The Council of the City of New York
Office of Council Member Costa Constantinides
For Immediate Release
September 5, 2014
Contact: Shachar Sharon
Constantinides Allocates Funding to Improve Libraries
Astoria, N.Y. – New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) allocated over $860,000 in member item discretionary funding to the Queens Library. The funding was included in the City’s Fiscal Year ‘15 Budget and will be used for upgrades at the Steinway and Astoria branches.
Constantinides also allocated $5,000 to ProjectArt for programming at the Queens Library Steinway branch.
“I am proud to have allocated funding to further improve our district’s library branches,” said Constantinides. “Our libraries are the keystone of our educational system. They provide valuable services to the public regardless of age, economic status, or stage in life. As the Chair of the Council Sub-Committee on Libraries, I am honored that our two branches will soon better serve our residents and that we were able to widen the reach of the Queens Library into an underserved part of the district.”
Constantinides allocated $200,000 for a self check-in book vestibule at the Astoria branch and $655,000 for upgrades at the Steinway branch that include a new elevator, lighting, security upgrades, and new furniture. He also provided $6,000 for a mobile outreach program at the Astoria branch. The program will lend iPads to the branch and include a mobile outreach team that will ensure that NYCHA Astoria Houses tenants and other area residents have access to modern technology.
The $5,000 ProjectAct allocation will be used for free after-school hands-on drawing lessons at the Steinway branch for children that don’t have adequate access to arts education. ProjectArt partners with public libraries across the city and offers a project-based model of arts education that lets children express themselves constructively and set goals that address their technical and critical thinking skills. The classes will be available from October 7 through December 9 of this year and February 3 through April 9 of 2015.
“Thanks to support from Council Member Constantinides, customers at Astoria Community Library will be able to return materials 24/7 at an automated kiosk and patrons at Steinway Community Library will enjoy a greatly enhanced and renovated library that is accessible to all. These funds will also help close the digital divide by creating a one-of-a-kind library based iPad lending and learning program for Astoria Houses. Support for community libraries equals investing in education and stronger communities. The Queens Library joins the whole community in thanking the Council Member for his leadership and commitment to bettering neighborhood based library services,” said Thomas W. Galante, President and CEO, Queens Library.
Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Sub-Committee on Libraries and sits on seven standing committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Environmental Protection, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.