In response to New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s executive budget for 2013, which would cut $96.4 million from library funding, ULU’s Save NYC Libraries Campaign is conducting a “book seeding campaign” in which 1500 books will be distributed to the public during the week of May 21. Each bears a permanent sticker which reads “Libraries in NYC are facing a 32% budget cut. When libraries close this could be your only access to free books.” The stickers bear both a QR code and URL for a website where citizens can sign petitions in support of library funding in New York. (Meredith Schwartz and LJ provided some of the galleys distributed.)
According to ULU, if the cuts take effect, they would result in the closure of 46 libraries, with hours drastically reduced in those left, to 2 or 3 days in Queens, and by about 50 percent in Brooklyn. The mayor and council have until June 30 to reach a decision.
“We have a whole new approach to the ‘controlled crazy’ that is our hallmark,” ULU said in a flyer asking publishers to donate materials. “We want to leave them on park benches, on the subway, in laundromats, in bars, everywhere.”
In another statement the group added, “They are meant to be a surprise, a chance reading opportunity. They are also a reminder of what is at stake.”
ULU founder Christian Zabriskie is one of this year’s Library Journal Movers & Shakers.