PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Who says an all-nighter at the library can’t be fun?
Book lovers of all stripes are invited to the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library this weekend for a 24-hour “read-in” — a marathon of public, outdoor reading events aimed at bringing awareness to library budget issues.
The day will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday with a performance by the punk rock marching band Rude Mechanical Orchestra, followed by readings by authors including Lev Grossman and Amy Sohn. After the sun goes down, things will heat up with erotica readings from midnight until 2 a.m. and ghost stories from 2 to 3 a.m. All readings will take place outside, in front of the Grand Army Plaza branch.
“It’s a way of highlighting the role of libraries in the city,” said Christian Zabriskie, a staff member at the Laurelton Community Library and founder of Urban Librarians Unite, the group organizing the read-in. He said the library system has “absorbed a lot of hits” financially over the years, with library budgets down 20 percent citywide since 2008.
“There’s not a threat of library closures right now, which is wonderful, “ he said. “However, [we’ve been] baselined at a point that’s lower than it’s been in a decade.”
The group is hoping to push the mayor’s office to increase the library system’s budget by $65 million, which Zabriskie said would restore services at most branches to six days a week.
For those who want to join the event in its second half, family reading time is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. During that time, young children are encouraged to read to three teams of service dogs who will be on hand to offer “non-judgmental” listening to kids learning to read, Zabriskie said.
The 24-hour read-in will take place between 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at 10 Grand Army Plaza. Volunteer “citizen readers” are welcome to sign up for a 15-minute reading slot by filling out a form on the event’s website.