Hundreds of Brooklyn Public Library supporters rallied outside Central Library to protest proposed 2012 budget cuts to New York City library services.
Library activists and supporters read from 4pm Saturday, June 11, until 4pm Sunday, June 12, on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library's Central Library. Through rain, cold, and driving winds, participants at the We Will Not Be Shushed: A 24-Hour Read-In read aloud in 15-minute segments to protest the devastating cuts faced by New York City libraries in the upcoming fiscal year. Readers took to the podium with everything from Herman Melville to Justin Bieber. New York City authors Barry Lyga, Marilyn Johnson, and Jesse Karp read aloud, while City Council members Jimmy Van Bramer, Vincent Gentile, and Brad Lander all read and spoke. Hundreds of library supporters stopped to listen, write postcards, sign petitions, and show their support for our libraries.
The Mayor's proposed budget cuts for the 2012 fiscal year (beginning October 1, 2011) will devastate public libraries in New York City. A total cut of $90.3 million, or 30 percent, will result in layoffs for about 1,500 library employees and force the closure of 40 libraries across the city. Additionally, most neighborhood libraries will be limited to two to three days of service per week.
Due to uncooperative weather, participants shivered under the shelter of tarps and blankets for the majority of the event. The sun finally broke out Sunday morning around 8am, however, just in time for four hours of family story time.
For more information on how you can join the cause, visit the New York Public Library's campaign site.