Archive for the tag 'sheepshead bay library'

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.

The Friends of the Sheepshead Bay Library have organized book sales.

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.

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.

balkan

Source: BPL

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.

svetlana

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.

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.

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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!

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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