Brooklyn Library releases billionth book

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BROOKLYN, NY – The Brooklyn Public Library – one of the largest library systems in the country – has officially checked out one billion books in its 125 years of service to the borough.

The library, which celebrated its 125th anniversary this year, announced this week that 2021 also marks the milestone of its billionth book loan.

The record-breaking loan came in July when a library patron viewed a copy of the novel The Time of Green Magic through BPL’s virtual library system – much to the delight of book author Hilary McKay.

“I am absolutely thrilled and thrilled,” McKay said. “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have library packages or library cards… the library was really my second home. “

The billionth loan was one of many milestones the library celebrated in its annual review.

The review includes the library system’s top 10 memorabilia from 2021, which on their own have become historic as New York branches reopened after the coronavirus crisis.

“Customers came to browse and borrow, use computers, meet neighbors, work, read and reflect. We loaned books and movies, telescopes, board games and musical instruments, and the librarians have reconnected with clients in person, outside and online, ”library officials said. noted. “As we look back on last year and look towards our 125th anniversary, there is a lot to celebrate. “

Here’s a look at the 10 memories shared by the library, many of which were there to commemorate:

We marked our billionth loan

In July, the library marked its billionth payment with the loan of The Time of Green Magic by award-winning author Hilary McKay. The book, published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, centers on a newly blended family making their way through a strange ivy-covered house filled with magic and of course, plenty of books.

We have eliminated the fines. Forever.

In October, the library permanently eliminated late payment fines, making a significant shift towards realizing BPL’s ideals of access and fairness. By breaking down this archaic barrier in partnership with the New York Public Library and the Queens Public Library, all New Yorkers can now freely access knowledge and opportunities.

We released a new library card celebrating black Americans

To celebrate Juneteenth, BPL released a new library card illustrated by student Jneyde “Nehemiah” Williams. A panel of community members, librarians, graphic designers and academics selected their design from over 400 artist submissions. The card features historical figures, including Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson and astronaut Mae Jemison, as well as a young girl who represents a new generation of library patrons.

We opened Adams Street Library, the first new branch in Brooklyn in 40 years

The Borough’s first new branch since 1983, the Adams Street Library is the very first BPL location to serve the DUMBO, Vinegar Hill and Farragut communities. The branch offers breathtaking views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and downtown Manhattan from its 15-foot windows and its warm and playful interior is the perfect place to read, work and socialize with neighbors.

We fought for justice

The Brooklyn Public Library’s Center for Brooklyn History (CBH) launched Brooklyn Resists in June, CBH’s first major initiative since joining BPL. The ongoing, multi-faceted public history project explores racial protest in Brooklyn from the beginning of the Civil Rights Era to the present day and was set up in response to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the long history black Brooklynites who experience the persistence of racism and state violence, including police brutality.

We got dressed and started

In February, after a long delay linked to the pandemic, the library’s BKLYN Fashion Academy presented a virtual parade of the historic Othmer library on rue Pierrepont. BPL is also running a long-running business pitch competition, PowerUP !, which awarded $ 40,000 to aspiring Brooklyn entrepreneurs in 2021.

We have opened up modern and revitalized spaces

This year, we completed the largest restoration and renovation in the 80-year history of the Central Library. The new accessible spaces are: a Civic Commons for community engagement, including a passport and municipal services office; the gallery of New and Noteworthy books with titles selected by librarians; a contemporary business and career center for job seekers, entrepreneurs and small business owners; and the Major Owens Visitor Center, dedicated to the Brooklyn “Librarian of Congress”. The Rugby, Windsor Terrace and Cortelyou libraries were also modernized and refurbished in 2021.

We knocked over the library

This spring, we created outdoor reading rooms at 30 branches and added curbside seating at Crown Heights, Walt Whitman and Kensington Libraries. Through our Bklyn Reach program, we’ve increased our Wi-Fi signal to extend up to 300 feet outside of over 50 libraries, with laptop loans available at selected locations. We kicked off our first-ever Self-Guided Audio Literary Walking Tour, created Whispering Libraries, and welcomed Brooklynites in the fourth semester of University Open Air. StoryWalks®, page-by-page picture books, have been installed outside of neighborhood libraries so families can read and discuss the story together as they stroll the sidewalk.

We have created paths to leadership

Driven by BPL’s renewed commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we awarded the first scholarships in the new Pathways to Leadership program, designed to help BPL staff achieve their Masters in Library Science . The program fully covers tuition fees at Queens College and provides opportunities for mentorship and leadership training. Most importantly, Pathways to Leadership aims to diversify library science to reflect the clients we serve and ensure that generations of Brooklynites will experience the pleasure of reading.

We remembered

Throughout the year, the library partnered with the Test & Trace Corps to provide tests, vaccinations and information about the pandemic to community centers and places of worship in the borough. In March, as we approached a year of life with the pandemic, librarians and staff at Greenpoint Library marked the moment by folding more than a thousand origami cranes with help from the community. Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will get a wish from the gods, and cranes are often given to a sick person, to wish their recovery. The cranes were displayed in the windows of the Greenpoint Library as a way for the neighborhood to commemorate their collective grief.

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