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Brooklyn Public Library

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Education, Libraries

Mission: It is the mission of the library to ensure the preservation and transmission of society's knowledge, history and culture, and to provide the people of brooklyn with free and open access to information for education, recreation and reference.

Programs: Central library: central library is the largest public library in brooklyn. At 352,000 square feet, the building accounts for one-third of brooklyn public librarys total physical plant. In fiscal year 2017, bpl celebrated the 75th anniversary of centrals opening with exhibitions, public tours, a digital story collection, and various community programs. Central provides traditional library services, including a collection of approximately 900,000 materials in wings dedicated to fiction, history, science and technology, childrens and young adult literature, and the arts. The business and career centers recent relocation to central library has provided patrons with central access to an extensive collection of books, materials and services related to test prep, business and career resources, in addition to financial and college planning. The brooklyn collection, bpls local history division, provides a wealth of information about the borough, including access to research materials such as the full, digitized 1841-1955 run of the brooklyn daily eagle. Central is also home to the shelby white and leon levy information commons, a public technology center and workspace with a reservable recording studio and meeting rooms, sophisticated design software, and a digital training lab for community classes and workshops. In fiscal year 2017, central library hosted more than 14,000 programs that were attended by approximately 170,000 people. Nearly 1. 3 million people walked through central librarys main doors, and of those who checked out a book, signed onto a computer or used a printer or copier, just over one-third came from nearby zip codes. Approximately 63% of central librarys patrons came from beyond the immediate area. Central library is very much the home library for all brooklynites.

neighborhood library: as more than half of brooklyns 2. 6 million residents live within a mile of a library branch, bpls neighborhood libraries welcomed over seven million visitors in fy7. The librarys collection held approximately 4 million print and digital materials, which circulated a total 14. 5 million times. As the largest provider of free wifi in brooklyn, bpl hosted 550,000 free wifi sessions in fy17. The library also hosted 1. 9 million computer sessions on approximately 1,600 devices. More than 2,000 volunteers provided a total of 85,000 hours of service to bpl. Every brooklyn public library location is open at least six days per week, and the average branch is open approximately 48 hours per week. In fy17, bpl received funding to upgrade the technology offerings in library branches; depending on the individual locations needs, branches received new computers, televisions, cameras, little bits kits and more. With increased open hours and additional technological support, branch libraries hosted 70,000 programs that were attended by nearly one million people. Brooklyns library branches provide an expansive range of programs and services. The core (and most popular) offerings include first five years, a suite of early literacy programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers; inclusive play and learning environments for children with disabilities; creative aging classes that help seniors learn new skills and express their creativity; digital literacy programs such as basic computer classes and advanced instruction in animation, audio engineering, coding, and more; and summer reading, bpls borough-wide effort to promote recreational reading while school is out of session.

bpl offers programs for people from every walk of life. In addition to the branch programs described above, bpl hosts teen tech time and homework help sessions, citizenship and hse test preparation, career and business development resources, free cultural events, and much more. A representative sample of our special programs: *bookmatch - provides payrons with reading lists specially curated for them by bpl librarians. *brooklyn incubator - supports and funds the development of new initiatives by librarians and staff, with training and mentoring on prgoram design, partnership development, community outreach, and project management. *brooklyn cultural adventures program - award-winning summer day camp for children 7-12, providing cultural immersion at bpl, brooklyn botanic garden, brooklyn museum, brooklyn children's museum, prospect park, and prospect park zoo. *our streets, our stories - oral history project chronicling decades of transformation in neighborhoods throughout brooklyn. *powerup kreyol - a business plan competition for members of the haitian-kreyol community modeled on the powerup competition that has helped launch more than 2100 brooklyn businesses since its founding in 2003. *today's teens, tomorrow's techies - teaches digital skills to students 14 to 18 and prepares them to serve on bpls volunteer team, where they help patrons make use of the librarys many free technology resources. The programming and exhibition department produces high quality cultural programming to encourage public engagement with the ideas and cultural expressions of our time. In fy17, bpls programming went in a new direction for the institution, with creatively staged, provocative and inspiring lectures, concerts, film screenings, panel discussions, author talks, and other cultural and educational events. Highlights included programs with patti smith, oliver stone and jonathan safran foer. On january 29, 2017, central library hosted a night of philosophy & ideas, in which 7,000 new yorkers participated in an all-night marathon of philosophical debate, performances, screenings, readings and music. In fy17, bpls programming team partnered with theater of war productions and two city agencies to co-produce theater of war. During a two-year residency, theater of war will bring together individuals, neighborhoods, and city government to combat social isolation and its accompanying stigma through theatrical performances, storytelling, and community discussions. Bpls participation underscores its role as a resource and advocate for civic engagement, artistic expression, and public discourse. The outreach services department serves brooklynites with unique and often overlooked needs, including veterans, immigrants, the homebound, and people transitioning into and out of the citys correctional and shelter systems. In fy17, bpl hired a full-time social worker to support librarians as they work with brooklyns homeless population. Through a partnership with the mayors office of immigrant affairs (moia), bpl began hosting an immigration lawyer to assist patrons with citizenship applications at four library branches. One of the outreach departments signature programs, telestory, which utilizes video conferencing technology to connect incarcerated parents with their children through books and family activities, is now available in more than a dozen bpl locations. The new telestory branches are located in neighborhoods with particularly high rates of incarceration.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

The Brooklyn Public library will always have my loyalty. The library has been my pillar of support through the years. At the library, I have access to a wide variety of books and videos and cd's, they have great programs and very helpful staff, its a warm safe place in the winter and a cool friendly place in the summer and everyone is welcome. The kids section is well stocked and their are books in all types of languages. I also worked as a volunteer helping adults learn to read; one of the many great programs that the library offers for free to the community. Five stars for BPL.

Review from Guidestar