”

The Library has hired an outside consultant, Hay Group, to study Galante’s salary and perks included, such as a reported $37,000 sports car and $2 million severance package.

Galante currently makes the most money of the city’s three library systems’ leaders, according to SeeThroughNY, which list how tax dollars are spent.

Anthony Marx, the current CEO of the New York Public Library (NYPL), which has branches in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, made $250,000 last year.

The previous CEO of the NYPL, Paul Le Clerc, made $711,114 in 2011. Linda Johnson, the CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library, made $250,000 in 2013 as well.

Borough President Melinda Katz recently penned a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, asking him to suspend the ability of the Library to spend any funds on renovations until the issues are resolved.

“The Queens Library system is a first-rate institution that provides invaluable educational and cultural opportunities for the residents of this borough,” Katz said in the letter. “However, there is a troubling lack of oversight and understanding of the allocation of taxpayer funding.”

 

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Queens Library board hires consultant to probe CEO’s salary, contract


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The Queens Library has hired an outside consultant to probe its embattled CEO’s whopping $392,000 salary and perks, the nonprofit’s top executives said Monday.

“We need to absorb the information we get from the study, as a board,” said Board of Trustees Chair Gabriel Taussig. “We’re committed to doing these things expeditiously and thoughtfully.”

The board is paying Hay Group $25,000 for a one-time review of Queens Library President and CEO Tom Galante’s entire compensation package and contract terms, officials said. The library boss is embroiled in news reports that claim he spent nearly $140,000 on a private smoking deck and office renovations.

The controversy also includes Galante’s $392,000 salary, $2 million severance package and $140,000 annual income from his side job consulting for the Elmont Union Free School District on Long Island.

Hay Group, a global management consulting firm hired last week, will size up Galante’s job against other comparable organization heads, which could lead to new contract negotiations, said Jacqueline Arrington, chair of the board’s administrative committee.

The firm has less than 90 days to report back with its findings and another 30 days after that to hammer out a new contract, library spokesperson Joanne King said.

“Whatever the end result is will be fair, reasonable, equitable and competitive,” said Galante, who declined to comment on whether he would take a pay cut.

The chief executive — when he wasn’t touting the library’s achievements — defended claims against him.

He reiterated his right as a “workaholic” to engage in outside employment, saying he sometimes puts in 125 total hours a week from both gigs. And he only consults as an “independent contractor, not an employee” from either Elmont or his home, he said.

Galante added his $2 million severance package is not considered a “golden parachute” and is only given to him if he is fired without wrongdoing.

The high exit payout is because of an “evergreen” clause in his five-year contract, amended in 2012, that allows it to be renewed automatically every year, Galante said.

The board plans to ax the clause in future contracts, according to Taussig, who would not confirm if that included Galante’s.

The consultation study is the first in a series of new measures the board plans to take to restore public trust and ease discontent amongst Queens lawmakers, board members said during a Feb. 25 sit-down meeting with several Queens reporters.

Since reports surfaced, State Senator Tony Avella has asked Galante to resign. Other state legislators and Borough President Melinda Katz say they are committed to getting a bill passed that would require financial disclosure from top library executives.

An audit committee within the Board of Trustees is underway, Arrington said. The board will decide if there should be more oversight into the hiring of top level executives, she added.

“I don’t want people to lose sight of what Queens Public Library has done for this borough,” Arrington said.

 

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