Giving Tuesday & ULU

If you are not familiar with Giving Tuesday it is a great way to lead up to the holiday of Thanksgiving and a strong response to the consumer excess of Black Friday. The idea is that on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving people give to their favorite charity. It has a nice sense of give back to kick off the holidays.

675We hope that you will consider Urban Librarians Unite for your Giving Tuesday donation. We are a 501c3 not for profit so all donations are completely tax deductible. Our org is tiny so your donation goes a long way. We are VERY grateful for every dollar donated to keep us afloat.

This year we have an exciting matching grant. Cabot Orton of the Vermont Country Store has generously offered us an $800 matching gift if we can meet that goal in the next two weeks.
If 32 ULU supporters give just $25 each we’d get to $800 in a jiffy!
If 20 people gave $50 each … we’d knock that $800 out of the park!
If 12 people gave $100 each … we’d do a super happy dance and jump for joy!

ULU is out there working for libraries all the time. We are planning our third Urban Librarians Conference, have a network of Mini Libraries out in the community, and are gearing up for this year’s budget conversation already.

Please make a donation today


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ULU Needs To ReCharge Our Batteries: Fall Fundraiser

Batteries and sunshine

Urban Librarians Unite has been growing in leaps and bounds over the last year. We have more programs, more input, more advocacy, and more trainings than we have ever had before. It’s been electrifying.

Highlights of what we are doing

  • Four Mini Libraries out in communities in Queens and Brooklyn. We estimate that we have distributed about 8,000 books through these tiny little library outposts.
  • Urban Librarians Conference. We are currently planning our THIRD conference dedicated to the needs and interests of working librarians in urban areas
  • Consultations – We are working as part of a team of architects scholars and designers to reenvision NYC branch libraries as part of a design study organized by the Architectural League of New York

As we have grown so have our expenses. We now have an office, a storage space, and an accountant to pay. None of our staff collect a salary from ULU and all of your tax deductible donated dollars go directly to keeping the org running and our programs expanding.

We have set a big fundraising goal to power ourselves up. We need to hit $5,000 before September 29th.

Please give us your support here:

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24hr Read-In Is Back, And This Year We’re Turning Five!

We can hardly believe it ourselves, but this June, for the fifth consecutive year, we’re hosting our 24-hour Read-In on the steps of the Central Brooklyn Public Library. From year to year, we’ve gotten the whole shebang a little more finely tuned, but our goal remains the same: bring library supporters together to call attention to the necessary, beloved, yet sorely underfunded libraries of New York City.

We achieved a big win last year when, for the first time since 2008, the budgets of the three City library systems–New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library–were preserved without any cuts. The 24-hour Read-In is just one of many ways that we advocates have kept the spotlight on the poor financial health of our City’s libraries. This year, we’re reading to demand a $65 million budget increase to bring six-day-a-week service back to all library branches across the city

The 2014 Read-In will take place from 4 p.m to 4 p.m., June 7th and 8th, in front of the Central Library in Grand Army Plaza. You’re welcome to wander by and listen, but wouldn’t you like to grab 15 minutes of microphone for yourself? Sign up here to claim your time spot and read whatever you like for a quarter of an hour.

  • Join us as we read around the clock to show how much New Yorkers love books, reading and literacy … and demand six-week service at all our libraries citywide
  • Join us to hear librarians, authors, illustrators and city council members share their favorite words
  • Join us as we honor our friend, the late Ned Vizzini (7 p.m – 8 p.m.)
  • Join us during the darkest hours, when the erotica comes out and we lovingly heckle each other (12 a.m – 2 a.m.)
  • Join us for an hour of spooky ghost stories (2 a.m – 3 a.m.)
  • Join us for a four hours of family story time (9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Sunday)
  • OR … join us just to come together and enjoy the simple pleasure of reading

Sign up here.

Posted in Read In

New Yorkers Love Their Libraries

New York City loves its libraries. People are passionate about them, they feel a connection to their libraries, and have a deep personal ownership over them. New Yorkers don’t like to have their libraries messed with. They want them to have more resources and be able to do more. New Yorkers love libraries and we are looking to our political leadership to support that love.

There is, unfortunately, a Tale of Two Cities to be told about libraries in New York City. There are flagship libraries and there are branch libraries and the branch libraries are understaffed, underfunded, and breaking down. The libraries themselves continue to do incredible work even in difficult circumstances and the staff are dedicated even when they are too few.


End the tale of two libraries by funding and expanding us. Library budgets are flat from last year’s budget which is down from the three years prior. While some are saying that the  budget dance is over libraries are still doing a jig. Yes we have been baselined, but we have been baselined at 8% lower than we were ten years ago and 20% lower than we were in 2008.

Libraries are the single most democratic institution in New York City. We are a bridge of opportunity, we are aids in time of trouble, we are a safe haven for seniors and a place of potential for youth. There is no door that is more readily opened in the City and there is no place else with so much to offer any and all who pass over the threshold.


It is time to talk seriously about branch libraries. It is time to focus on the community libraries that are within walking distance of nearly each and every New Yorker. We need more resources, we need more staff, we need more funding to shore up our infrastructures and provide modern facilities for our users.

Come check out our stories at the website where we are talking about the moments that librarians and patrons share. We are calling for an additional $65 Million in funding for the three library systems, six day service for all libraries, and new hiring at all three institutions. Please support this by signing our petition here.



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ULU Supports Miami Dade County’s Coalition to Save our Libraries

Urban Librarians Unite stands with the Miami Coalition to Save Our Libraries. The current funding proposal for Miami Libraries is wholly inadequate to fund and staff a library for a major city American urban center. Miami is one of the great cities of the world, its residents deserve a world class library system.

The plan presented by Mayor Gimenez to the Blue Ribbon Task Force and the County Commission is wholly inadequate to funding a 21st century metropolitan library system. These are politically expeditious plans which do not serve the needs or interests of the people of Miami

There are two proposals on the table. The lower proposal of 30 million is absurd, and even the higher proposal of 50 million would result in unacceptable service cuts including:

reduction of service hours at 18 locations to 4 hours x 4 days a week
cancellation of interlibrary loan service
reduction of public service staff

We stand by the Coalition to Save Our Libraries. Sixty four million dollars is the only responsible funding level on the table. This funding would provide stable funding for the libraries and allow them to function in a stable manner. It would support and sustain current service levels (what hours the libraries are open, how many branch libraries are open, and what services those libraries can provide).

Librarians have always been innovators and given adequate staffing Miami’s libraries will be able to provide new and necessary support and service to one of the great cities of America.

We are proud to stand alongside our friends and colleagues at EveryLibrary, the national library PAC. Together we see Miami library as a place of potential, a place that could serve all the people of Miami. We know what libraries can do for communities and we call for adequate funding for Miami Libraries to achieve the potential of a modern urban public library.

Urban Librarians Unite

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