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BPL to readers: ‘Don’t be shellfish, donate money’

Usually, the Brooklyn Public Library doesn’t ask you to dig into your own pockets unless you’re a few days late returning Huckleberry Finn or the latest from Stephen King.

But times, as they say, are tough.

Struggling to fund various language programs and special summer concerts, the BPL has set a fundraising goal of $300,000 and they’re hoping Brooklynites will give what they can the next time they pass their local branch.

“Your library is exactly that,” says BPL Marketing & Communications Associate Malika Granville. “Your library. “It does what you want it to do.”

This week, the BPL kicked off the first of its kind “Support Our Shelves” fundraising campaign expected to run through to May 31.

 “Brooklynites may be forced to tighten their belts, but guess what?” Borough President Marty Markowitz declared at the “Save Our Shelves” kick off event held at Grand Army Plaza on Thursday. “Libraries are still there for us. Through good times and bad, libraries are shining beacons of knowledge, places where you can fill your mind without worrying about breaking the bank.”

Other dignitaries on hand included New York City Councilmembers Domenic Recchia and Vincent Gentile, as well as Speaker Christine Quinn. 

“All the reasons you use your library are all the reasons to give,” said BPL Dionne Mack-Harvin. “Support Our Shelves will help to ensure that your library can continue to provide the free services and materials that your and every Brookylnite need to build a better and richer life.”

Library officials say they don’t expect local residents to donate huge sums of money, but every little bit helps. Everyone who does donate $50 or more, however, will receive a book plate - or special dedication - they can place inside the book of their choice at their local branch.

The Independence community Foundation has already stepped forward with a $20,000 challenge grant for the Support Our Shelves campaign at the Kings Highway Library. Currently closed for renovation, the local branch is expected to finally reopen in the summer.

Times may be tough, but the BPL is asking Brooklynites who can afford it not to be too “shelfish.”

          – By Joe Maniscalco

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