We have been reading and hearing about various reports and allegations concerning the Queens Public Library System leadership over the past several months. Some of these assertions are quite serious and shocking. Although no one has been brought up on formal charges at this point, it seems apparent to me, and others, that more transparency and accountability is needed in this agency.
State Sen. Tony Avella is sponsoring legislation that will do just that (S7015). He has incorporated the ideas of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz as well as additional proposals of his own to ensure the library system will not come under a cloud of suspicion again in the future. His legislation would also apply to the Brooklyn and New York library systems.
I have read that state Sen. Michael Gianaris and Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry have proposed library legislation as well. Apparently, their bills do not go as far in mandating change and reform as Sen. Avella’s proposal does.
With little time left to this legislative session, it is necessary for all involved to come to an agreement that should include opening up the library system’s financial books for an audit by city Comptroller Scott Stringer. The agreement should also put in place other measures of oversight and transparency regarding the library’s board of trustees and the CEO who oversees this agency’s operations.