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Queens Library gets pair of new trustees

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The mayor and borough president have begun replacing the six Queens Library trustees they fired last month for failing to oust its president, Thomas Galante.

Mayor Bill de Blasio named Jukay Hsu to the board of trustees last Friday and Tuesday Melinda Katz appointed Robert Santos.

Hsu is a social entrepreneur who was born and raised in Flushing. A decorated veteran of the War in Iraq, Hsu is the founder of the Coalition for Queens in Long Island City, a nonprofit focused on increasing opportunities and pathways for tech entrepreneurship and innovation.

“I’m honored to serve as a new trustee for the Queens Public Library, and thank Mayor de Blasio for this incredible opportunity,” Hsu said. “As a lifelong member of the library system, I understand the important role that this institution serves.

“I hope to positively contribute and my first priority will be to ensure that the Queens Library has the highest standards of corporate governance and fiduciary oversight, and remains a treasured institution that provides critical services to members of our community.

“Once that is accomplished, I’m particularly excited to think about the changing role of the library system and support its evolution, particularly as the digital age continues to transform our relationship with books, community space, education and access to opportunity.”

On Tuesday, Katz added Santos to the board. The vice president for campus planning and facilities management at City College has a long, wide-ranging career in higher education, cultural institutions, municipal government and construction.

“Robert’s extensive background in operations and capital construction, along with his experience as a COO of the New York City Library, make him uniquely qualified for this appointment,” Katz said. “His skills and commitment to public service will help steward the Queens Library through this difficult period and beyond.”

Like Hsu, Santos is a decorated war veteran, having served with the 101st Airborne in South Vietnam, earning two Silver Stars and two Bronze Stars for valor.

“It is an honor to serve on the board of the Queens Library and to join other involved and committed citizens dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the Queens Library system,” Santos said. “Nothing is more important to the health of a community and the intellectual capital of its people that a public library, and the Queens Library is one of the best public libraries in the nation.”

Santos is a resident of Sunnyside Gardens.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 9:07 am, August 21, 2014
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