05/19/16 9:46am
These ancient gates lead to a pretty sweet pile of modern resources. David Berkowitz / Flickr

These ancient gates lead to a pretty sweet pile of modern resources. David Berkowitz / Flickr

Movies and TV shows would have us believe that the library is nothing more than a boring place to get books and be shushed by angry librarians, but here in Brooklyn, our library system is the exception to the rule. The Brooklyn Public Library is essentially the Narnia of libraries, and if you look beyond the stacks of books, you’ll find a wide array of programs, classes, and resources that can help teach you to do some really cool things, or even help you achieve your dreams.

“The era of shushing at libraries is long gone,” added BPL spokesperson Madeline Kaye. “Libraries as institutions have moved well past the old transactional relationship which had patrons checking out books and reading them in a carrell or at home. Libraries now are home to immigration services, idNYC, bike the branches, art classes, jazz concerts, Pharrell even made an appearance at the Dweck Center this year. They’re cultural hubs that extend well beyond the stacks.”

Perhaps a young, savvy Brooklynite like yourself wasn’t aware of the mighty power that lay behind the doors of the Brooklyn Public Library? Well, let us help you out. Here are some cool things the library can help you do, and some equally cool people who did them. (more…)

02/23/16 11:35am
You should never have bought Waterworld to begin with. Via Flickr user Will C. Fry.

You should never have bought Waterworld to begin with. Via Flickr user Will C. Fry.

Hello and welcome to weekly lifehacks, a recurring series where we share a simple tip on how to make your life just a little bit easier (and we promise not to overuse the word “hack”). 

It’s strange to think now but there was a time in all our lives when we were concerned with gathering stuff. You’d go to the mall, browse the overpriced selection at Sam Goody and come home with more stuff to put on the shelves. At Christmas you’d ask for stuff to put in your VCR and then a few years later you’d ask for Blu-Ray editions of the same stuff. You’d keep old stuff from your childhood because where else are you going to get that tape with Captain N episodes on it or the cassette that documented your high school Hans and Frans comedy bit? Now all these years later, all the stuff in the world fits and boy don’t you look stupid with all that stuff taking up space in your apartment. We, as the cheapest generation, definitely don’t need stuff any more, and that’s great. But you can still keep your old media and whatnot without paying for expensive digital conversion services. And the answer is at the wonderland that is the Brooklyn Public Library. (more…)

01/22/16 10:21am
No more sitting around the Barnes and Noble forever. Via Flickr Lloyd Fuller.

No more sitting around the Barnes and Noble forever. Via Flickr Lloyd Fuller.

“You’ve got to read this story!” Your friend yells at you through the internet, only to send you a link that’s blocked by a paywall, leaving you forever wondering ugh will I ever get to know if Obama is going to close Guantanamo or what? As writers and journalist types, we’re required to tell you that you that subscribing to your favorite magazines is a good way to support, but we know you’ve go to make tough financial choices sometimes, and there’s just so much to read.

But now you have a way to read almost every magazine you’d want for free, from the New Yorker, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Adbusters, The National Review, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Sports Illustrated to Yachting Monthly, Primitive Archer Magazine and Australian Dogs & Pets. And it’s all through an app from the Brooklyn Public Library.  (more…)

01/20/16 4:32pm
Toni Morrison is coming to town and you better have your library card.

Toni Morrison is coming to town and you better have your library card.

Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate, literary hero and one of the only good things you were forced to read in high school, is coming to Brooklyn. She’s doing a discussion and reading from her new book God Help the Child, at the Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope on Feb. 2. If you want to buy tickets, too bad, because they’ve been sold out for awhile. But the Brooklyn Public Library, which is cosponsoring the event has a few FREE tickets to raffle off this week. Find out how to enter below.  (more…)

11/04/15 12:07pm
Can you make this go viral? You're hired! via Facebook

Can you make this go viral? You’re hired! via Facebook

Despite the fact that fall has allegedly started and the leaves are dying on the trees, you don’t have to look on your employment prospects with a similar kind of despair. Take heart, there’s all kinds of hiring going on in this crazy city, so please don’t sell your blood for exploitative debit cards or take any other rash actions. Just apply for one of the jobs we found you instead. (more…)

11/03/15 8:57am

You could be sitting between Mikey Heller and Colin Burgess, just like Steve Whalen, “Mr. Jokes.” via Steve Whalen

We’re now two days removed from the Mets not winning the World Series, and it still hurts, so maybe you still want to sit in a dark room by yourself. I understand. Still, who knows how long this November heat wave will last (and if it goes on too long it’s just gonna be disturbing and not fun) so get out there using the Brokelyn Events Calendar and these five best picks from it as your guide. (more…)

10/06/15 9:18am
You were thinking it. via Fuck Yeah Legolas and Gimli

You were thinking it. via Fuck Yeah Legolas and Gimli

It’s Tuesday, it’s sunny and mild outside and the Mets playoff series that will turn you into a couchbound emotional wreck doesn’t start until this weekend. Even better than that, there’s so much good stuff going on today that picking just five fun things to do from the Brokelyn Events Calendar was hard. Not that I wasn’t happy to do it for you, because I want you to check out Sloane Crosley’s first novel or Running Late’s birthday or an erotic fan fiction competition that could awaken something deep inside of you. (more…)

09/21/15 11:14am
BPL brining knowledge to the masses. Via Flickr

BPL brining knowledge to the masses. Via Flickr

Exciting news from the BPL this morning.

Today, Brooklynites will gather at Bedstuy’s Macon Library to receive free MiFi hotspots. The 4G, wireless devices are part of the Library HotSpot Program, which is dedicated to “bridging the digital divide” for patrons without at home internet capabilities.

In a press release today, Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library said: “The internet has changed the way people learn, seek employment and engage with their community.We are proud to offer Brooklynites free internet access not only in our 60 branches, but, with the Library HotSpot program, in their own homes.”

With grants from Google, The Knight News Challenge, and The Robin Hood Foundation, the program intends to put internet in 10,000 households and the BPL will loan around 3,000 of those 10. Twenty-two Brooklyn library branches currently participate, and the BPL has already distributed nearly two-thirds of the MiFi hotspots.

The devices will allow families to connect their desktops, laptops, tablets and up to ten mobile phones to the internet; and Sprint hooks the families up with free, unlimited data for a year.

Users of the BPL without access to internet at home are eligible to borrow devices for one year if enrolled in an adult education or inclusion program offered by the Brooklyn Public Library. Programs include: ESOL, Adult Basic Education or a Citizenship Preparation Class.

09/01/15 8:20am
See if our local BK celebs can match the style of the original crew

See if our local BK celebs can match the style of the original crew

You know, for some reason, they never say “Thank god it’s Tuesday.” Probably in part because T.C.I.T. could just as well be for Thursday, but I figure the fact that it’s not Monday anymore is worth celebrating a little bit. Maybe you agree too, and in that case you should go out and do one of these awesome things going on, as found on the Brokelyn Event Calendar. (more…)

08/06/15 1:23pm
Even though it didn't make the shortlist, Brooklyn Spaces is a winner in all our hearts. Photo by Lisa Chow/Susan Tam

It didn’t make BPL’s shortlist, but Brooklyn Spaces still has our vote. Photo by Lisa Chow/Susan Tam

The Brooklyn Public Library has just announced a shortlist for the Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize, seeking “the defining Brooklyn literary works” of the past year. Hey, wait though, what’s a Brooklyn work? Is it anything that’s written by someone who lives here? Is it anyone writing about the borough itself? Is it an autobiography by a subway rat?

New York Times editor Charles Duhigg was quoted as saying, “Exactly what constitutes a great ‘Brooklyn book’ is difficult to pin down, but each of the shortlisted works captures some unique and defining aspect of the Brooklyn experience.” Well, we can tell you one thing: we’re having the Brooklyn experience right here, right now. Or one of many experiences. In Brooklyn.  (more…)