Love your library? Whether your go-to branch is Homecrest, Kings Highway or Brighton Beach, you can help it win $20,000 in the second annual NYC Neighborhood Library Awards.
To nominate a location, neighbors are asked to fill out a short survey about the branch’s services and strengths. Anyone can vote, including library staff, elected officials, and representatives of businesses or community groups (and, of course, locals not affiliated with any of those things)–just be sure to do so before December 12 at 11:59pm.
Out of 25 semifinalists and 10 finalists, five libraries across NYC will ultimately be selected as winners. Last year’s top five included Queens’ Corona Library, Staten Island’s New Dorp Library, the Lower East Side’s Seward Park Library, and Brooklyn’s Macon and, most notably, Sheepshead Bay libraries. You can see that one’s video nomination from last year above. Just note that last year’s winner is ineligible to win again this year – but that’s okay; we’ve got plenty of other great libraries in the area that can snag top honors.
Local Holocaust survivors. Photo by Erica Sherman
The Aquila Theater Company and the Brooklyn Public Library are teaming up to stage dramatic readings of Sophocles’ “Philoctetes,” Euripides’ “Herakles,” Homer’s “Odyssey” and Sophocles’ “Ajax” for veterans, Holocaust survivors and the general public, this Saturday, September 6 at 12:00pm at Brooklyn Public Library’s Sheepshead Bay branch, 2636 East 14th Street near Avenue Z.
The readings of these Greek classics, entitled “YouStories of Holocaust & Veteran Survivors,” allows participants to enjoy ancient plays while sharing their true stories of survival. Library staff will be on hand to record the oral histories of Hololcaust survivors. Community members interested in Greek drama and war are encouraged to attend.
Another YouStories event will be held on September 20. To learn more, visit www.bklynlibrary.org.
The Friends of the Sheepshead Bay Library have organized book sales.
It looks like the Sheepshead Bay branch of the Brooklyn Public Library has its own “Friends of” group, a committee of neighbors who raise funds and contribute to programming for the local site.
We’ve just received word that today, August 8, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. there is a “carnival” at the library to bring in donations for improvements to the institution. There will be refreshments and live entertainment, and all donations go to supporting the Sheepshead Bay branch at 2636 East 14th Street.
We’re not sure how long the Friends of group has been around, but it’s happy news to us. Sheepshead Bites encourages you to get down there and spend a little money so the local library can get the improvements it so desperately needs.
UPDATE (12:24 p.m.): Sheepshead Bay Library supervisor Svetlana Negrimovskaya emailed us a little more information about the Friends group:
The most unique library “Friends” group was formed by the members of our monthly “Russian Literature Club” and very soon, teens ages 14-18 from our young adult “Books and Cooks” weekly program joined the adult Friends. (run by Friends group President. Anna Nemirovsky – member of the Sheepshead Bay Russian Literature Club) Group was formed very recently!
Teen friends are not only helping with fundraising for their home library, but they also enjoy cooking and baking multicultural recipes in the library kitchen, as well as conducting interactive storytelling, puppets shows, arts / crafts workshops, stage readings, board games for children, teaching e-mail and computer skills to seniors.
I guess it’s not exactly the highest honor when they flash the Sheepshead Bay branch of the Brooklyn Public Library (2636 East 14th Street) when talking about how budget cuts have caused the system to suffer, but, then, it is arguably one of the most depressing exteriors in the system.
But the video above, produced and released as part of a campaign by the city’s three library systems to have past funding cuts restored, compensates for the slight by also featuring the branch’s indefatigable manager, Svetlana Negrimovskaya, inspiring kids and their parents, and working with the community. (Check out the 2:30 mark for that bit).
The 10-minute video shows some of the incredible services offered at libraries across the city, all with programming tailored to their local communities. And they’ve done in this in the face of funding challenges.
As New York magazine notes:
Over the last decade, book circulation at New York City libraries has jumped by 46 percent, annual visits by 59 percent, and program attendance by 88 percent. These figures are even more startling considering that budget cuts have forced the libraries to reduce both staff and hours.
There are no cuts in store in the budget proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, but there’s also no new money for the system after suffering years of slashes and increased costs. The libraries are asking for a combined $65 million dollars and have launched a petition to urge neighbors to join the fight. In addition to that petition, the Brooklyn Public Library has also created its own page for how you can stand up for these indispensable community resources.
Get involved; libraries are a part of the social safety net that we can’t do without.
The second annual Bike the Branches kicks off tomorrow, and our local Sheepshead Bay library is planning a special party to welcome the hundreds of cyclists from around the borough.
The event invites cyclists to tour Brooklyn with pitstops at the 60 neighborhood branches, many of which have scheduled their own programming between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to keep the energy going.
The Sheepshead Bay branch at 2636 East 14th Street will party Balkan-style with Matt Moran’s Slavic Soul Party, a well-known Balkan party band that puts a new twist on traditional Balkan music. The group mashes up gospel, techno, funk, dub, jazz and Latin beats with Balkan brass music, including Romanian, Bulgarian and Macedonian favorites. Here’s a sample:
The band kicks off at 3 p.m.
In the spirit of cycling, the library is also planning a fitness workshop with a personal fitness coach at 1 p.m., and there will be an amusing Bike the Branches book display based around a painting of branch manager Svetlana Negrimovskaya with a bike, inviting everyone to explore the library system.
If you’re interested in the Bike the Branches event, check out the link above. Aside from the standard route, they’ve also curated a selection of customized routes for history buffs, booze hounds and more.
Click to enlarge
Courtesy of Svetlana Negrimovskaya, the supervisor at the Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn Public Library (2636 East 14th Street), here are April’s events at the local branch.
Still haven’t filed your taxes? Me neither. Fortunately, qualifying applicants can have it done for free at the Sheepshead Bay library this Saturday. See the flier above for details.
UPDATE (March 26): Organizers have added two more days to the sale: Thursday, March 27, and Friday, March 28.
These are the final days of the Friends of Gerritsen Beach Library’s first spring book sale since Superstorm Sandy devastated the branch in 2012. The library, located at 2808 Gerritsen Avenue, reopened in October 2013.
The organization has been doing book drives and sales for several years to raise funds for the local institution, with profits being used to help pay for programming and improvements at the branch.
So stop by and purchase a book, on either March 24 or March 25. Then you can donate them next year.
Friends of Gerritsen Beach Library (2808 Gerritsen Avenue) is in the middle of its first book drive since Superstorm Sandy devastated the branch in 2012. The location reopened in October 2013.
The organization has been doing book drives – followed by sales – for several years to raise funds for the local institution. They ask neighbors to drop off new or lightly used books, which they then sell off to pay for programming and improvements at the branch.
You should drop off any books between now and Wednesday, March 19. But, if you’ve got nothing to spare, you can always stop by and purchase a book during the sale days, on March 24 or March 25. Then you can donate them next year.
Click to enlarge
Courtesy of Svetlana Negrimovskaya,, the supervisor at the Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn Public Library (2636 East 14th Street), here are March’s events at the local branch. Personally, I can’t wait for Intellectual Club “What? Where? When?”