Mayor Adams Proclaims October 4 #FreedomToRead Day

By NYPL Staff
October 3, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams at a lecturn with presidents of all three NYC library systems standing behind him

Mayor Eric Adams was joined by the presidents of the City’s three public library systems and Council Member Chi Ossé at Brooklyn Central Library to proclaim October 4 "Freedom to Read Day" in New York City.

Jonathan Blanc/NYPL

To commemorate Banned Books Week, Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday joined the presidents of the City’s three public library systems—The New York Public Library (NYPL), Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), and Queens Public Library (QPL)—as well as librarians and local teens to proclaim Wednesday, October 4 as "Freedom to Read Day" in New York City. The Mayor and the library presidents are calling on all New Yorkers to participate in a city-wide digital Day of Action, also on October 4, to celebrate literature, public libraries, the power of books, and the #FreedomToRead. On this day, New Yorkers are encouraged to post a picture of a meaningful book or themselves holding it on social media, and use #FreedomToRead to share why open access to books, information, and knowledge is important to their community.

The Mayor's proclamation comes amidst an alarming increase in book bans and challenges across the country in recent years. The American Library Association (ALA) recently reported challenges to nearly 2000 unique titles already this year, the highest number since they began compiling data more than 20 years ago. Preliminary ALA data for 2023 shows we are again on track for a record number of censorship attempts, including a higher number of challenges to public libraries. The majority of the banned or challenged books feature LGBTQ+ voices and people of color.

Mayor Eric Adams wearing a black sweatshirt with the words "Books Unbanned" on it speaks to two women inside a library

Mayor Adams, wearing a Books Unbanned sweatshirt, with Brooklyn Public Library president Linda Johnson.

Jonathan Blanc/NYPL

October 4 Day of Action: Get Involved!

Text reading Banned Books Week Day of Action, Join Us! Oct. 4 #FreedomToRead

Join NYPL at 10 AM on Wednesday, October 4, to show your support for libraries and the freedom to read during our digital Day of Action. Use the hashtag #FreedomToRead to share why open access to books, information, and knowledge is important to you or your community. Learn more about how you can participate!

What We're Doing

Learn more about what New York City’s public libraries are doing to protect the freedom to read and oppose censorship this Banned Books Week—and beyond!

Three men wearing suits and a woman look at a book display in a library

Mayor Adams and library presidents Dennis Walcott, Linda Johnson, and Tony Marx check out a book display.

Jonathan Blanc/NYPL