NYPL is giving away 500,000 free books to New York kids and teens this summer

June 13, 2022

Photo credit: Jonathan Blanc / NYPL

The New York Public Library will give away half a million brand new books to families, part of a series of programs aimed at keeping kids and teens engaged while school is out for the summer. The free books are available at all branches in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, as well as during select outdoor programs. In addition to distributing 500,000 free books, NYPL’s “Summer at the Library” program includes outdoor pop-up storytime, writing and reading challenges, and hundreds of free programs for readers of all ages.

A diverse selection of new books chosen by librarians will be available at all NYPL branches that are perfect for kids and teens 18 years old and younger. Select locations will offer Spanish, Chinese, and large print titles to keep. Readers can even pick up a special NYPL bookplate to personalize their new book.

“We are particularly excited about the book giveaway this year. There is evidence that being surrounded by books in one’s home positively impacts literacy levels, including kindergarten preparedness,” Brian Bannon, NYPL’s Merryl and James Tisch Director of Branch Libraries and Education, said.

“So in addition to loaning millions of books, we are giving families the opportunity to keep titles in their homes, building their own learning libraries and a deeper connection with The New York Public Library. We hope to see everyone in one of our branches soon.”

The library is also offering free events and programs for babies and toddlers, kids, teens, and adults all summer long, from baby lapsit programs and podcasting workshops to job search help and citizenship classes.

Outdoor storytimes will be held outside of several branches, as well as in parks, laundromats, and other spots. The NYPL bookmobile will also be on the move this summer, bringing a variety of books to borrow to different communities.

NYPL librarians have also put together a list of staff picks for summer reads for adults, kids, and teens. Learn more about NYPL’s Summer at the Library here.


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