Guide To The Official Guide

BY NATHAN DUKE
Editor-in-Chief

Recognized as the world’s most ethnically diverse county where approximately 138 languages are spoken, Queens can be viewed as a microcosm of the planet that we call home.

According to 2015 Census estimates, the borough’s population is on the rise, with more than 90,000 residents – representing a four percent growth – moving into Queens since the beginning of the decade, bringing its total resident count north of 2.3 million people.

With a diverse and rapidly growing population, it is important for Queens residents to be able to have easy access to the services they require, whether it’s the contact information for their local elected representatives, such vital services as hospitals and police precincts or parks and playgrounds where parents can take their children.

Since 1991, the Queens Tribune has published the Official Guide to Queens – or, as it is also affectionately known, the Blue Book – on the last Thursday in January. The edition, which was conceived by former publisher Michael Schenkler as the all-purpose handbook to the borough, is a quick reference guide, phone and address book, list of borough-wide services and diaroma of Queens, but presented in newspaper format.

Within the pages of the Blue Book, readers will find a list of all of the representatives serving your community on the City Council, state and U.S. Senate, state Assembly and local community board. But the guide also provides a rundown of the borough’s post offices, cemeteries, animal shelters, public libraries, high schools and colleges, food pantries and much more.

On each list, we’ve provided phone numbers, addresses and other pertinent information, such as hours or website addresses.

The editorial staff at the Tribune begins working on the Blue Book from the moment the previous issue hits the stands. If an elected official opens a new district office, we make note of it. If a senior center or firehouse closes, we update the guide. We receive emails, phone calls and faxes asking us to add to our listings and every communication with one of our readers is a reminder of how important the Official Guide to Queens has become to the borough. We take that responsibility seriously.

Copies of the book can be found marked up with changes on the desks of the paper’s staff, but you’ll also likely spot it in Queens businesses and even in the offices of our competitors.

Although some might point out that the internet has made tracking down information a quicker and easier process, there isn’t a website in existence that contains all of the content of the Blue Book in one place. Plus, as those who have frantically sought a phone number or address for an essential service online to no avail can attest, information on the web is frequently not up-to-date and browsers often need to know for exactly what they are searching. But we know what you’re looking for and have compiled it in our easy-to-use guide.
The staff of the Queens Tribune is proud to present the 2017 Official Guide to Queens. We hope the Blue Book will provide with you with the information you need to navigate the borough. Please do not hesitate to give us feedback as we begin planning for the 2018 guide.

Reach editor-in-chief Nathan Duke at (718) 357-7400, ext. 122 or via email at nduke@queenstribune.com.

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