The Queens Library Board of Trustees recent selection of Dennis M. Walcott, as the president and CEO of Queens Library has stirred heightened emotions at the independent, public library system based in Queens, NY.
Queens Library Board of Trustee member, the Honorable Augustus C. Agate, expressed enthusiasm as he reflected on his familiarity with Walcott, during a conversation with a Queens Library staff in Albany, NY.
In the State Capitol, as Walcott became acquainted with state legislators, Queens Library supporters did not resist expressing their opinion of the former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education from 2011 to 2013. Janice Henry indicated that she is looking forward to his leadership. Emily Banks, an educator and President of the Rochdale Friends at the Queens Library’s Community Library at Rochdale Village demonstrated a similar level of joy.
At Queens Library’s Central Library happiness and relief were exhibited with long-term staff and security.
Cambria Heights Community Library Manager Sharon Banks expressed optimism under the former Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development for more than eight years under Mayor Michael Rubens Bloomberg.
“We are excited to have our new president,” stated Adrienne Hawthorne, an Adult Services Librarian at Queens Library at Cambria Heights. “We have a person in place. He has hit the ground and is running. He has visited branches. He came to Cambria Heights Library. He was on the Queens Library bus. Everyone is very excited,” added Hawthorne. The direct engagement Hawthorne mentioned, Walcott has launched before his starting date with Queens Library, is indicative of what he promised in a commitment to Queens Library Chairman of the Board of Trustees Carl S. Koerner, Esq. and the Queens Library Board of Trustee.
“I look forward to working with all the fantastic, creative, dynamic staff and Friends and visiting every community library, meeting and listening to their ideas and participating in initiatives that make life better and richer for their neighborhoods,” said Walcott in a prepared statement.
Walcott’s noted belief in the mission of Queens Library, one he deemed a “great institution” comes with generous expectations. However, Walcott arrives with distinctions as detailed in his transformation of 1,800 schools with 1.1 million students, as Chancellor. and as Deputy Mayor “overseeing and coordinating the operations of the Department of Eduction, the New York City Housing Authority, and the Department of Youth and Education Corporation.”
Additionally, the life-long Queens resident held positions with: the board of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, the board chair of NYC for Public Education and co-chair of the Mayor’s Commission for Construction Opportunity. For 12 years he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Urban League.
Patrons at Queens Library expressed a sigh of relief with the appointment of Walcott, even as the legal battle between Queens Library and the institution’s former President and CEO Thomas W. Galante continues.