Queens Public Library lost a well-respected and beloved member of their Whitestone branch last week.
QPL announced on January 23 that longtime children’s librarian Susan Scatena, also known as “Miss Susan,” passed away suddenly earlier this month.
Scatena organized an annual children’s summer reading contest for the past 14 years to get kids to read during their vacation.
If they reached the collective goal of reading 2,000 books, she did a “special stunt,” according to QPL, including sitting in a vat of spaghetti, kissing a frog, reading to an alligator, eating a plate of green eggs and ham, and more.
“During the 18 years she served the Whitestone community, Susan became an institution because of her creativity, thoughtfulness and total devotion to children,” QPL President and CEO Dennis Walcott said.
“She was a remarkable librarian who was beloved by many people in the community, within the QPL system and beyond,” he added. “We are deeply saddened by her passing and will miss her a great deal.”
Miss Susan began her career as a teacher, and later joined QPL in 1981. She has also worked at Poppenhusen and the Mitchell-Linden branches before moving to Whitestone in 2002.
Born on June 14, 1958, Scatena was raised in nearby College Point. She attended Monsignor Scanlan High School in the Bronx, received a bachelor’s degree in early eduction and a master’s degree in library science at Queens College.
Among her accolades was the prestigious James Patterson PageTurner Award in 2006 for her efforts to get kids to love reading.
Scatena volunteered in her spare time with organizations like the Village Light Opera Group, the New York Caledonian Club and the New York Scottish Pipes and Drums.
She is survived by her partner, Rick Stanley of Flushing, and their cat, Dewey.