summer reading

NYC Libraries and the New York Life Foundation to Give Away 15,000 Books in Summer Book Giveaway on July 28 and 29 at Select Locations in All Five Boroughs

JULY 19, 2023—New York City’s three library systems—Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), New York Public Library (NYPL), and Queens Public Library (QPL) in partnership with the New York Life Foundation—are giving away 15,000 books for families to keep. The giveaway is part of the libraries’ annual summer reading and learning programs, which encourage children and teens to read books to develop and maintain critical thinking skills over the summer.

“Summer Reading programs promote children’s literacy and academic skills and help prevent learning loss during the summer months. This is especially important for low-income families that have limited access to affordable and quality summer programs,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. “With a goal of combating summer learning loss in children who are at the greatest risk of experiencing the "summer slide," the libraries’ annual summer reading and learning programs help young people stay excited and engaged in learning so they can begin the school year in September on-track and better prepared to learn.”

Books for children and teens will be available at select branches on July 28 and 29. Throughout the weekend, while supplies last, young readers can pick up books to keep at home and sign up for a library card to continue reading all year long. Books will be available in English and Spanish. In select locations, books will be available in Chinese as well. The initiative builds on the Libraries' efforts to support New Yorkers in need and includes locations near Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers (HERRC) or shelters, which have seen an increase in residents, particularly asylum seekers. 

 A complete list of locations is below.

This is the fifth summer the New York Life Foundation has provided support for Summer Reading and Learning programs for New York City’s Libraries. It is estimated that summer breaks cause the average student to lose up to two months of instruction per year, with students from low-income families disproportionately affected.

The importance of reading to young children is well documented. Children who have books in their homes and are read to by parents and caregivers are more likely to succeed in school. Conversely children who enter school behind often stay behind. In addition, children in low-income households are less likely to have age-appropriate books at home or adults who support early literacy through reading or singing.

At The New York Public Library, we are dedicated to ensuring every New Yorker has access to the transformative power of books," said Anthony W. Marx, President of The New York Public Library. "It is a unique privilege to support children and teens on their reading journey, providing them with wonderful stories that inspire and educate them. We are grateful to the New York Life Foundation for partnering with New York City’s libraries to giveaway thousands of books for young readers to take home, which will encourage them to read more and to visit their local library, where our dedicated staff can offer even more recommendations and new worlds to explore.”

“We know that growing up reading and with access to books has a powerful impact on an individual’s future success, and we are excited to help families build their own libraries at home,” said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “And we are grateful to the New York Life Foundation for their generous support as we work to instill a lifelong love of reading in children and teens and ensure they continue to develop their literacy skills during the summer months.”

“We are grateful to the New York Life Foundation for their continued and generous support of New York City’s young readers,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “Summer is the perfect time to escape with a good book, and reading at home prepares children for a successful school year.”


(While supplies last)


Brooklyn Public Library

Friday July 28, 12 to 3 p.m.

Kensington Library, 4207 18TH Ave

Crown Heights Library, 560 New York Avenue

Saratoga Library at Saratoga Park, 112 Howard Avenue

Park Slope Library, 431 6th Avenue


Saturday July 29, 12 to 3 p.m.

East Flatbush Library, 9612 Church Avenue

McKinley Park Library, 6802 Fort Hamilton Library


The New York Public Library

Friday and Saturday July 28 and 29, 12 to 3 p.m.


53rd Street Library, 18 W 53rd Street

Columbus Library, 742 10th Avenue

Epiphany Library, 228 E 23rd Street

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, 455 5th Avenue

Staten Island
Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, 2550 Victory Blvd


Bronx Library Center, 310 E. Kingsbridge Road

Sedgwick Library, 1701 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

Wakefield Library, 4100 Lowerre Place


Queens Public Library
Friday July 28 12 to 3 p.m.

Arverne Library, 312 Beach 54 Street

Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Blvd

Corona Library, 38-23 104 Street

Flushing Library, 41-17 Main Street


About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.6 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 65,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. And we give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.

About The New York Public Library
For over 125 years, The New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars. The New York Public Library receives approximately 16 million visits through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at

About Queens Public Library
Queens Public Library is one of the largest and busiest public library systems in the United States, dedicated to serving the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country.  An independent, non-profit organization founded in 1896, Queens Public Library offers free access to a collection of more than 5 million books and other materials in 50 languages, technology and digital resources. Each year, the Library hosts tens of thousands of online and in-person educational, cultural, and civic programs and welcomes millions of visitors through its doors. With a presence in nearly every neighborhood across the borough of Queens, the Library consists of 66 locations, including branch libraries, a Central Library, seven adult learning centers, a technology center located in the nation’s largest public housing complex, two teen centers, two bookmobiles, and two book bicycles. 


Contact: Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska,