When I visited with the Save NYC Libraries Campaign this spring, they were planning a series of events in early June to raise awareness of their efforts to, well, save NYC Libraries from further absurd, crippling budget cuts proposed by the Bloomberg administration. At the meeting I attended, the librarians weren’t prepared to talk about the event they had planned for the NYPL, but now it can be told: this Saturday, at 2pm, they’ll be hugging the library—that is, forming a human chain, hundreds of people long, around the main branch, on Bryant Park, the one with the lions. If you participate in the hug, you will probably be placed next to a shyly adorable committed library supporter with messy hair and canvas shoes and have a great story to tell your kids.
You also have an opportunity to participate in the other marquee event of the campaign, the Saturday following. The second annual 24-Hour Read In, at the central Grand Army Plaza branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, will, like last year’s, feature library patrons of all kinds reading in shifts from across the library’s collection, from fiction and poetry to local authors and kid-lit. You can still sign up: slots are still available, we’re told, in the wee small hours of the morning, and in the family-friendly 8am-12pm shift on Sunday, alongside local children’s and YA authors (who are often seen reading to and interacting with their young fans at your local library).
As the city’s three library systems face the prospects of dire service cuts, the City Council’s response to Bloomberg’s latest budget proposal says “the City should act to stabilize service, and provide adequate funding for the systems to do so.” Write your City Councilperson and tell them you agree.