Printer Friendly Format Email a Friend

PR- 294-04
November 08, 2004


25 More Libraries to Open in Fall 2006 Bringing Total to 56

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, Robin Hood Foundation Board Chair Marie-Josée Kravis, Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) CEO Brady Dougan, and Scholastic CEO Dick Robinson, today announced the opening of 21 state-of-the-art libraries at elementary schools throughout the City.  The Mayor and Chancellor also announced a renewed partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation to create 25 additional libraries, scheduled to open in the Fall of 2006.  The new libraries will be funded partly by a $1 million leadership gift from Credit Suisse First Boston, which has now committed a total of $3.4 million to the Library Initiative.  The Department of Education (DOE) has committed $10 million to support the next round of libraries. Including 10 libraries that opened in 2002, this will bring the total number of new libraries to 56 since the start of the initiative.  The announcement was made in the new school library at P.S. 17 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and marks the continuation of the Library Initiative, a public-private partnership between the DOE and the Robin Hood Foundation to provide outstanding elementary school libraries.

"Improving student literacy has been central to our educational reforms," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "Thanks to this public/private partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation, we have been able to open 31 state of the art libraries to date, and will open another 25 in 2006. By surrounding children with books that challenge and motivate them, we will be able to unlock new worlds for them and improve literacy levels."

"Focusing on literacy has been one of the cornerstones of the Children First reforms," Chancellor Klein said. "I thank Robin Hood for their partnership and for their commitment to creating libraries for our City's public school students.  I also commend CFSB and Scholastic for promoting public-private partnerships as we improve and transform our schools."

"Education is key in the fight against poverty.  By investing in five percent of a school's real estate, we can affect one hundred percent of its students and their families," said Marie-Josée Kravis, Board Chair of the Robin Hood Foundation.  "A library provides a center of learning for an entire school.  Beautiful spaces, designed by the City's top architects, filled with the books recommended by education experts, with access to up-to-the-minute technology and staffed by trained librarians are destined to be catalysts for change."

"Robin Hood has led private sector efforts to improve school libraries," said Leslie Koch, CEO of the Fund for Public Schools. "We look forward to continuing our work with Robin Hood to build over two dozen additional libraries that will provide thousands of New York City's public school students with new, welcoming spaces in which to read and learn."

Stocked with thousands of books donated in large part by Scholastic and HarperCollins, P.S. 17 is one of 21 school libraries to open throughout the five boroughs this fall.  These 21 libraries are the product of a partnership initiated in 2001.  The Library Initiative's comprehensive programming includes the design and creation of expansive library spaces, the infusion of books and state-of-the-art computer technology, the hiring and training of certified librarians, ongoing professional and curriculum development, and strategic management consultation to build the capacity of schools to use the libraries.  Schools in low-income communities were the first to participate in the program.

CSFB has served as the lead corporate sponsor of the Library Initiative since its inception.  Other corporate supporters of the Initiative include Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and UBS.  In addition to this support, the Robin Hood Foundation has secured more than $25 million in in-kind donations over the life of the Initiative, including books, computer software, and architectural design.  Scholastic and HarperCollins have each contributed 1 million books.

"CSFB is proud to continue our partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation by leading the next round of fundraising for the library initiative," said Brady Dougan, CEO of Credit Suisse First Boston. "Because of Robin Hood's dedicated management of this initiative, our contribution will leveraged by the Department of Education and the Mayor's Office, allowing CSFB to have a greater impact on the community."

"Scholastic is proud to be the first supporter of the Robin Hood Foundation L!brary Initiative and provide access to books and library resources that are so important to improving student learning.  I want to thank the dedicated teachers and librarians who will utilize these beautiful new learning spaces to encourage children to become lifelong readers and learners," said Dick Robinson, Chairman, President and CEO of Scholastic, the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books.

About Robin Hood

Robin Hood works to save lives and change fates by targeting poverty at its roots. They find and fund the best poverty-fighting programs in New York City, give them management assistance to maximize results, and, through independent evaluation, hold them accountable. In addition to supporting groups, we partner with them to create initiatives to address unmet needs. Robin Hood's board of directors underwrites all administrative and fundraising costs so that every single dollar you donate to Robin Hood goes directly to programs that help New York City's poor build better lives for themselves and their families.


Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958

Jerry Russo   (Department of Education)
(212) 374-5141

More Resources
Watch the video in 56k or 300k