Brooklyn Public Library competition awards nearly $ 90,000 to support new initiatives


Children’s Stacks at the Greenpoint Public Library branch. Photo by Gregg Richards

In a competition designed to expand or improve the services of the borough’s libraries, the Brooklyn Public Library awarded $ 88,000 to support nine new initiatives developed in partnership with community organizations.

Nearly 140 community partners expressed interest in an open call for proposals with 13 finalists pitching their ideas to a panel of judges, including librarians, staff and nonprofit executives. The winning proposals include: a series of maternal health workshops, a sewing machine loan program; a creative collective to help amplify the voices of those incarcerated on Rikers Island; and a tool and repair center.

“BKLYN Incubator enables library staff and partners to serve their communities in creative and agile ways,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “Many of the Brooklyn Public Library’s most innovative and successful programs have been nurtured by Incubator and the Revson Foundation, from the Robotics League to our Musical Instrument Lending Library.”

The program is at the center of the library’s BKLYN Incubator initiative, which has awarded nearly $ 400,000 to librarians and community partners since its launch in 2015. The incubator offers professional development, mentorship and resources to develop innovative community initiatives in libraries. Some of the library’s most successful and popular programs have been developed through BKLYN Incubator, including the musical instrument lending library, RObotics League, fashion academy, board game exchange, mobile cook and much more.

The winners have one year to launch their programs. They include:

Cultural Codex for Children

Sunset Park Library

Sparkle sunset

Designed to promote equity and inclusiveness in science, engineering technology, and math, participants will benefit from STEM projects that go back to their ancestors, reinventing ancient inventions to strengthen a sense of identity students and allow them to solve problems.

Libraries Bring Us Together – Celebrating Language and Culture – Empowering Community Voices

Cortelyou Library

Laurie Davidson, Friends of Cortelyou Library

To amplify the voices of the diverse multilingual communities of the surrounding neighborhoods, the team will create five events, each showcasing one of the community’s most important cultures (Mexican, Haitian, Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Pakistani) with music, an hour of bilingual storytelling, food, and artistic creation.

Mapping our worlds: where are we

Carroll Gardens and Cypress Hills Library

Collectif des Arts Stingray

A six-week program for teens to develop their creativity and their community through the creation of artistic cards. Designed to address the adolescent mental health crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the program will help strengthen adolescents’ sense of connection and belonging.

Maternal health for families

Washington Irving, Crown Heights and New Lots Libraries and BPL Outreach Services

Birdsong in Brooklyn

This series of workshops will support families trying to conceive, facing journeys and loss of fertility, pregnancy, childbirth preparation and the transition from hospital to home with the resources and resources. support from an experienced team of perinatal educators.

Rewriting of Rikers: the collective workshop Re / Creation

BPL Prison and Prison Services

Re / Creation Collective

The Re / Creation collective workshop amplifies the voices of those struggling to survive incarceration on Rikers Island. The imprisoned neighbors will be put in contact with a larger community of writers and artists affected by the justice system to help them hone their craft.

Sew Brooklyn

Library of the mill basin


The program will offer sewing machines, free materials, and free workshops for those interested in learning to sew by hand and / or machine.

The big question: inspiring curiosity through literacy and exploration

Adams Street and Walt Whitman Libraries

Brooklyn Book Bodega

Children and caregivers will immerse themselves in literacy as they explore a “big question” in this six-week program. Experts will present interactive workshops designed to answer some of life’s biggest questions. and children can take books home to build their library at home.

Untold Stories: You Ask, I Say

Brooklyn Heights Library

Poetic theatrical productions, Veteran Voices program

LGBTQ + veterans and teens will share their own powerful stories through a series of workshops in which they will learn interview, writing and performance skills. The workshop will end with a public sharing of their poetry and oral works.

The repair center at GLP Greenpoint Environmental Education Center

Greenpoint Library

Repair workshop

The program will create a space where the community can learn and share repair skills, access tools and explore more lasting relationships with their property.

Support for the Brooklyn Incubator program is provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.


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