Archive for the tag 'libraries'

bpl-events

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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.

tax-prep

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.

gerritsen-library

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

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?”

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Svetlana Negrimovskaya,, the supervisor at the Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn Public Library (2636 East 14th Street), asked us to start passing along the monthly calendar of events for the local branch. Lots of good stuff to do at our local libraries, especially if you’ve got kids!

I owe half of what I am today to print products. The other half, I owe to their demise. Mwahahah. (Source: Wikimedia)

Libraries across the United States and the United States’ hat (a.k.a. Canada) will celebrate “Take Your Child to the Library Day” on Saturday, February 1, with family-friendly events that encourage reading and education.

The Brooklyn Public Library actually upped the ante on the national initiative and declared it “Take Your Child to the Library Week,” with events throughout the system from this past Monday until tomorrow (most of the events were at branches outside of our coverage area, which is why we didn’t write about it until now).

If you for some reason have not introduced your kid to the library (and, if that’s the case, wtf?), the event is meant to be an introduction to the wild, wondrous world of knowledge.

“Now is the perfect time to introduce your child to the incredible range of programs, materials and services available—all for free—at the library,” said Linda Johnson, BPL’s president and CEO, in a press release. “From afterschool homework help and computer access, to crafts, storytimes and concerts, our branches have everything children need to succeed in school, have fun and explore their interests. And with 60 locations throughout the borough, no matter where you and your family live, there is a library close by.”

To celebrate the culmination of the event, the following Southern Brooklyn libraries will hold family “storytimes” and other events at the time indicated:

  • Bay Ridge (7223 Ridge Boulevard) – 11:00 a.m.
  • Highlawn (1664 West 13th Street)  - 1:00 p.m.
  • Kings Bay (3650 Nostrand Avenue) – 1:00 p.m.
  • Kings Highway (2115 Ocean Avenue) – 11:00 a.m.
  • Mill Basin (2385 Ralph Avenue) – 11:00 a.m.
  • Ulmer Park (2602 Bath Avenue) – 11:00 a.m.
A photo by Tewari

A photo by Tewari

Tewari.png

Tewari (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Kings Highway branch of the Brooklyn Public Library will host a reception for their new photography exhibit, “In Search of Ground: The Art of Exploration.”

The exhibit, curated by librarian Boris Isolev, features photographs by Dr. Ashutosh K. Tewari that uses images of the landscape to “document and [serve as a] metaphor for the American experience.”

Tewari is one of the world’s leading urological surgeons and a pioneer in robotically-assisted procedures. He’s the head of urology at Mount Sinai Hospital, and learned photography in his native country of India.

The reception begins at 6:00 p.m. and lasts until 8:00 p.m. in the library’s basement level. The library is located at 2115 Ocean Avenue. There will be free refreshments.

The photographs will remain on exhibit until January 5, 2014.

A new Nexus 7 tablet. (Source: Wikipedia)

A new Nexus 7 tablet. (Source: Wikipedia)

It’s rare whenever Southern Brooklyn get a cool new tech or cultural addition ahead of, like, anywhere else in the city, but the Brooklyn Public Library and Google are looking to reward us for our suffering from Sandy.

Google, a company which knows all and has all the money, generously donated 1,000 fresh Nexus 7 tablet’s to libraries in Brooklyn devastated by Superstorm Sandy. According to a press release, Google, along with Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Fund for Public Schools, donated a whopping 17,000 tablets to New York City libraries, senior centers and community centers, amounting to a $2.7 million donation.

The tablets will be used to support a range of functions, including English as a second language training, job training or simply serving as eReaders. Library patrons will even be able to borrow the tablets, just like a book, free to add music, movies and other apps, as long as they come back freshly deleted when returned.

The tablets will be available for loan from Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, Red Hook and Sheepshead Bay libraries.

Linda Johnson, the president of the Brooklyn Public Library, was thrilled with the donation.

“These communities were some of the worst hit by Hurricane Sandy, so they are receiving priority access to our new tablet lending program. Providing digital learning opportunities is at the forefront of our Library’s mission, so now, one year after the storm, we are thrilled to be able to offer this wonderful new resource to our patrons,” Johnson said in the release.

Wow, the library just got a lot cooler. Also, if you think that borrowing a tablet and never returning it would only cost you 15 cents or so in overdue fees, think again. According to the Brooklyn Library’s webpage on the Tablet Lending Program, you are going to owe $200 bucks for a lost or broken tablet, so be sure not to spill any coffee on it (looking at you, Ned).

Sheepshead Bay Library

Sheepshead Bay Library

City Hall’s budget battles and shortfalls are constantly putting a strain on the city’s library system, including Southern Brooklyn’s libraries, where they serve large immigrant populations. The New York Times is reporting that the library squeeze has consequences for the city’s immigrant population, which relies on the institutions for learning and cultural integration.

Since 2008, funding for New York City libraries in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens was cut by $65 million, increasing the strain on the system by decreasing hours and limiting the hiring of much-needed employees. Brooklyn Public Library executive David Woloch told the Times that the borough’s 60 branches need $300 million in capital improvements. According to Woloch, only $15 million was available in 2013.

Julie Sanford from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, which recently awarded the Sheepshead Bay Library $10,000, summed up the problem to the Times:

“The libraries often can’t plan beyond a year because they don’t know what the budget is going to be,” said Julie Sandorf, president of the Charles H. Revson Foundation… “It’s not like schools or parks, who start with a set budget. The libraries start from zero.”

Ms. Sandorf said that for $50 million more each year — “a rounding error in the city’s $70 billion budget” — all of the city’s libraries could be open 50 hours a week, instead of the current average of 43 hours. “If we are talking about a knowledge-based economy, this is what we need to do,” she said. “The problem is there is a huge gulf between the decision makers in this city who can pay for books or iPads and what is going on in every single library branch in the city.”

As the budgets for libraries shrink, demand for their services have increased, especially for the ever-growing immigrant population that uses them as cultural and learning centers. The Times described the cross-cultural services offered at the Sheepshead Bay branch:

Despite these challenges, branches like Sheepshead Bay offer countless services to an unending stream of people, including language and citizenship classes, arts and crafts, preschool story time, chess and even a Russian literature fan club.

Last Wednesday, a couple played Scrabble at a table while another couple studied for a nursing test. Nearby, a man browsed a selection of Korean movies, while another thumbed through recently arrived books in Russian. Upstairs, children did their homework or checked their e-mail

“If you are going to be educated, you have to be in touch with the culture,” said Laura Sermassan, an immigrant from Romania who meets her three sons at the library each day after school. “It’s a point of integration into American culture. It’s a support.”

Ms. [Svetlana] Negrimovskaya, in her office — where the shelf behind her desk has dictionaries in Yiddish, Russian, English and Chinese — was already looking forward to Tuesday’s gathering to mark Hurricane Sandy’s passing and the community’s rebound. She said people came alive when they were able to come back.

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