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The New York Public Library Kicks Off Summer Reading 2012 with Famed Diary of a Wimpy Kid Author Jeff Kinney And A Day Of Free Programming At the Seward Park Library


June 7, 2012— A day-long community celebration at the Seward Park Library marks the official start of The New York Public Library’s Summer Reading 2012 program, part of a citywide effort to keep kids reading over their summer vacation. On June 7 at 11 am, the streets will be brimming with summer readers signing up and enjoying live music, special guests, magic tricks, live animals, and, of course, our library lion, who will be taking photos with kids. The Seward Park Library is located at 192 East Broadway on the Lower East Side.

The day will start with greetings from Library President Dr. Anthony Marx and a talk by Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney. There will also be performances by The Lion Dancers, the KIP Orchestra and free programs for kids and teens throughout the day.
The celebration and registration continues all summer long in all of our libraries and online at our website All over New York, libraries will be hosting parties, programs, and celebrations for summer reading through Labor Day.  The website serves as a great home base for the program, providing specialized reading lists, reading logs, and a calendar of events throughout the City.  On Aug. 29, the top summer readers will be honored on the field of Yankee Stadium.
Summer Reading is project taken on by libraries across the country to prevent what educational experts call “Summer Slide.” This experience is unique to children and teens who don’t read over the summer and therefore lose a percentage of the literacy skills they gained during the school year. Summer Reading programs aim to encourage children and teens to read for pleasure over the summer so they can start school prepared to learn in the fall.
Last year, children and teens at The New York Public Library logged over 390,000 hours and read over 200,000 books for summer reading. Khadija Bhuyian, a top teen summer reader in the Bronx, registered over 800 titles. This year’s event will feature the borough of Manhattan’s top two teen readers from last year—Susan Ng and Devlynn Chen from Seward Park—who together read over 500 books.
The Kickoff will also jumpstart a new library initiative: in an effort to ensure that every child and teen in New York City has full and free access to the city’s libraries, The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library and the NYC Department of Education have introduced a new joint library card to all public school students in grades K-12. With this new card, students will be able to get their library fines and fees waived, and use materials at any library in the city. This card also grants them access to the Library’s new website, along with all of the collections and resources of the Library.
The New York Public Library’s Summer Reading Program is generously funded by HBO; New York Yankees Foundation; Hermione Foundation; The Rona Jaffe Foundation; Target; Alyce W. Toonk; Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services; Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation; Pine Tree Foundation of New York, Inc.; American Girl; May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.; and anonymous donors.  
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 the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. Its renowned research collections are located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem; and the Science, Industry and Business Library at 34th Street and Madison Avenue. Eighty-seven branch libraries provide access to circulating collections and a wide range of other services in neighborhoods throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English for speakers of other languages. All in all The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at