The Rosedale Library risked reduced hours for the fiscal year 2013 because of budget cuts, but the news of it remaining open called for a celebration last Thursday.
Donovan Richards, chief of staff to Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton), hosted a party at the library, bringing seven boxes of pizza and soft drinks for the children and employees to enjoy.
Mayor Bloomberg had threatened drastic cuts to the Queens Library system, which would have forced branches to severely cut back on hours. But that did not happen.
The library is now a city-owned building. “One of the advantages of having a city-owned building is that you can build on it,” Richards said.
He is running for Sanders’ seat, so if elected he would like to make major improvements to the library, like that of the Far Rockaway branch. He wants to add a second floor to the one-story building.
The children said they envision more computers and a greater variety of books, after Richards prompted them to speak.
Elizabeth Eshun, the manager of the library, said she would like to see a separate room for teenagers. Oftentimes the teens and adults do not get along so well, she added, so a separate room would be ideal.
One boy, who was at the gathering and had signed a petition to keep the library running, said he wanted the library to remain open because “we’re going to make our children get smarter.”
Chris Manning, the youth counselor at the library, said the library is a great place for children because it gives them access to various activities and services.
“When you don’t have anything to occupy your time, you often get in trouble,” Manning said, adding that going to the library is a great way to avoid that. “I admire young people —they’re the future leaders of America.”
Richards was tutored in math at the Rosedale Library as a kid. He stressed the importance of the library’s services and education.
“This economy is rough,” he said to the children. “If you don’t have an education, in a few years when you get around my age, you’ll have a hard time getting a job.”