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The New York Public Library Kicks Off Its Annual Summer Reading Challenge and Encourages New Yorkers to Read 20 Minutes Each Day


Harlem Library to launch annual event with partners HSBC, HBO, Sesame Street, The New York Yankees on June 8 featuring The Jumbies author Tracey Baptiste


JUNE 8, 2017 – The New York Public Library (NYPL) is encouraging children and their parents to spend 20 minutes reading every day as part of its annual Summer Reading Challenge in an effort to keep young New Yorkers mentally active during the summer months.

“A love of reading can open up a world of possibilities for children providing insight into different perspectives that inspire children to think and dream great things,” said NYPL President Tony Marx. “At NYPL we feel a deep sense of responsibility to equip young New Yorkers with the resources and tools that support their success. Our staff looks forward to working with families throughout New York City this summer to offer fun and educational activities that encourage children to read and participate in their community.”

The Library will kick off the annual summer reading challenge at the Harlem Library – located at 9 West 124th Street – on June 8 at 10 a.m. The event will feature appearances by author Tracey Baptiste, author of The Jumbies and NYPL President Tony Marx.

The theme for this year’s program is "Build a Better World.” Throughout the summer, NYPL branches in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island will offer a wide variety of events and workshops around the theme, encouraging readers of all ages to find ways to help their communities.

Children and teens can visit their local library to formally participate in Summer Reading, where they will receive a calendar so they can mark their 20 minutes, and receive prizes such as headphones, backpacks, flashdrives, and notebooks for reading 20 minutes a day, attending library programs, or checking out books. Readers can also share the books they’re reading this summer on social media using the hashtag #ReadersUnite.

Those who complete the challenge will be able to attend Summer Reading celebrations in August, and are eligible to enter a book review writing contest open through August 1. Winners of that contest will participate in a pre-game on-field ceremony at Yankee Stadium on August 30.

Kids and teens can enter the book review contest at the Library’s Summer Reading site at, which also offers lists of recommended books for various age groups, reading tips, lists of reading-related events in branches – all designed to combat the “summer slide,” a loss of skills over the summer that can make learning difficult during the school year.

“At HSBC, we believe that our investment in the New York Public Library will help New York City children to avoid summer learning slide and discover a lifelong love for reading,” said Kelly W. Fisher, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC Bank USA.

The New York Public Library’s Summer Reading Program is generously funded by HSBC Bank USA; New York Yankees Foundation; The Rona Jaffe Foundation; HBO®; Richmond County Savings Foundation; Pine Tree Foundation of New York, Inc.; May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.; anonymous donors, and the continuing major support of the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Family Endowment for Young Audience.


Media Contact:
Amy Geduldig | 212.592.7177 |

About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. 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 To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at