Monday, June 27, 2016

Drop in, read a book.

Visiting New York City? Bryant Park has an open-air summer library:

First established in August 1935, the Reading Room was a public response to the high unemployment rates brought on by the Great Depression. The reading room (really a row of park benches and some carts full of books, staffed by five librarians employed by the Works Progress Administration) served as a place where unemployed businessmen and intellectuals were welcome during the day, with no need for money, a home address, a library card, or any identification at all. Anyone could visit the Reading Room to enjoy the reading materials, and by its second summer it had attracted 64,624 patrons. The first iteration of the Reading Room was open every summer until 1944, when the program was stopped because many of the unemployed patrons had joined the war effort and re-entered the work force.

The Reading Room reopened in 2003 with expanded offerings including children’s books and literary programming, notably the “Word for Word” Book Club series, which Oxford University Press has been helping to organize since 2008...

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