Julie Sandorf, President of The Charles H. Revson Foundation on Supporting New York’s Libraries

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Julie Sandorf, President of The Charles H. Revson Foundation on Supporting New York’s Libraries

Several weeks ago, on a frigid, unspring-like Saturday, I visited my local library, the New York Public Library’s Bloomingdale branch, to do some work.

From the moment I walked in, I was inspired. There wasn’t an empty seat in the place. Young, old, middle-aged, black, brown, white—what I saw was a coming together of the diversity of our community, working shoulder to shoulder, side by side, truly in harmony.

Everyone in Bloomingdale Library was doing something positive for themselves. This is what happens when library doors are wide open. Whether you live on Central Park West or in Frederick Douglass Houses, we all belong at the library—the only public, indoor space where all are welcomed to gather, relax, read, work, learn, discuss, improve our lives and pursue our dreams.

For the last few years, the Revson Foundation has stood with the city’s three library systems to support this wonderful mission, advocating for the reversal of years of city funding cuts and increased investment. The Invest in Libraries campaign has been an unmitigated and unprecedented success—establishing citywide six-day service, extended branch hours, increased funding that allowed more staff to be hired, and hundreds of millions of dollars in capital investment for branches across the five boroughs.

This all means more for the people of New York City: more expert staff, more time in branches, and more programming. At the New York Public Library, for example, the additional funding allowed for the hiring of 60 new librarians for children and teens, which helped generate a 105% increase in early literacy program attendance. That means more kids reading, preparing for kindergarten, and getting a solid foundation in their educational careers...


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