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. Read those stories below!
Join the new Friends of Queens Public Library Facebook Group!
Thank you again to all the Friends of Queens Public Library!
Cambria Heights Friends
The Friends of Cambria Heights always come through! During the pandemic, the Friends put on a phenomenal effort, creating a new annual all-virtual Poetry Festival. They always help to create new and amazing programs. Just recently in September, the Friends helped organize our Author Festival, with more than 20 authors getting involved. Now it's October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Friends put together a panel to discuss current issues. The Friends of Cambria Heights always do an amazing job and are not just our biggest advocates, but also our close partners to make sure Cambria Heights provides the highest level of service to the community!
Kacper Jarecki, Community Library Manager, Cambria Heights Library
I can't imagine Corona without our Friends group. They are a vibrant, vital part of our Corona family and the Corona community; from holding awareness events (including focusing on eating healthy and recycling), to their incredible toy giveaways during the winter holidays, they truly make our world a better place. Thank you for all you've done, and all you've yet to do.
Rosemary Kiladitis, Assistant Manager, Corona Library
Flushing ALC Friends
The Friends of Flushing ALC support our Adult Learning Center in so many ways. Before the pandemic, through fundraising activities like card and craft sales, our ALC was able to purchase much-needed books and equipment for our classes and workshops. The Friends also volunteered during our registration for new students, offering much-needed translation services and support.
Since the pandemic we have counted on our members to help promote our online classes. In addition, they have become the model students for our teachers teaching online, helping to demonstrate or explain the activities for the other students. Now that we have started having some classes in person, the Friends have also assisted with recruitment and registration for these classes. In addition, they have represented our student populations at various virtual presentations for our library and community partners. With the help of our Friends, we were able to continue to provide much-needed services during these difficult times.
Gary J. Beharry, Flushing Library Literacy Center Manager
I am very thankful for the support from our Flushing Library Friends. Before the pandemic, the Friends used to sponsor a number of programs, such as “A Celebration of Asian-American and African-American Arts and Culture." They applied the grant “Diversity in Action” from Goldman Sachs, and worked with Goldman Sachs volunteers and staff to implement the STEAM program for kids.
For many years, the Friends had been taking good care of the plants throughout the entire building. Every week, members of the Friends would water the plants, clean the dust on the surface to give the plants a fresh look, and spray water on the leaves. Our staff often received compliments from customers on how nice and healthy the plants looked.
During the pandemic, they have continued to show support for the library. They inform staff if there are any unusual activities outside the building, to keep our library safe. Since Flushing is closed to serve as a vaccination site, the Friends plan to participate in street fairs organized by local organizations, to promote the library's virtual programs and other library services, and refer people in the community to use our nearby QPL branches. The members of the Friends of Flushing Library are the library’s eyes and ears. They are our connecting links to the community. I truly appreciate the support from the Friends.
Yang Zeng, Director, Flushing Library