Archive for the tag 'sheepshead bay library'

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

Sheepshead Bay Library

Sheepshead Bay Library

Congratulations are in order for the fine folks at the Sheepshead Bay Library (2636 East 14th Street) and the Kings Bay Library (3650 Nostrand Avenue) for receiving cash prizes from the Charles H. Revson Foundation as part of their first ever NYC Neighborhood Library Awards. According to a press release, Sheepshead Bay Library took home a top prize of $10,000, along with four other institutions, and Kings Bay Library brought back $5,000 for being considered as a finalist.

Earlier in the month, we reported on the nominations of Sheepshead Bay Library and Kings Bay Library, both selected by thousands of voters across the city to be finalists for the top prizes. The release described the voters participating and the qualities the foundation was looking for in their nominees:

The 4,310 nominations were cast from May 20th to July 1st by New Yorkers who identified themselves most frequently as parents, students, seniors, artists, teachers, job-seekers, and entrepreneurs. The nominations illuminated the libraries’ extraordinary dedication to serving their communities in a myriad of ways:

  • Library staff members make the library feel like a second home – often greeting patrons by name as they enter and making all visitors feel valued.
  • The libraries are highly attuned to the neighborhoods they serve – both in terms of the needs of residents (especially youth, seniors, and immigrants) and their cultures and languages.
  • Libraries are often the only source of books and Internet in a city where 36 percent of residents – including 75 percent of residents of the NYC Housing Authority – have no broadband Internet access at home.
  • The libraries play a crucial role as community centers – free and accessible to all; safe for children and for seniors; a crossroads for positive inter-generational, cross-racial, and cross-ethnic interactions. They also provide personal quiet space in a bustling city where housing is typically cramped.
  • They offer a remarkable range of programs and activities – from those traditionally associated with libraries (e.g., story time for children, arts and crafts, and book clubs) to programs addressing contemporary needs (e.g., computer classes, English as a Second Language, workforce development, and tax assistance) and offerings tailored to more specific community interests (e.g., a Russian poetry club, Spanish-language film screenings, senior acting clubs, Zumba classes, exercise classes for seniors, and even belly-dancing).
  • Many of those activities are potentially transformational: from preschool literacy, pre-GED training, resume-writing, and assistance with job searches to healthcare screenings, exercise classes, and citizenship test preparation.

Julie Sandorf, President of the Charles H. Revson Foundation, expressed the special roles these winning libraries play in their communities.

“These five libraries are truly outstanding and reflect the extraordinarily important role that neighborhood libraries play in communities all across the city. It was especially moving to see, throughout the entire selection process, the passion of the nominators and their gratitude for the often life-changing contributions of the neighborhood library,” Sandorf said in the release.

Brooklyn Public Library President Linda E. Johnson was grateful for the nominations and recognition of the Brooklyn-based institutions.

“Hundreds of thousands of Brooklynites depend on their neighborhood libraries for story times, homework help, computers, and access to books, DVDs and electronic resources. We are grateful to the Charles H. Revson Foundation not only for its generous donation to Brooklyn Public Library, but also for raising awareness about the many ways our libraries contribute to the well-being of their communities. Thank you to everyone who played a part in helping BPL win these awards, especially the staff of Sheepshead Bay, Macon and Kings Bay,” Johnson said in an email.

Next »