Queens Borough Public Library

The Queens Borough Public Library, also known as the Queens Library, is the public library for the Borough of Queens and one of three library systems serving New York City. It is the No. 1 library system in the United States by circulation, having loaned 21 million items in the 2007 fiscal year. [cite news|title=Public Library Data Service Statistical Report 2007|author=American Library Association|date=08-2007|url=http://www.pla.org/ala/pla/plapubs/pldsstatreport/pldsstatistical.cfm]

Dating back to the foundation of the first Queens library in Flushing in 1858, QBPL has become one of the largest public library systems in the United States, comprising some 63 branches throughout the borough. Since 1994, it has had high annual circulation, and it is the second largest library in the country in terms of the size of its collection. QBPL serves Queens' population of more than 2.2 million, including one of the largest immigrant populations in the country. Consequently, a large percentage of QBPL's collections are in non-English languages, particularly SpanishFact|date=July 2008. QBPL is separate both from the New York Public Library, which covers Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island, and the Brooklyn Public Library, which covers that borough alone.


The first library in Queens was founded in 1858 in Flushing as a subscription service. It became a free circulation library in 1869.

In the late 19th century, several local libraries were founded in western Queens. The libraries in Astoria, Long Island City and Steinway formed the Long Island City Public Library in 1896, becoming Queens' first multi-branch library.

In 1901, shortly after the consolidation of Queens into New York City, the city government proposed a new charter joining all libraries in Queens into the Queens Borough Public Library. All of the public libraries signed on, except for Flushing, which remained independent until 1903.

Due to the wide variation in population density in Queens, in 1906, the QBPL established small branches in store-fronts and shopping areas under the Traveling Library program. These branches were such a success, QBPL grew swiftly, eventually opening major branches in almost every Queens neighborhood. On April 17, 2007, Queens Library celebrated 100 years of Incorporation.

During 2006, more than 14 million individuals visited the library.


Queens Library is governed by a 19-member Board of Trustees, which are appointed by the Mayor of New York City and the Borough President of Queens. The mayor, borough president, the New York City Comptroller and the New York Public Advocate sit on the board as "ex officio" members. [ [http://www.queenslibrary.org/index.aspx?page_nm=Annual_Report05_Trustee Queens Library Board of Trustees] , Queens Library. Accessed September 16, 2007.] The library is funded by the City, state and federal grants, and through private philanthropy. The current director of the Queens Library is Thomas Galante.

Other New York City library systems

Queens Library is one of three separate and independent public library systems in New York City. The other two are the New York Public Library (serving The Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island), and the Brooklyn Public Library (serving Brooklyn).


External links

* [http://www.queenslibrary.org/ Queens Borough Public Library]
* [http://www.queenslibrary.org/index.aspx?page_nm=History Queens Library history]

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