Tuesday, June 8, 2010

NYLM--We Will Not Be Shushed (24 Hour Read-In)

The three public library systems in New York City serve the 8 million residents that live in the boroughs from various locations. The use of the public library has drastically increased after the effects of the economic crisis. The public are now looking towards their local library for access to information, resources, and programs that are necessary to carry out important tasks set out in front of them—job searching, education, Internet access, and most importantly a reserve of books. In the coming budget for the year 2011, the public libraries face very destructive cuts. Facts show that "Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget for FY’11 calls for a reduction in funding of $16.9 million for Queens Library, $20.6 million for Brooklyn Public Library, and $37 million for New York Public Library". With these cuts, not only will the libraries suffer in terms of available resources, but staffing the libraries will become an important issue as well. With this budget cut, around 40 libraries citywide will be in danger of closure and 30% of the staff will be laid off. Programs that New Yorkers use daily will also be eliminated with this budget cut. These programs include assistance with job searching, tutoring, computer access, and instruction. Clearly this cannot happen. We ask you—New Yorkers, librarians, avid readers, students, and lovers of the libraries—join us in this 24 hour event of continuous public reading to support the New York Public Library System. We will not be shushed!

With only a few days away, it's important to remember to sign-up and fill a spot for a BIG LIBRARY EVENT. On June 12-13th we will be gathering around the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library to take part in "a unified libraries effort" to preserve the Public Library System in New York. Come out and support libraries during our 24 hour Read-In. Register as a reader to support this event. There will be a voice reading in front of the library for the full 24 hours, so this means that we need as many people as we can to fill the slots of designated times. After you join, don't stop there. Help us spread the word however you know how—listservs, bulletin boards, social media, word of mouth, and find us on Facebook and Meetup. Tell your friends and family to sign up. To register for a 20-minute slot, e-mail: savenyclibraries@gmail.com. Volunteers are also needed to set up, break down, move tables, and lots of other odd jobs. Late night and early morning people are particularly appreciated! If you can't volunteer, don't fret—there are other ways you can help. We are taking in donations of art supplies (crayons, markers, glitter, etc.), signs and banners, cardstock, and of course—coffee! Apart from our Read-In we will be building a petition for the three library systems, and our goal is to have every attendee of the event sign it, as well as write a postcard to the City Council. We need to make clear to the elected officials that public library funding cuts and layoffs are unacceptable and must be stopped! We need to stick together to keep libraries open!

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