May 21, 2022

Queens Library Director Thomas Galante Questioned at NYC Council Library Budget Hearing

For past coverage of this ongoing story, our March 5, 2014 post, “Feds and NYC Investigators Begin Criminal Probe Over Spending by Queens Library Director” and today’s LJ article by Ian Chant, “Queens Library Controversy Expands Into Construction Investigation” provide background.

Two reports today about the appearance of Queens Library director, Thomas Galante’s at yesterday’s NYC Council budget hearing by the Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations Committee.

From the NY Daily News:

Thomas Galante, the embattled Queens Library director who is facing a criminal probe, denied claims [during a NYC City Council hearing] Tuesday that the library’s board of trustees voted to spend taxpayer dollars on public relations to boost its public image.

The board voted Thursday to spend $30,000 on an outside public relations firm, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions. That’s in addition to the library’s in-house public information staff. When City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens) grilled him during a library budget hearing, Galante said the $30,000 would be spent to “promote services.”

From The New York Times:

The Tuesday event, normally a placid rite, became briefly charged when Elizabeth Crowley, a Democratic councilwoman who represents Queens, lit into Mr. Galante, the president and chief executive of the borough’s library system for over a decade, pressing him to reveal what exactly went on in the closed-door meetings.


Mr. Galante strongly denied that any lawyer would be paid with public money, but stopped short of expanding on how a lawyer would be paid — or whether the library had hired one.

Additional Resources

Note: The hearing featured testimony and Q/A with Galante as well as the leaders from New York City’s two other systems: Anthony Marx, President & CEO, New York Public Library and Linda Johnson, President & CEO, Brooklyn Public Library

The Full Text of Mr. Galante’s Prepared Testimony is Embedded Below.

We will add material from Mr. Marx and Ms. Johnson when it’s made available.

Video: View the Complete Hearing (via

NYC Council Finance Committee Briefing Paper About Library Budget Request (For All Three NYC Library Systems) Embedded Below

NYC Council: Report: Libraries: Hearing on the Fiscal 2015 Preliminary Budget & the Fiscal 2014 Prelimin by LJ’s infoDOCKET

Prepared Statement by Thomas Galante: Queens LIbrary FY 15 Preliminary Budget Testimony

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.