Magazine article American Libraries

Queens Borough Taps "Reservoir of Goodwill"

Magazine article American Libraries

Queens Borough Taps "Reservoir of Goodwill"

Article excerpt

To celebrate his 50th birthday, Stuart Applebaum, a senior vice-president at Random House, gave away $150,000 of his own money. The biggest chunk went to the Queens Library Foundation, which received a $100,000 donation. Charities chosen by the 50 friends who attended his birthday party each got $1,000 checks.

The largest gift from an individual ever received by QBPL, the donation came as a total surprise to officials, who had had no previous contact with him. Applebaum told American Libraries that he had determined to make the contribution some time ago, but that recent glowing press reports about the library's heavy usage and outreach programs "just helped validate" his intentions.

"There is no cultural institution that has meant more to me and my family," he said, noting that he had "spent some of the happiest and most informative days of my youth and adolescence" there. What also impressed him was QBPL's "very thorough and reader-friendly guide to boroughwide programs," which he requested while researching how to make his gift. From those materials Applebaum learned about the library's outreach efforts to latchkey students and homebound individuals, which influenced him to earmark part of his donation for a mail-a-book program for the homebound (in memory of his mother) and an after-school enrichment program (in memory of his middle brother). …

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