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Library protest in New York as readers fight cuts

17th June 2010

Literature fans took to the steps of Brooklyn Public Library during a protest against cuts to the city's service.

The New Yorkers held the 24-hour 'read-in' as a means of highlighting cuts to state funding, which one of the event's organisers claimed would cause 'irreversible long-term harm to our communities'.

More than 1,200 people attended the event and every 15 minutes a supporter read from a different book as part of the We Will Not Be Shushed campaign.

Books included on the campaign's reading list included Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

'Library services are essential to the social, cultural and educational fabric in New York City,' the protest organiser said.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Meghan Cirrito, a senior librarian for Queens Library, said: 'People really don't realise what it's going to be like until the doors are closed.'

The library budget is expected to be slashed by USD 20.6 million, but other book depositories across the city are also facing cuts.

In the UK library cuts are widely expected as the government ushers in an era of public service austerity.

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