Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Free Festival of Family Events to Kick-Off Summer Reading at The New YorkPublic Library, Saturday, June 6, 2 to 6 p.m.


<p>Afternoon of Entertainment for All Ages Includes a Multimedia Show with Gustafer Yellowgold, a Break Dancing Extravaganza with Kwikstep and Rokafella, Gaming, Crafts, Magic, Face Painting, and More. Summer Reading Kick-Offs in Neighborhood Branches Start June 4</p>

The New York Public Library is launching its 2009 Summer Reading program with an afternoon of free performances, workshops, and games for audiences of all ages on June 6, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. Included is a multimedia performance featuring pictures and songs by Morgan Taylor whose character Gustafer Yellowgold is an endearing and mildly subversive visitor from the sun. Another centerpiece of the day’s activities is a break-dancing spectacular with Rokafella, Kwikstep and the Full Circle Productions break-dancing troupe. The afternoon’s events will also include face painting, magic, gaming and crafts. Plus, librarians will be on hand signing patrons up for Summer Reading. The first 150 visitors to sign up will receive a pair of tickets to an upcoming Yankees game. The festival will be held in the Library’s Children’s Center at 42nd Street and Celeste Bartos Forum, both on the ground floor.


Other branches throughout the Library will also hold community kick-offs including a “Butterfly Boogie’ program at the Bronx Library Center on June 4; a Latin Jazz performance by the Papo Pepin Quartet at the Grand Concourse Branch in the Bronx on June 5; Multicultural Stories from Around the World at the Countee Cullen Branch in Harlem on June 6; and a June 4 “Secret Lives of Bugs” program at St. George Library Center on Staten Island.


Every year The New York Public Library, along with library systems across the country, develops exciting reading activities to encourage people of all ages to read throughout the summer. This is especially important for school-aged children who studies have shown perform better in the following school year after reading during the summer months. This year for the first time the Library is challenging all NYC students, teachers and their families to meet specific summer reading goals—a proven and simple way to prevent “summer slide.”


This year’s Summer Reading theme is Be Creative@Your Library. Children, teens and adults are encouraged to sign up and stretch their creative muscles all summer at their local library. Each branch throughout Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx will have special programs, discussion groups and workshops throughout the summer. Participants will receive free booklists for their age group and in August each library will have closing celebrations in honor of all of the reading patrons have done. Participants can register in person or online at


Be Creative @ Your Library Kick-Off Activities
Saturday, June 6, 2009
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Balloons, face painting and magic tricks all day.


2 - 3 p.m.
Be Creative – Gustafer Yellowgold Concert
Children and families will enjoy a truly different multimedia experience featuring Morgan Taylor’s original storysongs. Named Best Kids’ Performer in 2008 by New York Magazine.


2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Be Creative – Make a Book Bag! With Susan Hale
Children will design and personalize their own book bags with craftswoman extraordinaire Susan Hale. There will be the choice of a variety of leathers, fabrics and gemstones to create a unique look. All materials will be provided.


3 – 5 p.m.
Be Creative – Game On @ the Library
Bigger kids will want to check out the Game On @ the Library gaming station with Super Smash Brothers Brawl® and Rock Band®.


4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Be Creative – Move to the Beat
Families will be invited to move their feet to the beat with Kwikstep, Rokafella and the Full Circle productions break dancing troupe, some of the best women break dancers in the country. There will also be a sneak peek at a new film about women in break dancing.


The New York Public Library’s Summer Reading Program is partially funded by Mr. and Mrs. Timothy R. Barakett; The Rona Jaffe Foundation; The Hurford Foundation; Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services; May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.; Friends of Webster Library and American Girl. The Summer Reading Program is sponsored citywide by Target and Scholastic.


About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. It comprises four research centers – the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library – and 87 Branch Libraries in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items, including materials for the visually impaired. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The Library serves some 16 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 25 million users internationally, who access collections and services through the NYPL website,


Contact: Nadia Riley at 212.592.7177 or