Jason Reynolds: Help NYC Libraries Get 50,000 Letters Signed

Posted by: yetheart, May 14, 2018 10:52 am
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Jason Reynolds

Thank you to Jason Reynolds for this message on behalf of our City's libraries!

Do you love your library? Help us reach our goal! We need 50,000 letters asking City leaders to #InvestInLibraries by Friday, May 18! Sign yours now by visiting speakup.queenslibrary.org.

When kids say they don't like to read, they’re not actually telling the truth. What they're really saying is that they don't like reading boring books. They haven't yet found the book that will make them fall in love with reading.

It's my mission as an author of books for young adults (including the National Book Award Finalist, Ghost) to write stories that kids actually want to read. Children—especially those that have been uninterested in reading—are often drawn to books that tell them something real about their lives, that reflect the world around them, that—crucially—reflect them, no matter their background or culture or color.

And where do kids find these favorite, truth-telling books?

That's where New York City's public libraries come in. Across all five boroughs, every day, kids are discovering the books they'll come to love, and much more, at their local branch. But our libraries can't live on good intentions and enthusiasm alone. We have to work together to help keep libraries a place of discovery and growth for all kids.

This Friday, City Council leaders will hold a hearing on whether to fund libraries. We are calling on them to invest in kids across New York City by investing in libraries.

I'm asking you to help NYC library staff bring 50,000 letters signed by New Yorkers to the hearing. Will you add your name now?

New Yorkers, kids and adults alike, are more eager than ever to use our libraries. Last year alone there were nearly 37 million visits to the city's libraries. But the cost to maintain free programs and services—to say nothing of millions of free books—has risen dramatically. Support from the Mayor and City Council is vital so New York City libraries continue to provide the essential resources so many New Yorkers love and rely on.

From homework help to ESOL classes to science and technology programs, neighborhood branches provide important, necessary services that help kids and teens succeed, and fall in love with reading and learning.

Going into Friday's hearing, strong support from City leaders has never been more crucial. Take 30 seconds now and send a message to Mayor de Blasio and the City Council. Tell them to keep investing in libraries—and in our kids.

When I was writing Ghost—a story of a boy on the run from his past and on his way towards a brighter future—I knew I was writing a story that had to be told. What keeps me writing is my desire to tell new and necessary stories, stories that that will inspire kids to tell their own. Join me in making sure all kids get the chance to visit their libraries and find the stories they’ve been missing.

No one becomes a writer without first getting lost in great books. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t had public libraries to support me. Let’s work together to ensure everyone has the same opportunity.

Thank you.

Jason Reynolds
For Queens Library