City Hall, NY – Today, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Council Member Linda Lee, and Queens Public Library (QPL) President Dennis Walcott spoke at the Glen Oaks Branch about funding for the city’s libraries and enrichment programs, like City’s First Readers (CFR), to support the needs of communities and literacy development of children.

In the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budget, $135 million in operating funds were allocated to QPL, including $12 million in proposed spending cuts that the Council successfully advocated to restore. The Council also allocated $7.8 million in capital dollars for QPL to fund facility expansions, infrastructure upgrades, and equipment purchases at its branches.

QPL also received $438,000 for CFR, a Council initiative to provide families with children up to five years old with early learning programs and activities to build and strengthen reading skills. In connection with CFR, the Speaker read Woo Hoo! You’re Doing Great! by Sandra Bounton with families in attendance.

Photos from the event can be found here.

“Libraries are among our most precious public resources and are critical to the well-being of our society,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “These resource hubs provide free programs that help children in their cognitive and social development and support immigrant communities through English-language classes. The Council is proud to allocate $438,000 to the Queens Public Library for intergenerational literacy programming in this year’s city budget. I thank Council Member Linda Lee and the Queens Public Library for their advocacy and leadership, and I look forward to continuing to support all residents, no matter their age, in their educational journeys.”

In addition to providing access to their physical and digital collections, the Queens Public Library offers early childhood programming, immigration assistance, fitness and wellness classes, college and career readiness training, digital literacy workshops and more at their branches.

“Libraries are more than just a place for residents to read their favorite book. Our libraries serve as centers for our children to learn and develop as they grow into our future leaders,” said Council Member Linda Lee, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addictions. “I am proud to support our public libraries and to join Speaker Adrienne Adams and Queens Library President Dennis Walcott to host a Music and Movement Class that serves as a fun and interactive program to inspire our kids to pursue and achieve their dreams.”

“Speaker Adams and Council Member Lee have demonstrated time and again their profound understanding of the role libraries play in strengthening our communities, and we are thrilled they could join our toddler class at the Glen Oaks library today, witnessing first-hand the impact of our programs on children’s growth and development,” said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “We are deeply grateful to them for their steadfast advocacy and financial support as well as for prioritizing essential literacy initiatives, allowing us to offer free access to knowledge and opportunity for learners of all ages.”