Budgets for New York’s public libraries are facing a proposed $106 million cut. Urban Librarians Unite, an advocacy group of librarians from throughout the city, explains that, “Should these cuts go through, more than 60 neighborhood libraries across the city will be forced to close, and services and hours at the remaining libraries will be slashed. More than 1000 library workers will be let go, and public services including budgets for new books and materials will be severely cut.”
The organization’s fourth 24 Hour Read In to highlight the problem will take place starting tomorrow, Saturday, June 8, at 4PM and end at the same time on Sunday, June 9. On the steps of Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library, volunteers will take 15-minute shifts to read anything they like. The event includes family story time from 8AM-1PM on Sunday (between midnight and 4 AM, the organizers warn, “you should expect things to get lewd”).
“Authors in attendance include Joan Bauer, Melissa Guion, and Lev Rosen,” says Urban Librarians Unite, and “Council Members Van Bramer and Gentile will be in attendance and will be reading in support as will leaders from all three library systems.”
I’m getting in on the action myself: from 6:30-6:45 PM on Saturday I’ll be reading E.B. White’s Here is New York. I hope you’ll come to cheer me and the other readers on, or better yet, sign up to read yourself.