This Library Gives Kids and Teens Books for Summer Reading

Nurturing a love of reading.

New York Public Library is giving free books to kids and teens.

(Jonathan Blanc / NYPL)

The New York City Public library (NYPL)  is over 100 years old and one of the largest in the world with books and programming for city residents of all ages. This summer the library is doing  something very special to keep kids and teens reading over the school vacation by giving away 500,000 librarian approved books.  

According to CNN, the books are available in 92 locations throughout Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. There are books available for infants to teens that are sure to encourage a love of reading.Some of these locations will also offer Chinese and Spanish editions of the books. The NYPL program runs from June 9 to the end of the summer.

The importance of owning books
One would think that a library would not be interested in giving away books to keep. The goal of the library  – like the goal of a museum –  is to provide access for as many people as possible. But the library board knows that growing up in a house with books is educationally  important and is working to make that a reality for the city’s children.

Children who own books are six times more likely to read above their grade level, three times as likely to enjoy reading, and twice as likely to think reading is cool, according to the UK National Literacy Trust.

In fact, a study by Dr. Joanna Sokora of the Australian National University found that for teens, owning books boosts literacy and numeracy regardless of parental education or the students’ own academic achievements. That is to say, having books in the house helps young adults no matter their educational or social circumstances.

More than just books
Libraries are also places for people to gather and learn and build community. They go beyond books. According to The Thrillest, all 92 New York City Public Library locations will also host summer activities and programming. Some of these programs include summer reading contests, book recommendations, outdoor popup events throughout the city, teen podcasting workshops, and more fun ways to keep learning over the summer break.

The reasons for the summer book giveaway are clear. “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, the director of branch libraries and education at the NYPL explained the Library’s reasoning in a press release.

So if you are a New York City resident, head out to your local public library with your kids and get busy with summer reading. 

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