Brooklyn Public Library

November 17, 2023

NYC public libraries end Sunday service due to budget cuts

Public libraries across New York City will soon be closed on Sunday in response to budget cuts announced by Mayor Eric Adams this week. Under the updated fiscal year 2024 budget released Thursday, every city agency will see a 5 percent budget reduction, including the police, sanitation, and education departments, as well as the public library system. New York, Brooklyn, and Queens public libraries said seven-day service will be eliminated, including ending Sunday service at most branches that offer it.
November 16, 2023

NYC’s first 100% affordable housing development with new public library opens in Sunset Park

The Brooklyn Public Library and Fifth Avenue Committee on Wednesday opened the Sunset Park Library and Apartments, a first-of-its-kind development with 100 percent affordable housing above a new state-of-the-art public library branch. The eight-story mixed-use building at 372 51st Street brings new affordable housing homes to Sunset Park for the first time in two decades. Officials say the project could establish a new model for co-located affordable housing developments in the city.
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October 2, 2023

How NYC public libraries are fighting censorship

Book bans continue to increase nationwide, with public libraries now a major target of challenges. According to the American Library Association (ALA), there were 695 attempts to censor library materials with challenges to 1,915 unique titles during the first eight months of 2023, an increase of 20 percent from the same period last year. Challenges to books in public libraries accounted for 49 percent of all challenges, compared to just 16 percent last year. In response, New York City libraries are launching anti-censorship campaigns directed at young people across the five boroughs and beyond, coinciding with Banned Books Week, which runs from October 1 through October 7.
July 28, 2023

NYC libraries to give out 15,000 free books this weekend

New York City public libraries are giving away 15,000 books to families this weekend. The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library are gifting the books as part of the annual summer reading and learning programs, which motivate kids and teens to maintain their reading and critical thinking skills while on summer break. The free books will be available on a first-come first-served basis at select library branches on Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29.
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July 24, 2023

Brower Park Library reopens within the Brooklyn Children’s Museum

The Brooklyn Public Library's Brower Park branch has joined forces with another Crown Heights institution: the Brooklyn Children's Museum. After facing a hefty price tag of $5.6 million to make necessary improvements at its existing building, the library instead moved to the ground floor of the museum, according to Patch, with the branch officially open as of last week. Located at 155 Brooklyn Avenue, the library includes a main reading room, a community room, a colorful children's space for both reading and play, as well as an outdoor reading terrace.
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July 14, 2023

Brooklyn Public Library opens surprise installation honoring Jay-Z

The Brooklyn Public Library on Friday opened a new installation celebrating the life and legacy of Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, from his beginnings in Bed-Stuy's Marcy Projects to worldwide fame. Located at the library's Central Branch next to Prospect Park, the exhibition, titled "The Book of HOV," features art, images, ephemera, and memorabilia from the rapper's archives that pay tribute to his incredible life and career and highlight the ways he helped redefine hip-hop, music, and culture on a global scale. The experience is free and open to the public for a limited time starting July 14.
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June 9, 2023

East Flatbush’s new library is light-filled and inviting

A renovation of the East Flatbush Library has transformed it into a light-filled and modern space that will inspire visitors of all ages. After undergoing a complete renovation by architecture firm LevenBetts, the East Flatbush Library reopened to visitors this week. Located at 9612 Church Street, the revitalized library has achieved LEED silver status and features an innovative facade, windows, and skylights which fill the previously dimly-lit facility with abundant natural light.
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March 21, 2023

NYC public libraries say $36.2M budget cut will impact service, free programs

New York City's three public library systems are protesting Mayor Eric Adams' planned $36.2 million budget cuts in the FY24 budget. Brooklyn Public Library President Linda Johnson, Queens Public Library President Dennis M. Walcott, and New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx testified in front of the City Council on Monday, warning the proposed budget cut could lead to reduced hours of service and fewer free programs, classes, and other opportunities thousands of New Yorkers depend on.
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December 19, 2022

Here are the library books New Yorkers borrowed the most in 2022

New York City's three public library systems released their annual lists for their most checked-out titles of 2022. At the New York Public Library, the most borrowed book of the year was Matt Haig's The Midnight Library: A Novel. In Brooklyn, the top checkout was Laura Dave's The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel, and in Queens, The Paris Apartment: A Novel by Lucy Foley.
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September 2, 2022

Free classes taught by immigrant professors and experts return to Prospect Park

A "pop-up university" offering free classes and workshops taught by immigrant professors and experts from around the world returns to Brooklyn this month. Organized by the Brooklyn Public Library and the Prospect Park Alliance, University Open Air provides immigrant teachers, professors, and academics who were trained outside of the country a chance to share their knowledge with the public during free courses held outdoors in Prospect Park. University Open Air takes place on the lawn outside of the Boathouse in Prospect Park on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from September 8 through September 18.
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August 4, 2022

You can browse and borrow vinyl records at the Brooklyn Public Library

The Brooklyn Public Library is launching a new pilot program this month for music lovers. Starting on August 9, BPL patrons can visit the Central Library branch in Park Slope and browse, listen to, and borrow a diverse collection of nearly 400 records. The vinyl collection and listening stations will be in the New & Noteworthy room on the first floor of the recently-renovated Central Library. Teen and adult cardholders can take out up to three records for three weeks.
Learn more here
July 22, 2022

Citywide scavenger hunt tests your knowledge of NYC’s public libraries

Think you know the library? Prove it during a citywide scavenger hunt next month. Hosted by Open House New York, "Library Love: Five Borough Scavenger Hunt" is a challenging "urban adventure" that will have participants racing across the city, deciphering clues, and deepening their knowledge about the city's public libraries. If you have a library card, it's free to compete.
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June 9, 2022

New Brooklyn Heights library opens at base of One Clinton luxury condo

The Brooklyn Public Library on Wednesday opened a new branch at 286 Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights–the second-largest library in the system (Central Library is the largest). The 26,000-square-foot space will include a children's area, a teen library, a multipurpose room with a capacity of 225, public meeting rooms, and lots of spaces to enjoy a book or some quiet thoughts. Located within the base of a new luxury residential tower, the library is the result of an unusual redevelopment plan that also included $40 million in repairs throughout the library system and 100 new affordable apartments elsewhere in Brooklyn.
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May 23, 2022

NYC public libraries want you to read these 10 commonly banned books

Public libraries in New York City are calling on New Yorkers to take a stand against book banning. The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library on Monday launched the citywide "Banned Books Challenge," urging New Yorkers to read 10 books that explore issues of race, sexuality, religion, and history, subjects that have been targeted for censorship in recent months. To kick off the challenge, the libraries made Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo, available for free with no waits on e-reader apps until June 26.
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April 13, 2022

NYC public libraries fight book banning by giving readers across the U.S. access to free e-books

New York City's public libraries are taking on book banning. The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library this week announced separate initiatives to provide access to books to readers across the country. Under its "Books for All" effort, the NYPL made electronic copies of commonly banned books, including The Catcher in the Rye and Speak, available through their e-reading app, SimplyE, to anyone in the United States. Similarly, the BPL launched "Books UnBanned," which gives free digital library cards to teens and young adults nationwide.
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February 14, 2022

NYC cultural landmarks and public libraries will distribute free at-home Covid testing kits

The NYC Test & Trace Corps has partnered with 14 city cultural sites and 27 branches of the city's public libraries to hand out free at-home covid-19 testing kits. Starting on February 14, libraries across the city's three branches and cultural sites will be conducting weekly walk-up distributions of the free kits, which will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis with a limit of one per person.
Find out more about free at-home test kits
January 19, 2022

New York’s first-ever Lenape-curated exhibition to open at the Brooklyn Public Library in Greenpoint

The first-ever Lenape-curated exhibition in New York is coming to Brooklyn. Presented by the Brooklyn Public Library and The Lenape Center, Lenapehoking features a collection of masterworks by Lenape artists and educational programs that teach visitors the story of the Lenape community. The collection is curated by Joe Baker, the co-founder and executive director of the Lenape Center and enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians. The exhibition opens on Thursday, January 20 at the Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center and runs through April 30.
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November 11, 2021

Apply for 49 affordable apartments above a new library in Sunset Park, from $524/month

If you have ever dreamed of living in one of New York City's libraries like the live-in branch superintendents of the last century, here's a chance to reside above one. A housing lottery opened this week for 49 affordable apartments in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Located at 372 51st Street, the newly constructed mixed-use building includes a newly expanded Brooklyn Public Library branch. New Yorkers earning 40, 50, 60, and 80 percent of the area median income can apply for the units, ranging from $524/month studios to $2,096/month three-bedrooms.
How to apply
November 2, 2021

Explore literary landmarks of Brooklyn with new self-guided walking tour from BPL

Discover the fictional places where novels are set and the real-life apartments where authors once lived as part of a new audio tour launched this month by the Brooklyn Public Library. The self-guided literary walking tour, which can be downloaded on your smartphone or opened via web browser, covers eight miles of the borough, from Fort Greene to Bushwick.
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October 13, 2021

Brooklyn Public Library opens new branch under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo

At the Brooklyn Public Library's newest branch, reading comes with a view. The library opened the Adams Street Library in Dumbo this week, marking the first new library built in the borough in nearly 40 years and the first branch to open in the neighborhood. Bordering Brooklyn Bridge Park and tucked underneath the Manhattan Bridge, the library has 15-foot windows that face the East River and lower Manhattan skyline.
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October 5, 2021

Late fees canceled at all of NYC’s public libraries

All of New York City's public libraries have permanently eliminated late fees and will not charge for overdue books and other materials starting Tuesday. This shift in policy, which was first established at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last March, aims to create a more equitable and open system for communities in need, according to an announcement by library officials. Combined, the city's three library systems, made up of over 200 branches, are now the largest municipality in the country to eliminate fees.
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May 7, 2021

Brooklyn Public Library reveals Central Library redesign by Toshiko Mori

This week, the Brooklyn Public Library revealed the first phase of a major remodel of its Central Library on Grand Army Plaza. Designed by renowned architect Toshiko Mori, the undertaking was the single largest renovation and restoration in the Central Library’s 80-year history. The modern, light-filled rooms now provide more accessible space for the public, which includes civic commons for community engagement (providing city and passport services), a "new and noteworthy" book gallery, and an enlarged and modernized business and career center.
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April 9, 2021

‘Whispering Libraries’ broadcasts music and poetry from hidden outdoor speakers across Brooklyn

While the city's public libraries remain open for grab-and-go lobby service only, a new initiative brings poetry and literature right to you. The Brooklyn Public Library this month launched Whispering Libraries, an outdoor audio experience featuring a collection of oral histories, podcast excerpts, spoken word, and more, broadcast from hidden speakers at branches across the borough. The curated playlists can be heard up to five times per day at 10 select branches.
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July 13, 2020

NYC public libraries reopen 22 branches for grab-and-go service

New York City's public libraries on Monday opened 22 branches for limited grab-and-go service as part of a phased reopening process. The joint plan involves a gradual reopening of physical locations in stages, with seven to eight branches opening for contactless pickups and book returns to start. All libraries were forced to close in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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June 30, 2020

New York libraries team up with local museums for a virtual ‘Culture Pass’

Two summers ago, Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library launched Culture Pass, a program that provided free access to more than 30 museums and cultural institutions for library card holders. With all of these locations closed or operating at limited capacity during the pandemic, the three libraries have teamed up to take Culture Pass digital this summer, launching a new series of more than 70 original online programs, which will be free for children and adults through August 20.