New Yorkers: help defend local libraries at June 8-9's Read In

Libraries in New York City are facing a potential $106 million cut to their budgets. Should these cuts go through, more than 60 neighborhood libraries will close. More than a thousand librarians and library staff will be laid off.

Once again, for a fourth year, New Yorkers will be standing up for libraries at the 24 Hour Read In, which takes place from June 8th & 9th at the gorgeous Brooklyn Public Library Central Library. Poud library supporters will read around the clock: a literal full day of reading in support of libraries throughout the five boroughs.

These book-nerd activists go through a New York City night in fifteen minute shifts. Usually, about a hundred people end up reading over the course of the rally. There is a constant flow of words, and as a speaker's time runs out, strange fragments may lead into the next text in incongruous ways. Disparate voices choose disparate texts—a fascinating experience, just like the city itself.

There are still time slots available, around the clock. Sign up now and help us keep the library doors open.

NYC 24 Hour Read In Rules

Doing a 24 Hour rally outside in New York City which is open to the general public can be an interesting experience. We have a few, a very few rules which we ask participants to observe.
• No porn during storytime. 8AM - 1PM on Sunday June 9th is Family Storytime. If you want to rock a robot voice for the kiddies for your 15 minutes we think that is awesome. Please leave Shades of Grey for
• The Dark Hours, Midnight to 4AM. Things can get pretty racy. As it gets later the stories get dirtier and hecklers may chime in with crib notes and commentary.
• Please show up 15 minutes before your 15 minute reading slot, and read for your full 15 minutes, but only for 15 minutes.
• Don’t show up drunk or high. We will give your slot to someone else.
• Please just read, with no speeches or polemics. If members of the City Council, the heads of Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Queens Library can refrain from oratory, so can you.

That’s it, no more rules. Come out, be a book activist, drink some coffee, eat some pizza, share your special book with the world, and stand up for libraries in New York City which are facing cuts of more than $106 million. If these cuts go through, more than 60 libraries will be closed across the city and more than 1,000 librarians and library staff will be laid off.



  1. The library model needs to be updated.  Libraries shouldn’t be closed- they should be re-purposed into business centers / co-working spaces, so that people can meet, and use the information they already have access to (digitally).

    1. News flash: Libraries do exactly what you say they should, with the added service of providing access to far more content (digital and analog) than you can access online solo.  It is these updated models of libraries which are threatened.  Nobody is going back in time and closing the 19th century’s libraries.

    2. Josh, please visit our libraries. Come see the Info Commons at Brooklyn’s Central library, where public meeting rooms, a training lab, and an open workspace, each equipped with
      technology and resources to facilitate individual and group work. Or go to the Business Library, where services and programs that support you as you start up a business, do research
      on your business plan, search for a job, or look for financial information are available. Walk into any library and use the free wi-fi, access our databases or take a computer class and update your 20th century view of what a library is.

  2. The libraries could handle some budget cuts just fine.  Most librarians spend most of the day checking their facebook and looking annoyed if you interrupt their facebook checking

    1. That sucks, and I wish you had a better experience with better librarians. But with out having even those people, the buildings will close, and then you have no library at all. The proposed budge cuts would require enough layoffs to close over 60 branches.

    2. I’m happy to hear you have visited the majority of public libraries and can speak to the temperament and professionalism of ‘most’ librarians.  With all this traveling you obviously have no time to exaggerate.  Still I don’t follow your logic.  If you go to the library you must being finding something of value to you there.  If so, I wonder why you would want to see branches closed, or staff let go.    Also, other people exist, some of whom no doubt enjoy using the library, even despite the ubiquitous annoyed looks you so dread.

  3. In the depths of the Great Depression, not a single public library in America closed its doors.

     I first heard this tidbit  before google was a thing- and now it seems that’s an exaggeration- a few branches *did* close. But the overall trend was more branches, not less.

    I find it hard to believe that libraries are somehow less important today then they were then, or that depression was somehow not as bad as this one. I am troubled when libraries close for lack of funding, I think we are less resilient today than we were then.

  4. @Ellen- No need to change out of Dr. Bruce Banner.  Just having a conversation.

    My question would be why CoWorking spaces have been formed around Brooklyn (as an example)  … Wouldn’t consumers prefer using a free alternative, such as the library, over a paid one?  …Especially so if it also has all of the advantages that were mentioned (and more).

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