The Brooklyn Public Library has expanded its annual Summer Meals Program, offering no-cost lunch to children and teens ages 18 and under.
It’s a major expansion for the program, run by the New York City Department of Education with federal funds, more than quadrupling it from the six sites available last year.
The program is made to ensure that during the summer months, when kids are out of school, no child or teen will go hungry. The season kicked off June 27 and last until August 29, with lunches served every weekday from 1:15 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at each of the libraries.
It’s a no-questions-asked policy, and citizenship status is not a factor.
The following local branches are part of the program. Those with asterisks only offer meals from Tuesday to Friday.
For the full list of participating branches, look here.
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.
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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.
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.
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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?”
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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.