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New York Public Library gives away 500k books

Words by Smiley Team

Summer is in full swing in the US and with that, students are away from school – which means kids won't be learning until the new school year. 

In response, The New York Public Library is implementing programs to incentivize learning over the summer called Summer at the Library.

The biggest part of the project is underway, where the library is giving out 500,000 books free to keep for those that take them.

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“New York City students and families have been through so much over the last two years," said Brian Bannon, NYPL’s Merryl and James Tisch Director of Branch Libraries and Education. 

"It’s critical that, during this period of recovery and renewal, our ecosystem of learning do all it can to support and engage them.

“Public libraries are uniquely positioned to do this while students are out of the classroom over the summer months, providing quality, free programs to engage their minds while also getting them excited about books, reading, learning and their communities. After so much time apart, it’s time to safely come together this summer.”

What you need to know

The program started on June 9 and will provide free books to anyone under 18 at any library in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. All someone needs to access the books is a library card. 

“We are particularly excited about the book giveaway this year," said Brian. "There is evidence that being surrounded by books in one’s home positively impacts literacy levels, including kindergarten preparedness. So in addition to loaning millions of books, we are giving families the opportunity to keep titles in their homes, building their own learning libraries and a deeper connection with The New York Public Library. We hope to see everyone in one of our branches soon.”

Summer at the Library will offer more than the free books. As a part of the initiative, they have daily reading challenges with trackers and milestones, gift cards as rewards, outdoor popup programs in parks, and adult opportunities like technology and job training.

Inspired to act?

DONATE: If you’re interested in the program you can donate to the New York Public Library.

SUPPORT: Always look into supporting your local libraries and look into their ongoing programs.

Photo credit: Jonathan Blanc / NYPL

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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