With all the talk about the Queens Library and the compensation its CEO, Thomas Galante, receives, it is important to not lose sight of all the good the Queens Library system does throughout the Borough.
The 62 branches of the library provide much more than just books, movies and music to the more than two million residents of Queens. The library system offers job training, computer courses and English language help to its members. The Queens Library is an established resource for both kids and adults.
Queens should take pride in what can be considered one of the most helpful library systems in the world.
While we hope that our readers consider the good the Queens Library system has done over the years, it is important to note that the oversight that some officials have called for is necessary to ensure that the library can continue with its contributions.
While Galante’s salary was a matter of public record, the extensive upgrades to his office while more than 100 people lost their jobs due to cost-cutting measures is an act usually associated with Wall Street firms and national retailers. The combination should not be attributed to a library system, even one of the biggest in the world.
The library’s board of trustees announced last week that it will investigate a series of reforms to its hiring policy and the governance of the board. The main reform that needs to be enacted, though, is to ensure that all of the library’s decisions are made transparently and with the best interests of its members in mind.
We hope that these reforms signal that the Queens Library system and its administration realize the need to maintain the trust of the rest of the Borough. Without that trust, none of their significant contributions matter.