BY JOE MARVILLI
It is a new day at the Queens Library, as Bridget Quinn Carey has taken over as interim president and CEO.
Quinn Carey, who served as the library’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, moved up after the Board of Trustees, featuring several new members, approved a motion on Sept. 11 to put Thomas Galante on paid administrative leave. Galante had been at the center of controversy surrounding the Queens Library this year, due to his salary and outside activities.
Before joining the Queens Library, Quinn Carey was the director of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System. She is also a former member and chair of the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries.
Quinn Carey said she was happy to be named as the interim CEO for the Queens Library, stating that she plans to move the library past its troubles by promoting all the programs it offers for Queens residents.
“This is an amazing institution and a library I’m passionate about. To be asked to lead is an honor and a privilege,” she said. “I think we really are looking forward to focusing on all the wonderful programs we offer for the community. By introducing things like expanded early-learning opportunities, that really demonstrates that the library is moving forward. We’re looking to a bright future.”
Those early learning programs are for both children and their families, applying mainly to those younger than 5 years old. The Queens Library is part of the Early Childhood Literacy Initiative, along with the Brooklyn Public Library and the New York Public Library systems. It is also launching new programs like Family Place, an interactive learning experience that kids and parents/caretakers can share.
“Parents and caregivers are the first teachers, so we want them to know not only what the library has to offer, but what the community has to offer,” she said.
One of Quinn Carey’s stated first goals is to look at increasing transparency and communication between the library and the public. At the same meeting where Galante was put on leave, the Board of Trustees voted in favor of giving Comptroller Scott Stringer full access to all financial documents he requested for his audit. A more open library is something that Quinn Carey plans to look into.
“We can certainly look to provide more information about what we do. I’m looking at how to enhance access to that information,” she said. “That’s one of my first orders of business, to take a comprehensive review of how we [reveal information].”
In terms of technology, Quinn Carey said that the library’s mobile tablet application and platform have been very successful so far. She added that the Nexus tablets available for rent at eight south Queens and Rockaway locations will soon spread to all of the Borough’s branches, hopefully by the end of the year.
The renovation of existing branches and the construction of new ones will continue under Quinn Carey’s leadership. She said that many branches need upgrades or expansions to serve their communities.
“A lot of libraries are on the small side. A lot of those facilities aren’t big enough to serve. Some of them are complete renovations or new builds,” she said. “The capital program is still ongoing. That not only enables us to better serve our community, but it makes our buildings more energy-efficient.”
Quinn Carey added that the Queens Library also plans to discuss the needs of each neighborhood with civic leaders, such as the community boards and friends groups, to make sure it is serving Queens residents the best it can. She said the library is looking forward to continuing its important role as part of the Queens community.
“The future of the Queens Library is bright and we look forward to continuing to bring world-class services to the community and welcome them in to our community libraries with open arms and give them what they’re looking for,” she said.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, email@example.com, or @JoeMarvilli.