All photos by Gregg Richards
This week, the Brooklyn Public Library revealed the first phase of a major remodel of its Central Library on Grand Army Plaza. Designed by renowned architect Toshiko Mori, the undertaking was the single largest renovation and restoration in the Central Library’s 80-year history. The modern, light-filled rooms now provide more accessible space for the public, which includes civic commons for community engagement (providing city and passport services), a “new and noteworthy” book gallery, and an enlarged and modernized business and career center.
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Photo by Ajay Suresh on Flickr
While the city’s public libraries remain open for grab-and-go lobby service only, a new initiative brings poetry and literature right to you. The Brooklyn Public Library this month launched Whispering Libraries, an outdoor audio experience featuring a collection of oral histories, podcast excerpts, spoken word, and more, broadcast from hidden speakers at branches across the borough. The curated playlists can be heard up to five times per day at 10 select branches.
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Photo of Todt Hill-Westerleigh branch; credit: Jonathan Blanc / NYPL
New York City’s public libraries on Monday opened 22 branches for limited grab-and-go service as part of a phased reopening process. The joint plan involves a gradual reopening of physical locations in stages, with seven to eight branches opening for contactless pickups and book returns to start. All libraries were forced to close in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Photo of the Museum of Natural History by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash
Two summers ago, Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library launched Culture Pass, a program that provided free access to more than 30 museums and cultural institutions for library card holders. With all of these locations closed or operating at limited capacity during the pandemic, the three libraries have teamed up to take Culture Pass digital this summer, launching a new series of more than 70 original online programs, which will be free for children and adults through August 20.
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
The New York Public Library is reviewing plans for curbside pickup service as the organization prepares to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic. As first reported by THE CITY, cardholders would be able to order books or other materials by phone or online for grab-and-go pickup, under one plan being considered. Books could be picked up in the lobbies or on the sidewalks of some branches.
Anna Netrebko in the title role of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.” Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
Although the coronavirus has shuttered most of the city, many museums, performance venues, theaters, and famous New Yorkers are offering free (or low-cost) online resources to entertain New Yorkers throughout this difficult period. From virtual storytime with Brooklyn Public Library librarians to live-streamed performances by the Metropolitan Opera to baking classes with Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi to dance lessons from the Radio City Rockettes, support local organizations safely from your home. This list was lasted updated at 10:00 a.m. on April 3, 2020.
The full list, ahead
Photo of the Brooklyn Public Library flagship by Ajay Suresh via Flickr
Two Brooklyn institutions are joining forces to broaden their impact and create “the premiere collection” of archival materials related to the history of the borough. The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) have announced a plan to unify their resources, which was approved by the boards of both organizations this week. The library will serve as the parent institution and the partnership is expected to bring greater financial stability to both while expanding the historical society’s reach through the library’s 59 branches.
Photo by Caleb Minear on Unsplash
One of the best things about freelancing in New York City is not having to fight with the subway to get to my desk on time, something I did almost daily when I had an office job. One of the worst things, though, is feeling permanently stuck in my cramped apartment. Luckily, this city has lots of great, airy spaces that lend themselves well to remote work, whether you do it full time or are just looking to spend the day free of fluorescent lighting and Gary from HR. Ahead, discover 10 of our favorites.
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Renderings courtesy of TEN Arquitectos and Andrea Steele Architecture
The city’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is starting construction on a new cultural center housed within the 32-story tower at 300 Ashland Place in Fort Greene. The new L10 Arts and Cultural Center will span across 50,000 square feet and host a range of institutions, including new gallery and performance spaces for the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), three cinemas for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), rehearsal studios and performance space for 651 ARTS, and a new branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.
In 2014 the news surfaced that Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) was planning to sell its Sunset Park branch at 5108 4th Avenue to a non-profit community development organization, Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC). The developer would demolish the 43-year-old building and build in its place a larger library with eight stories above that would contain 49 below-market-rate apartments, in part with public money allocated by Borough President Eric L. Adams. The developers say the plan will create housing for Brooklyn’s neediest residents. Brooklyn Paper now reports that developers are preparing to pitch the project to Community Board 7’s land-use committee on November 3 as part of a public review process. The city council has the final say whether it goes through.
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