Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rikers Island gets unofficial New York Public Library branch by Alison Fox

July 27, 2016

The library at the Rikers Island correction facility has a wide range of books, including "The Hunger Games" series and "To Kill a Mockingbird." (Credit: Craig Ruttle)


The (unofficial) 93rd branch of the New York Public Library is now open for business — and you can’t take the subway to visit it.

That’s because the small-but-well-stocked collection is the first permanent public library on Rikers Island.
And the collection, which is housed in the women’s Rose M. Singer Center and sits below a poster of BeyoncĂ© as Rosie the Riveter, is as varied as the people who will be reading from it: “The Hunger Games” books share space with “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Les MisĂ©rables,” and an extensive James Patterson collection. 

“It’s amazing the city services that are available in the community; many of those we want here on the island,” said Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte. “This is a good step to introduce inmates to the value of education, the value of reading.”

The library holds 1,200 books — spanning everything from comics to sci-fi, from Spanish language works to nonfiction classics — and it will be open every Tuesday for about six hours each day. Read more...


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