Woodhaven Library calls attention to looming budget cuts
by Andrew Pavia
May 29, 2013 | 1310 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Despite the ongoing renovations and the pouring rain, staff of the Woodhaven Library hosted a carnival to raise awareness about looming budget cuts that could affect libraries in Queens.

Librarians handed out postcards addressed to local elected officials and had people write down why they love the library.

“The library has so many things that will help you benefit and do better in life,” said Anthony, a young library user who attended the carnival.

This year, the Bloomberg administration is looking to cut the current library budget by 35 percent, or $106 million, across the city. Almost $30 million would be stripped from the Queens budget alone.

John Hyslop, President of the Queens Library Guild, Local 1321, attended the carnival and sighted the need for libraries in Queens by the large number of children who attended despite bad weather.

“If the budget were to pass, it would devastate the libraries with hundreds of layoffs and branch closures,” said John Hyslop, president of Queens Library Guild Local 1321.

Hyslop said it's possible some branches would be only be able to open their doors two or three days a week. He said every year the library loses funding.

“We’ve lost over 200 staff since 2008 through attrition and layoffs,” said Hyslop. “It’s been pretty devastating these past few years.”

Parent Rebecca Franco said her daughter uses the library like an afterschool program.

“I love it in general just because it is a very welcoming atmosphere,” she said. “Five days [of service] is great, but more would be better.”

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