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NYPL Celebrates Summer With Free Offerings For Families

NYPL Celebrates Summer With Free Offerings For Families

The NYPL, which serves Staten Island, Manhattan and the Bronx, is giving away 500,000 books for free to kids, teens and families at all of its branch locations this summer.

Get into the spirit of summer with the New York Public Library's (NYPL) Summer at the Library initiative.

Families will have access to free programs and offerings throughout the season. The centerpiece of the initiative is the biggest book giveaway in the library's history. The NYPL, which serves Staten Island, Manhattan and the Bronx, is giving away 500,000 books for free to kids, teens and families at all of its branch locations this summer. Families can visit any NYPL branch to receive the books. 

According to NYPL staff, keeping kids engaged in the summer through reading is a great way to combat the “summer slide.” This happens when kids forget what they learned in school while they're on break. And after the last two years, engagement throughout the summer is especially important. 

“New York City students and families have been through so much over the last two years. It’s critical that, during this period of recovery and renewal, our ecosystem of learning do all it can to support and engage them,” Brian Bannon, NYPL’s Merryl and James Tisch Director of Branch Libraries and Education, said. “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.”

The book giveaway is supported in part by the Gray Foundation.

Features of Summer at the Library

Other highlights of Summer at the Library include:

  • Make Waves—Summer Reading and Learning for Kids and Teens: The Library’s annual youth reading campaign, sponsored citywide by the New York Life Foundation and others, provides school-aged children with programs, activities, and educational challenges over the summer.

  • Reading Recommendations: To get New Yorkers started on their summer reading journey, NYPL put together a new list of “staff picks.” These picks feature 100 summer reading recommendations for all ages. The books can be found at

  • Outdoor Pop-Up Programs: NYPL is hosting storytimes and outdoor reading rooms in outdoor spots this summer. One particular highlight: The library will hold storytimes and do library card sign-ups in Central Park as part of the city’s Adventures NYC program. Additionally, the library’s bookmobiles will be active throughout the summer, visiting various communities with books to borrow.

  • In-Branch Programs: NYPL is offering hundreds of programs and classes all summer long. Additionally, the library’s LIVE from NYPL series is hosting a citywide summer dance party in August. More information on that to come!

  • Programs for Grown-Ups: In addition to the many programs the library always offers adults—technology training, job search help, ESOL and citizenship classes, author talks, and more—there are some summer-themed programs available at branches across the system this summer, with limited book giveaways.

For more information about the library, visit or follow the NYPL on Instagram or Facebook

Main image: Jonathan Blanc/NYPL


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Barbara Russo

Author: Barbara Russo is a freelance writer who holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the City University of New York. She enjoys playing guitar, following current events, and hanging out with her pet rabbits. See More

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