*Reposted from Gotham Gazette. Written by John Besche *

On Monday, the City Council’s Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries convened to hear updates from the city’s three library systems regarding their programming and COVID-19 recovery.

According to the committee’s report, Monday marked the second hearing on libraries since they reopened in July of this year after COVID-19 suspended in-person operations for 15 months. The three systems are Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Public Library, and the New York Public Library system, which includes Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

New York Public Library’s Brian Bannon was quoted in the committee report saying “public libraries during times of crisis are the first to raise their hands and find ways to help, so the closing of our physical doors caused us to be more creative and open our doors virtually.” The Presidents and CEOs of the three systems — Linda Johnson of Brooklyn, Anthony Marx of New York Public Library, and Dennis Walcott of Queens Library — testified about exactly how they’ve done that and detailed the work that remains to be done. The hearing was chaired by Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, a Queens Democrat.

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