Watch the 2015 24 Hour Read In @ City Hall

Watch us ALL NIGHT LONG (and into the day on Wednesday too)! Once again we are reading around the clock, if you can’t make it to City Hall to support us in person then check out our livestream. You can join us virtually (and while you are at it would be great if you can tweet, email, or generally shout it out from the rooftops).

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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Why Libraries Are Effective Instruments for Social Change

We have been advocating for libraries for years and it always comes up in conversation that libraries are “book warehouses” or that we are outdated in the time of Google and ebooks. This could not be further from the truth. Here at Urban Librarians Unite we apply a lot of Library Science to the work we do. These are how we see libraries DIRECTLY addressing some of the most pressing issues in New York City every single day.

Services to Older Adults
New York City’s libraries offer many special programs and events tailored to the 50+ audience. These include lectures, films, performances and educational programs that reflect the wide interests of today’s older adults. Library outreach staff regularly visit nursing homes, senior centers, and adult care centers to run programs and loan books and other library materials.

ESOL/Citizens/New Americans
New York’s branch libraries provide a wide array of services for immigrants and are perhaps the most trusted government institution by foreign-born New Yorkers. Libraries offer English training for those who are not native speakers, preparation for the U.S. citizenship test and computer literacy classes. The libraries partner with immigrant and community groups to put on a wide variety of events and classes, from financial literacy seminars to courses on parenting, health and immigrant and tenant rights. In Queens, the library’s New Americans Program (NAP) organizes nearly 80 cultural programs each year. These programs include festivals, dance shows, music events, performances and much more.

Early Childhood Services
Everyday thousands of children in New York City participate in engaging, structured, intellectually stimulating programming provided for free at libraries. Recent studies have shown that early childhood education plays an even greater part in development than previously thought. Libraries in New York City provide hundreds of free programs every week for all ages of children starting as young as 6 months.

Homelessness/Social Services
Thousands of homeless or at-risk individuals and families turn to New York City libraries for vocational and educational resources, health services, citizenship workshops, and food and housing information every day. In addition to offering these programs at library locations and on digital platforms, the library systems have partnered with the Department of Education, the Department of Homelessness Services, non-profit organizations, and shelters to increase access to education, technology, and community resources for all New Yorkers. Queens Library has developed an app called WhereinQueens which allows homeless individuals to find and access food, shelter, education, family, and social services right from their phone.

After School Services For Young Adults
Teenagers and young people in New York City need structured activities and a safe space after school. Libraries provide an open, free, inclusive space where young adults can explore interests, create art, prepare for college, get homework help, and have an interested and invested older adult looking out for them. Libraries provide active and engaging programming for teens for everything from technology, to sewing, to college test preparation.

Tech Training/Job Readiness
Libraries are technology training and job readiness hubs. They are working to educate the public in technology training and classes as well as providing direct technology support through lending tablets and wifi hotspots to put internet access directly in people’s homes. Libraries are providing small businesses with start up resources and training as well as providing competitive intelligence to entrepreneurs. Libraries in New York City have a direct and substantial impact on the growth of business in our city.

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2015 Read-In

This year we are doing the Read-In bigger, better, and more in your face. We have moved locations and dates and will be right at City Hall on a Tuesday and Wednesday right up where the city can see us. We are out there reading around the clock again from 4PM June 9th to 4PM June 10th on the City Hall plaza on the Brooklyn Bridge side by the subway stop. 2015 24 Hour Read-In Location

Why are we going to be out there again this year? Well, funny thing, we really thought this mayor was going to be different but it is up to the City Council to save the day once again. The mayor took back the $10 million that was added to operational budgets for libraries and offered up a quarter of what libraries need in the Capital Plan. This will once again leave libraries understaffed and scrambling and will continue the slow and sad deterioration of our public buildings under de Blasio’s watch (despite the agreement that the City would maintain the library buildings and keep them in good repair).

We are holding the Read-In to coincide with a City Council Stated Meeting and are already seeing great support from our elected official allies in the library fight. We are having a rally on Wednesday June 10th at 11AM to call attention to this issue and have a public showing of support for libraries from our friends on the City Council.

Speaking of friends we would like to thank our good friends at Brooklyn Public Library for being amazing hosts for the last five years of this event. We hope that someday the Read-In can be a celebration of libraries in the city but this year we have got to take it to where the pols live and draw as much attention to this as we can.

Please sign up here for slots at the Read In and to volunteer.

Please check out the libraries’ Invest in Libraries campaign for more information and details about the impact of libraries in Our Fair City.

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The Amazing Library Variety Show!

SaveNYCLib-Lightbulb-site-01Please come out and join us on Tuesday May 19th, 7PM at the Cell Theater for an incredible ULU Fundraiser presented by the Irish American Writers & Artists Inc.. This Amazing Evening of Entertainment will feature readings by such literary luminaries as Malachy McCourt and TJ English. We will also have traditional Irish music, hip hop Irish step dancing, inspiring librarian stories, and our very own Lauren Comito on ukulele.

There is a $25 suggested donation at the gate and you should bring your checkbook with you because Christian is gonna be working the crowd. This comes at a great time for Urban Librarians Unite. We are deep in the advocacy season, just finished an incredible conference, and are gearing up for a summer where we expand our Mini Libraries and public storytelling. Our organization is growing and we need your help to do so. Come out to The Amazing Library Variety Hour to see some incredible performers, have a great time, and support our organization as it continues to grow and expand.

For more information and to reserve your tickets go to:


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#signitfriday April 10th


BLAGH. Now the Missouri State Senate is trying to withhold 6 million dollars from libraries in the state for the NEXT fiscal year. Back to it folks, email the state senators and let them know how you feel about it.

You’ve got a chance to make a difference right here, so take 5 minutes and do it!


Are you in NYC next Thursday? Fantastic! Come to the Invest in Libraries Rally on Thursday April 16th at 9am and make some noise!

No petition yet, but this is a pretty gross budget cut.
Arkansas Times



State Senator contact info  

New York
Say thank you  to a legislature that did the right thing! 

National Library Legislative Day

Secure the Future of School Library Funding
ESEA comes up for a vote next Tuesday in committee WITHOUT school library funding included. You can help, if you are in one of the following states, call your senator and tell them to support library funding in the ESEA.

Tennessee call Senator Alexander at 202-224-4944
Wyoming call Senator Enzi at 202-224-3432
North Carolina call Senator Burr at 202-224-3154
Georgia call Senator Isakson at 202-224-3643
Kentucky call Senator Paul at 202-224-4343
Maine call Senator Collins at 202-224-2523
Alaska call Senator Murkowski at 202-244-6665
Illinois call Senator Kirk at 202-224-2854
South Carolina call Senator Scott at 202-224-6121
Utah call Senator Hatch at 202-224-5251
Kansas call Senator Roberts at 202-224-4774
Louisiana call Senator Cassidy at 202-224-5824
Washington call Senator Murray at 202-224-2621
Maryland call Senator Mikulski at 202-224-4654
Vermont call Senator Sanders at 202-224-5141
Pennsylvania call Senator Casey at 202-224-6324
Minnesota call Senator Franken at 202-224-5641
Colorado call Senator Bennet at 202-224-5852
Rhode Island call Senator Whitehouse at 202-224-2921
Wisconsin call Senator Baldwin at 202-224-5653
Connecticut call Senator Murphy at 202-244-4041
Massachusetts call Senator Warren at 202-224-4543

Talking Points:

Point 1: While reading and books are mainstays of the school library program, today’s effective school library programs are also sophisticated learning environments that provide the education and necessary skills to succeed in college and the workplace.

Point 2: Across the United States, studies have demonstrated that students in schools with effective school library programs learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized tests than their peers in schools without such resources.

Point 3: NCES data reveals that approximately 8,830 public schools across the nation do not have a school library and for those schools that do have a library, nearly 17,000 schools do not have a full or part-time state-certified school librarian on staff.

Point 4: Effective school libraries:
1. Are staffed by a state-certified school librarian;
2. Have up-to-date books, materials, equipment and technology;
3. Include regular collaboration between classroom teachers and school librarians to assist with development and implementation of the curriculum; and
4. Support the development of digital literacy skills.


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