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Read-In Rally Calls for Increased Funding to New York City Libraries

by Kris Venezia

Henry Solich, Flickr

New Yorkers Plan to Read for 24 Hours Straight to Support City Libraries.

Urban Librarians Unite is holding a 24 Hour Read-In rally to call for more funding to New York City Public Libraries. 

The group and the New York Public Library are asking for an additional $65 million in Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposed library budget. Christian Zabriskie, a librarian and Executive Director of Urban Librarians Unite, said the funds would allow public libraries to stay open six days a week. 

"We can't do our job if we can't be accessible," Zabriskie said. "We need to have more hours, we particularly need more hours on the weekends for working families to be able to use our resources." 

Zabriskie said public libraries bring more to the neighborhood than just books, such as access to technology and job training. 

"[Libraries] are not just about checking out a John Grisham novel anymore," Zabriskie said. "[Libraries] are much more dynamic than that, and the more time they have, the more impact they can make in our communities."

The 24-Hour Read-In rally features all types of genres, including a segment on New York City authors in the evening and ghost stories late at night. The literary event kicks off at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Library. 

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