Happy National Friends of Libraries Week! It’s the annual celebration of library Friends groups and everything they do for their neighborhood libraries.
In honor of Friends of Libraries Week, we asked the staff at our branches to talk about the special relationship they have with their Friends groups, and how their Friends have supported them and their communities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit our blog all week to read their stories!
Hear from our elected officials about the importance of our Friends groups!
Thank you again to all the Friends of Queens Public Library!
Just some of the Friends of Hollis Library’s activities before the pandemic:
- Hollis Library Friends Group Book Fair: The Friends sponsored the first Book Fair at Hollis Library in over 25 years this past December, encouraging the community's love of reading by offering inexpensive books in English and other languages for children and adults. The goal of the Book Fair was twofold: to raise funds that will supplement the library’s programming budget and to promote the joy of reading within the community.
- Caribbean Arts Festival: The Friends of Hollis Library sponsored and served on the planning committee for Migration of Colors, QPL’s celebration of Caribbean art and culture from November 2019 through January 2020 at nine QPL branches. The Friends group also sponsored two Festival-related programs at Hollis Library: a Caribbean Cooking Workshop with local chef and author Catherine C. Moore and a West Indian Labor Day Parade Mask Creation Workshop with artist Diane Ifill.
The Friends of Hollis Library’s activities during these difficult times:
- During the Library’s closure, Friends group members have actively supported and participated in the library’s virtual programs, including our Book Club, Poetry Workshops, and Knitting & Crochet Group. Friends member Judi Raines has been particularly generous to the Knitting & Crochet group by donating several bags of yarn to group members unable to shop for their own supplies.
- Our Friends group is very concerned with the hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Members are arranging to meet virtually to discuss the ways they can offer help and support to the Hollis community.
Abdullah Zahid, Manager, Hollis Library
Hunters Point Friends
After waiting for years to have an open library, the Hunters Point Friends group worked hard to support their library through recruiting new Friends members and providing sponsorship for our programs. While this active support was short-lived because of the COVID-19 closure, our Friends group has continued to be supportive of Hunters Point during this pandemic.
As a manager who does not live in the immediate neighborhood of her library, I’ve been fortunate to have a proactive Friends president, Mark Christie, who has been keeping a watchful eye on our library. Whether it’s helping us ensure that the lawn is kept neat and that overflowing garbage is disposed of, or alerting us to a broken light fixture, Mark has been keeping me and QPL staff apprised of the state of our building and grounds. These tireless efforts show how vested our Friends are in our libraries and have given me a renewed sense of appreciation and admiration for the Hunters Point Friends. And I eagerly await the day when we can all greet each other in person.
Euni (Eun Young) Chang, Manager, Hunters Point Library
Kew Gardens Hills Friends
COVID-19 has been the most challenging and difficult time we have ever faced as a country. But despite our distressing times, the Kew Gardens Hills Friends group still remains active and resilient. I feel a tremendous gratitude for still keeping in touch with active members. Ethyl Haber, Trudy Garfunkel, Barbara Noel, Jennifer Martin, Zina Zimmerman, Barbara Richter, Phyllis Gellman, and all others have taken the time and dedication to come up with program ideas and stay connected.
What I love about the Kew Gardens Hills Friends is their care and support of one another. Every member I've met is so patient, kind, and sweet. President Ethyl Haber had done tremendous work coming up with engaging programs for the community at Kew Gardens Hills even before the pandemic hit, and she is working endlessly to come up with new virtual program ideas this year. We are hoping to launch a new program on memoir writing during these unprecedented times we are facing. Ethyl and her members have maintained a positive attitude on how we will get through this one day at a time.
I can only wish for better days where I can see them physically and share ideas in our monthly Friends board meeting, but we still maintain virtual communication each month. I am so proud to have this group of women in my life and I feel very fortunate to have their support and care.
Susan Paredes, Manager, Kew Gardens Hills Library