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Photograph: Jonathan Blanc/NYPL

NYC libraries are giving away 15,000 books for free this summer

Here’s where you can pick them up.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

The summer reading list is a long tradition and this year, it’ll be easier than ever to get it done.

New York City’s three library systems—Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), New York Public Library (NYPL) and Queens Public Library (QPL)—are partnering up with the New York Life Foundation to give away 15,000 books for free to New York families across the city. 

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How do you get the free books? They’ll be available at certain branches on July 28 and 29:

Brooklyn Public Library

Friday, July 28, noon to 3pm

  • Kensington Library at 4207 18th Avenue
  • Crown Heights Library at 560 New York Avenue
  • Saratoga Library at Saratoga Park at 112 Howard Avenue
  • Park Slope Library at 431 6th Avenue

Saturday, July 29, noon to 3pm

  • 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, noon to 3pm


  • 53rd Street Library, 18 W 53rd Street
  • Columbus Library, 742 10th Avenue
  • Epiphany Library, 228 East 23rd Street
  • Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, 455 5th Avenue

Staten Island

  • Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, 2550 Victory Blvd


  • Bronx Library Center, 310 East Kingsbridge Road
  • Sedgwick Library, 1701 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
  • Wakefield Library, 4100 Lowerre Place

Queens Public Library

Friday July 28, noon to 3pm

  • Arverne Library, 312 Beach 54 Street
  • Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard
  • Corona Library, 38-23 104 Street
  • Flushing Library, 41-17 Main Street

Throughout the weekend, and while supplies last, young readers can pick up books (in English and Spanish, and Chinese in some locations) to keep and also sign up for library cards.

This giveaway is meant to support New Yorkers in need and includes locations near Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers or shelters.

“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.”

This is the fifth year the New York Life Foundation has supported summer reading and learning programs for the libraries. According to the libraries, summer breaks without learning and reading can cause the average student to lose up to two months of instruction every year, and students from low-income families are, of course, more affected by this.

“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.”

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