BROOKLYN ROCKS… AND READS!

Brooklyn is making an investment of the “literary kind” as libraries are recognized as the community’s path to a solid future.  We’re headed to Kings County for the latest.

Aired on October 31, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

Announcer: THIS IS 135 TUNNEL STREET IN BROOKLYN.

THE FIRST WHAT USED TO BE A MACHINE TOOLS FACTORY WILL BE CONVERTED INTO A BRANCH WITH A BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY.

OPENING IN 2020 THE FIRST NEW BRANCH SINCE 1983.

NEIGHBORHOODS HAVE BEGUN TO FLOURISH THAT DIDN'T EXIST 25, 35 YEARS AGO.

SO TO PUT A LIBRARY IN THE DUMBO VINEGAR HILLS HOUSING AREA, NOT MUCH OF A RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY IS TERRIFIC.

ACTUALLY THE FIRST TIME WE'VE BUILT A LIBRARY IN A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT DIDN'T HAVE ONE IN THE LAST 40 YEARS.

Announcer: BROOKLYN'S PUBLIC LIBRARY CEO SAYS THE NEW BRANCH CONTINUES THE RENAISSANCE OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS AND FRANKLY, BROOKLYN AS A WHOLE.

BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY IS ONE OF THREE SEPARATE AND INDEPENDENT LIBRARY SYSTEMS IN NEW YORK CITY.

THE OTHER TWO, NEW YORK TUB LICK LIBRARY, SERVING THE BRONX, MANHATTAN AND STATEN ISLAND, THE OTHER, QUEENS LIBRARY, OF COURSE, SERVES QUEEN.

THERE'S A STORIED HISTORY HERE IN NEW YORK CITY ESTABLISHED IN 1896 WHEN BROOKLYN WAS STILL AN INDEPENDENT CITY.

A COUPLE YEARS LATER IT BECAME A PART OF NEW YORK CITY BUT KEPT IT'S BELOVED LIBRARY.

BEGINNING OF THE 20th CENTURY, U.S.

STEEL MAGNATE ANDREW CARNEGIE SOLD IT FOR WELL OVER $14 BILLION IN TODAY'S MONEY.

WE SPENT THE REST OF HIS LIFE GIVING AWAY HIS FORTUNE INCLUDING A GRANT TO BUILD LIBRARIES ACROSS THE CITY AND IN TOTAL 67 BRANCHES WERE BUILT BETWEEN 1902 AND 1929 WITH 21 IN BROOKLYN.

MIRACULOUSLY, 18 ARE STILL STANDING REFERRED TO AS THE CARNEGIE LIBRARIES.

THESE ARE INCLUDED.

THAT'S WHERE WE FOUND BIANCA WORKING AS A TEAM LIBRARIAN.

IT'S FUN.

REALLY REWARDING.

YOU SEE REGULARS COME IN THE BRANCH.

YOU DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEM.

YOU HAVE A MOMENT WHERE SOMEONE IS WORKING ON A PROJECT, OR THEY'RE SEARCHING FOR SOMETHING THAT THEY REALLY, REALLY NEED, AND YOU'RE THE PERSON THAT GETS TO SEE THEM BE EXCITED THAT YOU FOUND IT.

Announcer: HER OWN FRONT LINE SO TO SPEAK OF THE BROOKLYN LIKE BR LIBRARIAN RENAISSANCE, MORE BUSINESS THAN EVER BEFORE AND ALL HAPPENING WHILE BIX BOX CHAIN STORES ARE STRUGGLING OR SHUTTING DOWN.

PART OF IT, THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY FELT IN A LIBRARY.

WE HAVE A KNIT AND CROCHET GROUP AT MY BRANCH, MEETS ONCE A WEEK, AND A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO THEY ARE THE CROCHET CLUB.

LIKE, THEY SPEND TIME WITH ONE ANOTHER.

YOU KNOW?

SO, LIKE, THAT'S THEIR DESTINATION FOR THE WEEK.

THEY COME TO THE LIBRARY AND GO TO KNIT AND CROCHET.

WE'RE NOT -- TRYING TO SELL ANYTHING TO YOU.

YOU KNOW?

LIKE, WE WANT YOU TO COME IN AND HAVE A GOOD EXPERIENCE.

FIND THE THING YOU WANT.

FIND SOMETHING THAT MAYBE IS SIMILAR TO WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR.

JUST THE FACT THAT YOU CAN COME IN.

YOU KNOW?

FOR TEENAGERS ESPECIALLY, COME IN AFTER SCHOOL AND HAVE A PLACE TO HANG OUT PAP PLACE TOBE.

NO PRESSURE TO ENGAGE MORE THAN YOU WANT TO, I GUESS.

YOU'RE FREE TO COME IN AND UTILIZE THE LIBRARY THAT YOU WANT.

WE'RE NOT SO QUIET.

A BUSTLING PLACE.

IN THE CENTRAL LIBRARY NOW AND GET OVER 1 MILLION VISITORS A YEAR AND PEOPLE ARE HERE NOT ONLY TO TAKE OUT BOOKS BUT TO LOOK UP MATERIAL ON DATABASES.

TO GET HELP FROM LIBRARIANS.

ON THINGS LIKE STARTING A NEW BUSINESS.

AND WE'RE HERE FOR LITERACY IN THE BROZZEST SENSE.

Announcer: NO KIDDING.

BRUSH UP ON LITLITERACY?

A PLACE FOR THAT.

ON THE PLAZA, BOTH A STATE-OF-THE-ART RECORDING STUDIO THAT STAYS BUSY AND BOOKED.

ITS LOCATED IN THE INFORMATION COMMERCE, ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR LOCATIONS IN THE LIBRARY AND RELATIVELY NEW.

DEBUTING IN 2013, THE 5500 SQUARE FOOT SPACE SEATS MORE THAN 100 LAPTOP USERS AND SPACE FOR GROUP WORK AND TEAMWORK.

THE TRICK BE HERE FOR PATRONS NEEDS.

PERHAPSALITIES AHEAD OF THEM TO ANTICIPATE WHAT THEY MIGHT WANT TO BE DOING AND WHAT THEY MIGHT BE NEEDING IN THE FUTURE, BUT NOT BEING SO FAR AHEAD THAT WE'RE LEAVING PEOPLE IN THE DUST AND WE'RE REALLY NOT BEING USEFUL.

Announcer: SOMETIMES THOSE LEFT BEHIND ARE FAMILIES OF THOSE INCARCERATED.

IN AN EFFORT TO STAY CONNECTED, BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY STARTED THE TELL A STORY PROGRAM.

ALLOWING FAMILY MEMBERS TO BE CONNECTED VIDEOCHAT.

SPECIFICALLY GEARED TOWARDS KIDS IN ADDITION TO HAVE BE CHAT FACILITIES, BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY FILLS THE CHAT ROOMS WITH BOOKS AND TOYS.

INMATES HAVE A SET OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS DURING THE CALL SO THEY CAN READ TO THEIR KIDS.

THE CHIEF LIBRARIAN AT THE LIBRARY SAYS THE PROGRAM HELPS CONNECT A COMMUNITY OFTEN OVERLOOKED AND THE CONNECTION GOES BEYOND THE PROGRAM.

NOT ONLY VISITING THEIR DAD THROUGH VIDEO, LONG TERM ENGAGING MORE IN AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS AND STORYTIMES AND THE CAREGIVER CAN LOOK FOR A JOB IN THE BUSINESS LIBRARY.

FOR US, STRENGTHENING THE BONDS WITH THE COMMUNITY THAT CAN, IN MANY WAYS, FEEL COMPLETELY ISOLATED.

THE BROOKLYN LIBRARY ALONG WITH THE OTHER LIBRARIES ACROSS THE CITY BEGAN A NEW PROGRAM CALLED CULTURE PATH.

THAT ALLOWS LIBRARY CARD HOLDERS TO RECEIVE A FREE PASS TO ONE OF THE DOZENS OF CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

THEY'VE ISSUE AED MORE THAN 33, 000 CULTURE PASSES SINCE IT BEGAN.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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