Recently_ the Queens Library Foundation secured

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Recently_ the Queens Library Foundation secured Powered By Docstoc
					Summer 2008

Lo n g I s L a n d C I t y Fa m I Ly F u n day C e L e b r at e s $6 mILLIon doLLar endowment!
Children were not left out of the mix, as there were a number of activities for their entertainment, including pony rides, a moon bounce, face painting, magic shows, and a whole host of other activities. Early in the day Councilman Eric Gioia joined the fun, as well as representatives from the Elmezzi family and foundation who were also in attendance.

Children working on origami during the Family Fun Day festivities.


ecently, the Queens Library Foundation secured the largest gift in Library history from The Thomas and Jeanne Elmezzi Foundation. The endowment of $6 million over 10 years will support literacy programs and services at the Jeanne Elmezzi Adult Learning Center at the Queens Library at Long Island City. This new funding will begin funding programs in 2017, when the endowment is fully funded. In celebration of the gift from The Thomas and Jeanne Elmezzi Private Foundation, Queens Library hosted a Family Fun Day on Saturday, June 21, at the Long Island City facility. The event highlighted the services offered at the Adult Learning Center, and also presented attendees with the opportunity to learn basic phrases and words in Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, and Bengali. Also in attendance were several community organizations who signed participants up for home ownership classes, college savings programs, summer camps, and much more.

City Councilman Eric Gioia with Library Director Thomas Galante at the LIC Family Fun Day.

Queens Library is an independent, not-for-profit corporation and is not affiliated with any other library system.

St. Albans Friends


n Saturday, March 29, the Friends of St. Albans Community Library sponsored a book signing and lecture by author Irving Burgie, featuring his new book Day-O. The lecture was an exciting gathering, with standing-room-only attendance. Mr. Burgie showed a short film of his life and career as a songwriter, author, and community activist. The film was followed by questions and comments from the audience, which Mr. Burgie answered in detail as the entire audience eagerly anticipated the signing portion of the program. Mr. Burgie’s late wife, Page Burgie, was a longtime member of the St. Albans Friends, and she was always a good “Friend” to have. We miss her presence at the Library deeply. We look forward to having Mr. Burgie’s presence and participation at future events and we thank him for an informative and fun afternoon. To date, 2008 has been a very busy and fruitful year for the St. Albans Friends. We contributed funds to the Children’s Library for special books requested by Ms. Heywood, the Children’s Librarian, and assisted in various library programs throughout the year. Due to the efforts of our membership committee and its chairperson, Rene Albritton, we were able to increase our active membership over the last year.

Through the efforts of all of the St. Albans Friends, we were able to sponsor several successful programs and projects. First, we had a two-day Flea Market which got our 20072008 year started. The money raised from this event was part of the contribution to the Children’s Library. Second, our Friends Chapter was re-chartered by Queens Library under the auspices of Jimmy Van Bramer, Director of Government and Community Affairs, and his staff. In attendance were Councilman Leroy Comrie, Assemblywoman Barbara Clark, Library Director Thomas Galante and several other community guests. Third, two financial workshops were conducted: one for children, sponsored by the Washington Mutual Bank; and one for adults, given by a financial advisor from a major financial institution. Fourth, we had a wonderful quilting workshop led by Diane Holland, a well-known quilter. We are hoping to incorporate this in our yearly schedule of events. Fifth, we sponsored a book signing of Irving Burgie’s new book. This was a very successful event, as we not only had a packed library, but the sale of his book raised money for the Friends, part of which was included in our contribution to the Children’s Library. Sixth, Mr.

Award Recipients with special guest Linda Michelle Baron (far right) and contest coordinator Millicent Gormandy and Friends President Eugene Robinson (far left). (Continued on page3)


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Robinson continued the chess club for another year. We hope to get some assistance from a local businessman so that we can accommodate all the children who wish to participate. Lastly, we had a very successful essay contest, with close to 500 children in Grades 3-6 participating. As in past years, we distributed certificates to all the student participants, as well as prizes, medals and gifts to the winners and their schools. A culminating reception at which the children, parents, teachers and special guests were treated to refreshments followed the awards presentations. Our special guest presenter this year was author Linda Michelle Baron, who wowed the audience. It was truly a wonderful evening. We look forward in 2008-2009 to further increasing our membership and to presenting more interesting and exciting programs for both children and adults. We thank everyone for their support and encouragement, and wish you all a safe and pleasant summer.

Friends of the Richmond Hill Library
Friends of the Richmond Hill Library hosted a program entitled “What is Yoga?” on July 17 in the library auditorium. The demonstration, which was geared toward seniors and beginners, was led by Joseph Aranka with assistance by Friend Nicole Cropp. The event was open to the public and had very good attendance. On September 6, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., the blue library canopy at the Richmond Hill Block Association Annual Park Fair in Forest Park will beckon all those who wish to join the library or become a Friend. The Friends book discussion group continues to flourish. Over the past few months our members have enjoyed Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen in May, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert in June, and at the end of July we discussed A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. The Friends will also be donating $100 to the Summer Reading Program at the library. This donation was made possible by members’ contributions, for which we are extremely thankful. Rita Werner Secretary, FORH

budget update!
Queens Library would like to extend our warmest thank you to all the concerned residents of Queens, library customers, and Friends for their passionate involvement in our recent Save Weekend Library Service campaign. With the help of over 25,000 dedicated library users who signed petitions, mailed postcards, and called their city council representatives, we demonstrated to legislators how deeply committed Queens residents are to their libraries and library service. Even with all this outpouring of support, the library still sustained a budget cut that will mean the end of some library services, but not six-day service. Queens Library remains steadfastly committed to providing every resident of Queens and all library users with lifelong learning opportunities. The budget fight for this year has concluded; however, we will continue to push for full funding of libraries until every library in every borough is open seven days a week.

Friends of the East Elmhurst Library
The first half of the year has been very eventful for the Friends of the East Elmhurst Library (FOEE). We continued our string of successful activities with a book discussion on April 12, with journalist and author Alice Bernstein. FOEE Friends Geraldine This was followed up by Benfante(standing) and the Jr. Friends’ theatrical Edna Robinson (sitting) performance of play selling plants for the excerpts from Ossie Davis’ Mother’s Day Sale. 1955 play ‘The People of Clarendon County and the Answer to Racism.” The show ended to thunderous applause by the capacity crowd. The Sr. Friends of East Elmhurst
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Author Hayden Horsham with Sr. Friends of the East Elmhurst Library.

are continually impressed by all that the Jr. Friends bring to the East Elmhurst Community Library, and, with that in mind, hosted a pizza party to celebrate the youngsters for all that they contribute. The Sr. Friends would also like to extend their sincerest gratitude to Mrs. Robinson and Ms. Yvonne who worked diligently with the children to make the Ossie Davis project a success. We followed up our successful book discussion in April with the Pre-Mother’s Day Potted Plant & Flower Sale held on May 3, coordinated by VicePresident Geraldine Benfante, which was a

big success. Geraldine was also a vocal member of the East Elmhurst Friends’ contingent to the Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. which took place on May 14. Upon her return the Friends hosted another book discussion with Hayden Horsham, who reviewed his piece The Power of My Pen. The discussion was very informative and lively. Most recently the FOEE hosted an Art Show & Sale on July 12 & 19. The sale featured several pieces from many talented local artists. The next Friends meeting will be held sometime in October. Emma Fulwood, President, Friends of the East Elmhurst Library

Friends of the Kew Gardens Hills Update
The Friends of Kew Gardens Hills Library (FOKG) have had a busy 2008 thus far. We have had many interesting programs, including presentations from City Councilman James Gennaro who spoke to those gathered about important issues affecting the Kew Gardens Hills community. FOKG also were fortunate enough to have speaker Antonia Pinckney from the New York Hospital Cardiac Health Center in Queens, who gave a very informative presentation on proper diet, exercise, stress management, and

maintaining cardiac wellness. Friends found Antonia’s presentation to be especially helpful. Lastly, Doug Leblang made a return engagement to the Kew Gardens Hills Library by request of the Friends. This year’s spring celebration included more klezmer music, including Israeli and Yiddish favorites, horahs and comedy, all performed to a packed crowd. The FOKG also continued their fundraising activities this spring by selling bulbs. Coming in time for the holiday season: the Friends of Kew Gardens Hills Community Cookbook!

Friends of the Ridgewood Library working on crafts projects with young library supporters at Fun Day III.

Friends of the Ridgewood Library
The Ridgewood Friends hosted their latest Fun Day, Fun Day III, on Saturday, June 7, from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. The day’s events included a visit from the NYC Firefighters Ladder Company 140, housed at 56-07 Metropolitan Avenue. Lieutenant Mequade and firefighters Micelli, Crowther, Ziegler, Gleason, and Lussman delighted the community children and their parents as well! Also for the kids there was a stopover from Bobo the Hobo, Ridgewood’s most famous clown. Family Day III also featured tasty snacks, revelers were offered cold water and soda and scrumptious cupcakes, and pretzel and hot dogs were sold at rolled back prices. Fifteen vendors displayed and sold their wares of socks, craft, clothing, jewelry and antiques. We were also able to sign up 23 new Friends members. In total $638 was raised to purchase books for the Ridgewood Library’s children’s collection. All the remaining unsold items from the Friends’ flea market table were donated to the Queen of Peace residence in Queens Village. Our Junior Friends got in on the action by reading to the children assembled in the library garden and had face painting for them as well. A wonderful time was experienced by all and this event was our most successful so far!

Friends of the Cambria Heights Library with Library Director Thomas Galante.

Friends of the Cambria Heights Library


n Saturday, April 19, the Friends of the Cambria Heights Library (FOCH) were officially chartered and became Queens Library’s newest Friends group. The group was sworn in by Library Director Thomas Galante and also in attendance were several Friends from the St. Albans chapter who came to offer their moral support to the new group. The group also received their first large donation at the event, which was presented to them by the local chapter of Zeta Phi Beta. Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott was also in attendance in a show of support of his wife Denise, who sits on the group’s Executive Board as Vice-President. Friends of the Cambria Heights Library 2008-2009 Executive Board: Phillipe Hogarth – President Denise Walcott – Vice-President Cheryl Caddle – Treasurer Pascale Hogarth – Secretary Laura Andrews – Member-At-Large Angela Sinclair – Member-At-Large Kelli Singleton – Member-At-Large

Steinway ALC



he Snack and Tag sale was very successful thanks to donations from our students and employees. Students and employees made origami lilies that were attached to pencils and at $1 each we sold over 75. One of our students made Mother’s Day cards that we also sold at $1 each. It was a good time of year as people were doing their spring cleaning & donated many items to the Library that they wanted to get rid of. We had more than enough clothing to sell. Some students made homemade cakes and cookies, others donated soda, and one student made a tray of spinach pies that sold as fast as we cut it up. Four local bakeries donated cakes and cookies that sold very well and we acknowledged their donations. In these two days we made about $600. That Friday was a terrible day; it rained all day. Had the weather been better, we might have sold more. Thanks to all the volunteers that helped make it a success. Janet Maffei, President


he Friends group recently held a raffle to win a day at Belmont. The following board members deserve a special thank you for helping to organize this event: John Leis, for asking Belmont to donate a day at the races and Jerry Murphy, for doing all our artwork. Additionally in June we hosted a gift auction. Another special thanks should go out to Lisanne, Jerry, Nancy and Allen for helping with the gift auction. Coming up, the Friends will be sponsoring Wildman Steve Brill, a naturalist, who will educate the community about wild edible plants that we can find in neighboring Forest Park. This exciting survival program will take place on September 13, 2008 at 11:00 am at the Woodhaven Library. Following this special event, Wildman Steve will be conducting a tour in Forest Park. Those interested in the tour through Forest Park will be charged a minimal fee, but the Library program is free of charge. For the year-end summer reading program Robert Larson from State Farm (on Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven) will sponsor a dunk tank for the children to dunk our children’s librarian Ken Gordon. Each child will receive one ball for every book they have read. Refreshments will be served. Maria Concolino, Secretary

busy pomonok FrIends CeLebrate theIr 1 year annIversary
In their one year of joining the illustrious group of Friends of the Queens Library, Pomonok Friends have been busy planning successful fundraising events and quality programs for their community. Hosting the unique program for grandparents and their grandchildren “Read To Me Jamboree,” the program was not quite over and participants were asking the coordinator, Vice President Sandra Gittens when the next event was. The Safe Dating workshop, facilitated by Judean Wolfe, Treasurer, was widely popular as young women from the community were able to interact with peers and have pertinent questions on responsible dating answered by a trained professional, who also happens to be a parent to four beautiful girls. On Thursday, June 12, the Friends had an afternoon delight of treats in commemoration of their one-year anniversary and installation ceremony. Customers and friends were on hand to welcome the new Board.

Queens LIbrary saLutes our outstandIng FrIends!
Maria Concolino-Woodhaven Friends
Maria Concolino has been a resident of the Woodhaven community for over seventeen years and became active with the Woodhaven Friends five years ago. Maria became a Friends member because of her desire to see the old Children’s Library that was located on the lower level of the library restored and re-opened for use by the community’s youth. Reaching this goal is important to Maria because she wants all the kids in the community to have a space of their own where they can learn, be creative, and discover all the opportunities the world has to offer them. However, Maria makes no secret of the fact that she also wants to see the Children’s Library reopened because “It will also create space for adult users on the upper level.” Above all, Maria is driven to work hard on behalf of the Library because she is an avid user and believes that every inch of space that can be used for learning should be occupied. Mrs. Concolino stays focused on these goals as an executive board member of the Friends group. “I believe if you have a caring and active library then you will attract more families into the community that will support our library and stores on Jamaica Avenue,” she said. Mrs. Concolino would like to thanks community Library Manager Rebecca Babirye-Alibatya and all her fellow board members especially Friends President Lisanne Ponce. Maria would also like to thank her husband John for helping with compiling mailing lists and other computer needs, as well as her children Michael and Ria who have helped her carry all the gifts to the library and helped with collecting books for our membership drive.

Jill Yardley
Jill Yardley is a lifetime resident of Jackson Heights and became involved as a member at large to the Friends of the Library in 2000. During the years that followed she became more involved with the Friends of Jackson Heights, and was nominated and voted in as Treasure in 2002. She has helped out with many fund raisers, selling greeting cards at neighborhood functions to raise funds for the library and assisting at the Spring Gala in 2004, a Tea in 2007, and Meet the Authors in 2006 and 2007, the latest in May 2008. Under sad circumstances last September, she assumed the Presidency when President John Azzali died suddenly. Jill now holds two positions, President and Treasurer. Some of her other Jackson Heights community activities include working on the Clean-up Committee since its inception. Jill also is a member of the Jackson Heights Garden Group which plants and maintains flowers around 114 trees surrounds on 37th Avenue through the summer. Among other accomplishments, she is an active member of her apartment complex, serving as Vice President of the Washington Plaza Tenant’s Association, and member of their garden committee. Jill has been employed with a small actuarial consulting firm for many years in New York City. This past June the Jackson Heights Beautification Group recognized her with a Good Neighbor Award for her devoted and hard work in the Community.

Eugene Robinson
The Friends of the St. Albans Library are happy and proud to salute its President, Eugene Robinson. Eugene Robinson, a retired postal supervisor, joined the St. Albans Friends group in 1994. He was elected vice president in 1998 and took over as president in 1999 when then current president, Dotsie Simpson, became ill. Except for a brief period of a few months in 2002, he has served continuously in that post to the present time. Gene, as he is known by friends and family, has worked tirelessly as a community activist and, in particular, as a library volunteer and supporter. He not only volunteers for the annual Library Day in Albany and the National “Night Out Against Crime,” he has also been a catalyst in arranging special programs and projects for both children and adults at the Library. In 2007, he organized the St. Albans Library Chess Club for neighborhood youngsters, 8 years old and older. He is involved in all the Friends fundraising activities to provide supplemental materials for our library and is a pivotal organizer of our Flea Market Sales weekend. When he first joined the Friends, Mr. Robinson prepared an exciting exhibit for the library on Jazz Memorabilia. In past years, he has engaged the Roy Wilkins Senior Chorus for fundraising concerts and he brought a wonderful Arts and Crafts Program to the Library for the community to enjoy. In addition, Mr. Robinson has compiled a book on the History of the St. Albans Community and the achievements of many of its residents. The book has been donated to the St. Albans Library. In 2004, Mr. Robinson received a Citation of Honor from the Borough President, Helen Marshall, for his work and devotion to the Friends of the St. Albans Library. His love for children and books, as well as his desire to help others, keeps him happily busy and engaged at our library.

Janet Maffei
When she retired 4 years ago, Janet Maffei was looking for something to do in her spare time. At her local library, the Steinway Adult Learning Center, she saw a flyer asking for volunteers to help in the ESOL program. She thought it would be a good way for her to help. Janet started as a volunteer, went on to become a teaching aide and last December was elected President of the Friend’s Group. Janet says, “Working for the library in all these capacities has been a truly satisfying experience. It is something I enjoy doing and helping my students has been an added bonus for me.”

ComIng up

pomonok FrIends sCrabbLe tournament
The library will be opened exclusively for registrants of our exciting tournament as they compete for super Scrabble prizes. Have a really fun evening and help support the Friends of the Pomonok Library. Proceeds will support this library’s programs and services. Preregistration required. Saturday, August 16, 5:00 p.m. Queens Library at Pomonok 158-21 Jewel Avenue Registration Sat. Aug. 2 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Wed. Aug. 6 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 7 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Mon. Aug. 11 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Wed. Aug. 13 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 14 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Donation Registration Fee $ 10.00 Adults $ 5.00 Teens age 12 - 18

s t r e e t Fa I r s
Summer Street Fair Season is well under way, and we’re still looking for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering for any of the following fairs please contact Camille T. Barrett, Community Relations Manager, at 718-990-8583.

Saturday, September 

35th Annual Park Fair
Forest Park (Intersection of Myrtle Ave. & Park Lane South) (Richmond Hill) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, September 1

23rd Annual Music & Art Festival (Rockaway Festival)
Gateway National Recreation Area, Historic Jacob Riis Park, Breezy Point, NY 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday, September 

36th Avenue Astoria Festival
36th Avenue from 35th to 29th Street (Astoria) 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday, September 20

Woodside Festival

Saturday, September 
(Howard Beach) 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Community Day in Lindenwood hosted by Councilman Addabbo

Woodside Ave. from 63rd St. to Roosevelt Ave. (Woodside) 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Sunday, September 2

Broadway Astoria Festival
Broadway from Steinway to Crescent Street (Broadway) 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday, September 13

Banner Day hosted by Councilman Tom White
Baisley Boulevard 157th Street 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Sunday, October 

Forest Hills Austin Street Festival
63rd Drive Festival (Forest Hills) 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday, September 13

23rd Annual Music & Art Festival (Rockaway Festival)
Gateway National Recreation Area, Historic Jacob Riis Park, Breezy Point, NY 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday, October 11

63rd Drive Festival
63rd Drive from Austin Street to Queens Blvd. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.


State Senator Serphin Maltese and City Councilman Anthony Como look over renovation blueprints for the new Children’s Room at the Glendale Library with Library Director Thomas Galante.

On the afternoon of July 30th the Queens Library also celebrated the re-opening of its library in Broad Channel. The festivities included a poem reading by local Girl Scout Theresa Rissmeyer (pictured in the front). Also on hand to celebrate were community leader Frank Galluscio, City councilman Joe Addabbo, Library Director Tom Galante, and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer. Both Assemblywoman Pheffer and Councilman Addabbo allocated funding towards the renovations at Broad Channel.

On Wednesday July 30th, Queens Library celebrated the re-opening of the newly renovated facility at Lefferts. On hand to cut the ribbon were Community Board 10 Chairperson Betty Braton, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, City Councilman Joe Addabbo, Library Director Thomas Galante, and Assemblyman Rory Lancman.


More young participants enjoying the Family Fun Day Festivities!

make a note!
The deadline for the Fall newsletter is October 1, 200 for all your reports, photos, all meeting dates/times. Friend in the Spotlight and Friends Around the World are recurring sections. If you wish to nominate a Friend to be featured, please send a letter specifying who should be in the spotlight and why.

FoR FURtHER inFoRMAtion, ContACt: 	

Tienn Wine, Editor Library Links (Friends of Queens Library Newsletter) Queens Library 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11432 Phone; 718-990-0817 Fax: 718-291-2695 e-mail:

3rd Annual Friends of Libraries Week
89-11 Merrick Boulevard Jamaica, NY 11432

OctOber 19 – 25th

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