Queens Library Foundation’s Gala A Success

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

The Queens Library Foundation hosted its annual gala Monday night, where it once again received a great deal of financial and community support.

The gala was held on Oct. 7 at Water’s Edge Restaurant in Long Island City. More than 300 government and community leaders attended the gala, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The strong turnout was supplemented by more than $300,000 raised that night for the library.

“I think it was terrific,” Diana Chapin, executive director of the Queens Library Foundation, said. “We had great response from all our supporters.”

Proceeds from the gala will support the Future Fund, which is meant to make sure library materials and development resources for children are readily available.

The night’s success was the latest step in the foundation’s 25-year continuing mission to raise funds for free programs and services provided by the library.

“We respond to what is usually needed by the library to serve the public and the community,” Chapin said. “Sometimes we change our focus, but that is in response to what the community needs.”

Many programs concentrate on helping immigrants and children in Queens. The Adult Learner Program offers free services, resources and learning opportunities for those in the Borough who speak little to no English. Best Out Of School Time works to improve the academic and social skills of children ages 6 to 14. The Children’s Library Discovery Center, a two-story, 14,000 square foot building in Jamaica, combines the best parts of an interactive exhibit with all the resources of a library.

For their last fiscal year, the foundation raised more than one million dollars from 53 organizational donors and 2593 individual donors. As for the future, Chaplin said it is always prepared to change with the times and with the library’s program choices.

“I would anticipate in the future that we will continue to be raising money for services for new immigrants, for children and teens, for educational and job programs and for older adults,” she said. “Those are areas that continue to be really needed by the community.”

If you would like to donate to the Queens Library Foundation, you can do so at www.queenslibraryfoundation.org. For more information, call (718) 480-4273 or email foundation@queenslibrary.org.

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.