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    Start here bklyn public library stategic plan Start here bklyn public library stategic plan Document Transcript

    • Strategic PlanJanuary 11, 2013
    • This page and cover photo © Philip Greenberg
    • TABLE OF CONTENTSINTRODUCTION............................................................................... 5CREATING THE STRATEGIC PLAN....................................................... 7EXECUTIVE SUMMARY...................................................................... 9 BPL TODAY................................................................................................................................... 10 OUR VISION.................................................................................................................................11STRATEGIC GOALS......................................................................... 12 EDUCATION................................................................................................................................ 14 ACCESS....................................................................................................................................... 22 CULTURE...................................................................................................................................... 28 INCLUSION.................................................................................................................................. 32 SPACE.......................................................................................................................................... 38 STEWARDSHIP.............................................................................................................................. 44 Brooklyn Public Library 3
    • 4 Brooklyn Public Library
    • INTRODUCTION People have long turned to As the role of public libraries Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is growing, we also will move as a critical and free source of aggressively to incorporate new educational and recreational strategies for better serving programming and resources. For the public. Libraries now offer the Library to remain relevant, materials in more formats, on more it must adapt to meet the platforms and in more languages current and anticipated needs of than ever before. And as technology Brooklynites—from combating has become more integral to illiteracy, unemployment and daily life, we have expanded our the digital divide, to cultivating traditional literacy programs to entrepreneurship, creativity and include digital training. Libraries civic engagement. Now more than around the world are becoming ever, the Library must be flexible, laboratories, places where people dependable and well equipped to not only consume information, support the borough. but create it. New trends will continue to emerge, and BPL willLinda E. Johnson To determine the steps we keep working to offer the critical should take to strengthen our resources and opportunities the institution, over the past three citizens of a great borough deserve. years, BPL solicited feedback from many individuals, including We are deeply grateful for the patrons, elected officials, trustees, support of elected officials, donors, employees and community the Board of Trustees, friends members. Based on this input we groups, BPL’s employees and identified six major goals, centered volunteers, and most importantly, on education, access, culture, our patrons. All of you breathe life inclusion, space and stewardship. into our buildings and transform These priorities will guide our them into centers of community, programming and financial learning and knowledge. Above decisions in the years to come. all else, our libraries are places for everyone, and BPL is committed Brooklyn is a diverse and dynamic to ensuring that this fact will borough that is home to more never change. than 2.5 million people, including a growing creative community, Very truly,Anthony W. Crowell large immigrant population and many residents who have limited access to technology. Linda E. Johnson Each of our 60 libraries needs to President & CEO reflect and support their unique neighborhoods. By nurturing community ties and keeping abreast of demographic trends, we Anthony W. Crowell will provide highly customized, Chair, Board of Trustees focused and responsive service to all Brooklynites. Brooklyn Public Library 5
    • 6 Brooklyn Public Library
    • creatING thestrategic planThis document is the outcome of a highly collaborative process that began over threeyears ago and involved qualitative and quantitative planning initiatives. Internally, theseefforts included a public service staff retreat, system-wide staff survey, two strategicplanning retreats with our Board of Trustees and over 30 focus groups and interviewswith a total of more than 60 employees. Externally, we commissioned a rigorousCommunity Needs Assessment, which gathered information from 11 patron focus groupsand 1,500 households as well as through a multilingual telephone survey and onlinesurveys. We analyzed demographic and census tract data, including information fromthe NYC Department of City Planning and the Center for the Study of Brooklyn. Finally,the Library conducted a thorough review of branch usage, secondary data and industrytrends, including “Creating the Future: A 2020 Vision Plan for Library Service in NewYork State” by the New York State Regents Advisory Council and “The Library in theCity: Changing Demands and A Challenging Future” by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Brooklyn Public Library 7
    • 8 Brooklyn Public Library Photo © Philip Greenberg
    • Executive SummarySince 1896, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), in accordance with its mission, has providedthe people of Brooklyn with free and open access to information for education, recreationand reference. Evenly distributed across the diverse borough, BPL’s 60 locations serveas integral community gathering spaces for a wide variety of purposes. In manyneighborhoods, the local branch library has remained one of the few constants amidmore than a century of extraordinary change. Regardless of events outside its walls, theneighborhood branch has been a trustworthy source of timely and reliable informationon a wide range of topics and a safe haven for children after school. Perhaps mostimportantly, BPL provides all library patrons with a sense of dignity and belonging,regardless of age, race or income.While the Library remains a fundamental community institution, profound externalchanges in the way information is disseminated and accessed make it imperative forus to revisit our service model to enhance core services, re-envision programming toensure its relevancy, and develop new and innovative approaches to best serve Brooklyn’sunique populations. Brooklyn Public Library 9
    • Amid all the exciting growth and changes, the 2010 American Community Survey reveals that a staggering 23% of people residing in Brooklyn live below the poverty level3. This widespread poverty calls for a new approach to service delivery, including partnerships with community-based organizations and government agencies that promote economic empowerment, early literacy and training. The Library must develop a strategy to best serve the geographically large and heavily populated neighborhoods that have been left behind. This task is all the more complicated by the need to rebuild branches and engage in outreach to communities that were devastated Photo © Philip Greenberg by Hurricane Sandy, from Red Hook to Gerritsen Beach to ConeyBPL Today The Library is also committed Island. Our obligation and desire to responding to the significant to help neighborhoods recover BPL has traditionally focused on demographic shifts that have from the storm makes our alreadythe needs of children and families. occurred in the borough over the challenging budget situation, withThrough innovations such as past few decades. According to the nearly $230 million in unfundedopening the Brownsville Children’s Center for the Study of Brooklyn, capital needs, extremely difficult.Library in 1914, the world’s first Brooklyn’s population has grown BPL must also address thepublic library devoted to children; 11.5% since 19901 and nearly half dramatic changes in the rolethe launch of The Child’s Place the borough’s population speaks libraries play in serving theirfor Children with Special Needs a language other than English at communities. Public librariesin 1986; and recurring programs home2. There have also been great are increasingly relied upon forsuch as story time, arts and shifts in Brooklyn’s local economy a range of educational and socialcrafts and Homework Help, the and industries, as manufacturing services that extend far beyondLibrary has been at the forefront has given way to new technology, providing access to books. Theof educational programming, with an expanding service economy and advent of sophisticated interneta particular focus on literacy. Our creative arts communities. search engines and the increasinglibrary professionals maintain Parts of the borough are public adoption of electronicstrong relationships with educators flourishing. Neighborhoods like books and other forms of digitaland children at day care centers, Fort Greene and Williamsburg content have compelled the Librarypublic and parochial schools, are attracting artists, writers and to provide access to content inand those who are schooled at other creators of new content and a growing number of formatshome. We will continue to make mediums, in addition to families across multiple platforms, despitethe needs of children, teens and with young children. BPL has an continued budget reductions.families our highest priority in opportunity to devise new ways toour services and programming. serve the needs of these thriving, creative populations.10 Brooklyn Public Library
    • Total Population by Neighborhood Tabulation Area* Our Vision: Every Brooklynite Brooklyn, 2010 can Start Here People come to BPL for many Brooklyn Total = 2,504,700 reasons: some want to create or improve their resumes, check out Total Population 80,000 or more (6 neighborhoods) books or start new businesses, 65,000 to 79,999 (6) while others want to learn English, 50,000 to 64,999 (10) 35,000 to 49,999 (10) study local history or write the 25,000 to 34,999 Less than 25,000 (12) (6) next Great American Novel. Whatever their reasons for visiting the Library, BPL will help patrons begin their journeys. Guided by Branch c Æ Central this strategic plan, the Library c Æ Business & Career Library will focus on being a leading voice c Æ All Other in digital literacy, offering access to technology and providing support for children, families, * Neighborhood Tabulation Areas or NTAs, are aggregations of census tracts that are subsets of New York Citys 55 Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs). Primarily due to these constraints, NTA boundaries and their associated names may not definitively Sources: U.S. Census Bureau: 2006–2010 American Community Survey-FactFinder Population Division-New York City Department of City Planning entrepreneurs, jobseekers and represent neighborhoods. Brooklyn’s creative community. We will strive to make our branches welcoming environments Poverty Rate by Neighborhood Tabulation Area* to all patrons, from returning Brooklyn, 2006–2010 veterans to new immigrants. BPL will also build close partnerships with institutions and organizations with complementary missions. By Poverty Rate working with agencies ranging 40.0% or more (1 neighborhood) from the NYC Department of 25.0% to 39.9% (16) Education to BRIC Arts | Media 15.0% to 24.9% (17) 10.0% to 14.9% (13) | Bklyn, the Library will expand Below 10.0% (3) its reach and enhance the services offered to the public. The Library aspires to be a nimble organization, one that is responsive to its Branch c Æ Central Library environment and able to quickly c Æ c Æ Business & Career Library All Other adapt to changes in user needs. * Neighborhood Tabulation Areas or NTAs, are aggregations of census tracts that are subsets of New York Citys 55 Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs). Primarily due to these constraints, NTA boundaries and their associated names may not definitively Sources: U.S. Census Bureau: 2006–2010 American Community Survey-FactFinder represent neighborhoods. Population Division-New York City Department of City Planning1 Center for the Study of Brooklyn- Brooklyn Neighborhood Reports 20122 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimate (DP02)3 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimate (CP03) Brooklyn Public Library 11
    • Strategic Goals1. EDUCATION 2. ACCESS 3. CULTUREPromote early literacy, lifelong Improve access to library Support creative expression,learning and civic participation resources and increase culture and the arts•  reate a foundation for C the number of active throughout Brooklyn educational success through registered cardholders •  rovide cultural programming P youth, family and school •  evelop a targeted collection D and recreational opportunities engagement that reflects Brooklyn’s diverse •  ighlight the borough’s H•  uild strong literacy skills among B cultures and interests and rich history and the work of teenage and adult learners, provides access via preferred contemporary Brooklyn authors enabling them to achieve their formats and media and writers educational goals •  ake it easier to find, borrow M •  ecome a lead supporter of B•  dvance digital literacy and A and return BPL materials and Brooklyn’s creative community engage users across the spectrum resources online, in person and of technology proficiency across the City Key Initiative: In 2013, launch•  elp jobseekers and H •  upport and launch efforts S a new writers-in-residence entrepreneurs develop a to provide Brooklynites with program to support aspiring foundation of skills access to our collections in non- writers and expand the use of•  ncourage patrons to be civically E traditional settings the Espresso Book Machine as engaged and informed •  reate a library membership C a self-publishing resource. program that recognizes andKey Initiative: In 2012, we rewards active users Key Initiative: In 2013, adoptlaunched MyLibraryNYC, a a new acquisitions strategycollaboration between the City’s Key Initiative: In 2012, we for the Brooklyn Collectionthree library systems and the converted to BiblioCommons, an to include contemporaryNYC Department of Education interactive online catalog with Brooklyn works in addition toto provide services for public improved search capabilities, its existing concentration onschool students and educators. multilingual translations, mobile nineteenth and early twentiethThrough this initiative, we provide applications and social media century historical materials.a seamless online catalog across features. This is a first stepthe four institutions and deliver toward improving our digitalour vast collections directly to NYC presence through our websitepublic school libraries. and on mobile devices.Key Initiative: By 2014, launch Key Initiative: By 2017, expandStart Here: Literacy, an initiative BPL membership to over 50% ofto reconfigure BPL’s services to Brooklyn’s 2.5 million residents.prepare adult learners for newcomputer-based GED tests.12 Brooklyn Public Library
    • 4. INCLUSION 5. SPACE 6. STEWARDSHIP Present a welcoming and Provide functional, attractive and Develop and maintain aninclusive environment safe spaces and align the Library’s adaptive and responsive culture•  trengthen library accessibility S physical footprint with twenty- of service for immigrants first century service delivery •  ctively engage staff, trustees, A•  rovide programming and P •  odernize the Library’s real- M supporters, volunteers and services for older adults estate footprint to deliver partner organizations in•  mprove service to all patrons, I services in the spaces where our the Library’s mission and including veterans, persons users live and work transformation experiencing homelessness, •  ffer flexible spaces that meet O •  aunch a networked service L people with disabilities, and the evolving needs of our users model to optimize services incarcerated and formerly •  reate environments that C and locations throughout incarcerated individuals accommodate existing and the borough emerging technology and •  eepen and build relationships DKey Initiative: In 2012, we facilitate digital learning with existing and new funderspartnered with the Center for •  ontinue to renovate the C •  ncrease transparency, ICourt Innovation to provide landmarked Central Library accountability and efficiencyspace at the Stone Avenue to create spaces designed to across the institutionbranch in Brownsville for support innovative and relevantreturning probationers to programs and services Key Initiative: In 2013, establishmeet with caseworkers in a shared library technicaltheir local communities. Key Initiative: BPL will leverage services partnership with NYPL, its over one million square enabling universal drop-offKey Initiative: In 2013, through feet of real estate by launching services across four boroughsa partnership with Lifetime partnerships to provide expanded for our libraries’ patrons.Arts, BPL will expand artist-led services, including co-locationinstructional arts programming for and/or program delivery with Key Initiative: In 2013, launcholder adults, providing them with groups such as Spaceworks and a BPL membership program foropportunities to be creative and BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn. individual donors.socialize within their communities. Key Initiative: Open the Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons in 2013, which will become the cornerstone of BPL’s efforts to advance digital literacy and engagement across the borough and builds upon our current strength as the borough’s largest provider of free WiFi and computer access. Brooklyn Public Library 13
    • education14 Brooklyn Public Library Photo © Philip Greenberg
    • Promote early literacy, lifelong learning and civic participationBrooklyn is a diverse borough of long-time residents and newcomers, all hoping to makebetter lives for themselves, their families and their neighbors. Brooklyn Public Library isa trusted institution Brooklynites can turn to for assistance as they strive to fulfill theirgoals. Education and civic engagement are keys to unlocking the doors of success andBPL is committed to creating a vibrant and responsive institution that meets the needsof today’s patrons and those of the future.From early literacy to digital literacy, homework help to job training, college readinessto entrepreneurship, BPL is a place for all Brooklynites to take the next step in realizingtheir dreams. By promoting a culture of lifelong learning and providing a safe andwelcoming space, BPL will help patrons explore new ideas, new identities and newconnections in the community. In the diverse and evolving neighborhoods that BPLserves, the Library will continue to be an agent of change for all.Key Initiatives 2013: Expand 2013: Launch partnership 2013: Open Shelby 2012: Launch Homework Help to deliver digital literacy White and Leon Levy MyLibraryNYC program to include all programs with Information Commons students grades 1-12 BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn 2013: Launch 2017: Expand continuum 2015: Expand digital Start Here: Literacy, an of adult education, 2014: Launch literacy and technology initiative to prepare entrepreneurship and PowerUp! Jr. for device lending adult learners for new jobseeker programs across young entrepreneurs programs across computer-based GED BPL’s campus and the borough test requirements Central Library Brooklyn Public Library 15
    • Create a foundation for learning during out-of-school-time, needs of students with disabilitieseducational success providing personal interaction and English language learners. Thisthrough youth, family and delivering engaging programs enhancement of our traditionaland school engagement and initiatives such as First Five collections will complement an Years. They will also continue to investment in technologies that Most Brooklynites begin their serve as important mentors for support learning and creativerelationships with the Library many of Brooklyn’s young people, play. In 2012, we began to installat an early age. Generations of guiding them not only in their iPads loaded with educationalfamilies have depended on local reading choices, but also in opening applications in our branches; webranches for books and other up a world of possibilities as they will continue to expand this effortmaterials, family programs and imagine their futures. across the system and establishhomework help resources. As we In the coming years, our Youth mobile tablets for use in outreachenvision the Library of the future, & Family Services team will programs at Brooklyn schools.we will continue to meet the needs continue to support academic BPL is dedicated to assistingof children and families. BPL’s achievement. Beginning in 2012, learners outside of the classroom.philosophy focuses on nurturing the Library will dramatically Since 2004, BPL has offered acuriosity with programs and expand its print collections to popular volunteer-based After-resources for independent, self- support the national Common Core School Homework Helper programdirected learning. Our early Standards required in all NYC for students in grades 1-8, helpingliteracy programs for children from public schools. Specifically, we will children learn reading, writingbirth to age five encourage pre- grow our collection of juvenile and and math skills as well as how toreading skills and school readiness young adult non-fiction not only in use the Library’s resources. Sinceand support parents in their role English, but also in Brooklyn’s most its inception, the program hasas their child’s first teacher. Our widely spoken foreign languages: assisted approximately 220,000youth librarians are devoted to Russian, Chinese and Spanish. The elementary and junior high schoolhelping develop literacy skills and new standards emphasize English- students. Recently, BPL piloted aa love of learning by promoting language arts, history, science and similar program at Central Libraryrecreational reading, supporting math, in addition to addressing the for high school students. Based on Photo © Philip Greenberg16 Brooklyn Public Library
    • First Five Years Through BPL’s renowned First Five Years programs, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, parents and caregivers are introduced to great books, age-appropriate songs and rhymes and other early literacy activities. Programs are available in all BPL locations and include Babies & Books (birth to 18 months), Toddler Time and Read, Play, Grow! (18 months to 3 years), Story Play (birth to 5 years), and Preschool Story Time and Ready, Set, Kindergarten! (3 to 5 years). Since the First Five Years initiative began in 2005, BPL has hosted more than 62,000 class visits, child care group visits and programs, with an aggregate attendance of over 1.5 million people. The Brooklyn Reads to Babies campaign, part of the First Five Years initiative, received the 2008 John Cotton Dana Award. First Five Years will continue to grow with expanded programming across the system, tablets loaded with kid-friendly applications and mobile classroom sets for outreach programs at Brooklyn schools. BPL will continue to educate parents and caregivers about the relationship between reading to children in their first five years, and future academic and individual success. Through this important program, our staff members help children across the borough Photo © Philip Greenberg build critical early literacy skills and foster a love of reading.its success, BPL plans to implement online platform enabling students Build strong literacythis program across the Library in and educators to access not only the skills among teenage andearly 2013. collections in their school library adult learners, enabling BPL will also develop integrated but also the entire collections of all them to achieve theirprograms for educators and three public library systems in New educational goalsstudents designed to support York City. Students and teachersacademic success. Through the at participating schools now BPL provides a range ofLibrary’s Brooklyn Connections receive access to a dramatically resources to assist teenagers inprogram, middle and high school increased number and variety achieving their educational goals.students gain direct access to of texts and other resources to In the award-winning Today’soriginal archival materials from support the Citywide Instructional Teens, Tomorrow’s Techies (T4)BPL’s Brooklyn Collection. BPL Expectations, which are set by the program, students ages 14 tostaff members provide in-class NYC Department of Education 18 attend a two-week summerinstruction and guide students as for public school teachers. technology institute and thenthey create local history projects Furthermore, this program delivers use their newly acquired skills atand learn critical research skills. book sets and individual resources BPL branches to assist patronsWe will continue to offer these directly to teachers at their with technology, help staff withservices in support of students and participating schools, and students computer troubleshooting andeducators, while deepening our ties can request to have books held assist in delivering technologyto academic institutions. for them at their local libraries. classes. Teens receive additional In 2012, BPL partnered with MyLibraryNYC is slated to roll training during the school yearthe NYC Department of Education, out to all public schools across through workshops on desktopNew York Public Library and Brooklyn by 2015. publishing, animation and graphicQueens Library to launch design, among other subjects. WeMyLibraryNYC. This collaborative are currently in the eighth year ofproject includes a new, integrated the popular T4 program and intend Brooklyn Public Library 17
    • to continue to recruit hundreds of for the new GED-computer test opportunities, and health, financialnew teenagers in the years to come. requirements and offer additional and transportation systems. A BPL also offers programs to computer basics classes. digitally literate person is betterhelp adults and young adults build BPL will continue to assist able to make informed decisionsthe critical reading and writing test takers and offer critical and participate effectively in theskills necessary to enroll in GED test preparation resources for workforce, higher education, socialprograms, college transition a wide range of exams, from groups and civic life.programs, community colleges job certification exams and the BPL is committed to being theand job training programs. The SAT, to the Graduate Record lead provider of digital literacyLibrary’s Adult Learning Centers Examination (GRE) and the education in Brooklyn. Everyoffer flexible classes for adults 17 Graduate Management Admissions year, BPL hosts thousands ofyears and older who are reading Test (GMAT). The Library will classes, workshops and trainingbelow a General Educational also work to raise awareness of the opportunities at its 60 locations,Development (GED) level. In educational services we offer and including those targeted2012, BPL opened a new Adult build relationships with external specifically to teens, older adultsLearning Center at the New service providers to increase and jobseekers. BPL’s CentralLots branch to support the East participation and the number Library will become a hub forNew York community. For young of online and distance learning digital programs and access inadults ages 17 to 24, BPL offers opportunities we provide. 2013 with the opening of the Shelbyintensive classes that not only White and Leon Levy Informationhelp strengthen literacy, math Advance digital literacy Commons. It will serve as the focaland job skills but also provide and engage users point for digital literacy programsinternship opportunities, social across the spectrum of across the system. This innovativesupport services and transportation technology proficiency environment will offer spacesassistance to classes. designed to facilitate individual and Beginning in 2014, the GED test Technology is an integral group work, learning and creativitywill be administered exclusively on part of daily life, and nearly and the use of digital resourcescomputers and will be aligned to all aspects of our society are and technology. Simultaneously,the Common Core State Standards. automated or involve the use of BPL will launch a partnership withBy 2014, we will prepare students technology, including employment the nonprofit BRIC Arts | Media | Eastern Parkway Pre-GED Photo © Gregg Richardson18 Brooklyn Public Library
    • Workforce1 Career Centers BPL has long offered a wide range of free services for jobseekers, such as interviewing and job search workshops, resume writing assistance and career assessment and exploration software. Yet, BPL has never had the capacity to offer on-site some of the most important resources for job seekers: actual job placement and recruiting services. To help meet the demand for these services, BPL partnered with the NYC Department of Small Business Services to launch Workforce1 Career Centers at Central Library and Sunset Park Library. Since their opening in October 2011, these centers have referred 4,439 New Yorkers to interviews that have resulted in 917 job placements. Additionally, to ensure appropriate referrals to the Career Centers, librarians received customized training from the Workforce Professionals Training Institute, including how to assess the needs of the under or unemployed. Jobseekers can now visit the Library to accomplish all of the steps involved in becoming workforce-ready: from learning English as a second language, improving literacy skills and editing cover letters and resumes, to learning computer skills and ultimately, being referred to organizations in the process of hiring.Bklyn to provide media education laptops, public programs and Help jobseekers andand production classes. In 2016, outreach at eight neighborhood entrepreneurs develop aour digital literacy initiative libraries located in some of foundation of skillswill be complemented by a new Brooklyn’s most underservedtechnology-rich, dedicated teen neighborhoods. Based on the BPL’s Business & Careerspace at Central Library, with success of this effort, BPL will Library (B&CL) meets the needsequipment ranging from tablets expand its technology device of entrepreneurs, business owners,to gaming consoles, as well as lending program and digital investors, jobseekers, students andcomfortable, flexible and inviting literacy initiatives to additional community organizations throughfurniture to accommodate group branches by 2015. an array of resources and services.interactivity, and encourage The Library will invest in It provides access to information,participation by an audience that technologies and programs that both online and in print, thathas been traditionally difficult for facilitate training, interaction supports the economic developmentlibraries to reach. and experimentation with digital of Brooklyn and its residents. BPL is the largest provider of tools, and we will partner with Services include one-on-onefree WiFi access in the borough. innovators to provide cutting- business and finance consultations,For many patrons, the Library edge resources. In addition, we resume and test prep help,provides their sole access to need to continuously upgrade instruction in job searching andcomputers and the internet. our technology infrastructure computer use, topical seminars,BPL bridges the digital divide to deliver services effectively computer access and more.by providing a crucial link to and efficiently. From computer Additionally, BPL has partnereddatabases, job applications and tablets for class visits to self- with the NYC Department ofinformation that is increasingly checkout technology, the Library Small Business Services (SBS)only available online. A will closely track consumer to offer Workforce1 Expansionprogram funded through the preferences and modernize Centers at Central Library andfederal Broadband Technology its workflow accordingly. Sunset Park Library. These centersOpportunities Program (BTOP) connect qualified candidates to joballows BPL to provide enhanced opportunities across the city.broadband access and increasedtechnology resources including Brooklyn Public Library 19
    • PowerUP! 2011 winners, Brooklyn Open Acupuncture Photo © Philip Greenberg In 2013, BPL will launch a training, guides and other web- Jr. competition in 2014, we willnew program to help prepare and based initiatives will increase the support younger entrepreneursconnect immigrants with a range reach of the Library, providing a with their business aspirations.of educational attainment and 24/7 resource. As we focus on expanding thetraining with jobs that meet their For those interested in reach of the B&CL throughoutskills and professional abilities. establishing new businesses, all of Brooklyn, BPL will provide By 2017, we will expand a BPL acts as a center of business a baseline of core financialcontinuum of adult education, resources as well as a space for counseling and basic businessjobseeker and entrepreneurship entrepreneurs to work, create resources in our branches. Theprograms across the Library, and collaborate. The B&CL offers Library will work with both newfocused on preparatory skills for the SCORE (the Service Corps and seasoned entrepreneurs toindividuals seeking to improve their of Retired Executives) program, bring together a community ofeducational or job circumstances, which provides free business business owners to share ideas,and developing strong referral counseling with experienced collaborate and mentor each othernetworks to the appropriate businesspeople who offer private while developing their venturesacademic institutions, government coaching sessions. Additionally, the into vital components of the localagencies or non-profits that can Library’s PowerUP! Business Plan economy. All of these efforts will bebest support individuals with more Competition helps entrepreneurs coupled with outreach strategiesextensive service needs. Increasing turn their business ideas into a to build public awareness andthese services across Brooklyn will reality. Participants attend classes to ensure our patrons take fullhelp jobseekers take advantage about writing business plans and advantage of these exceptionalof BPL’s community connections. marketing their business, among programs and resources.These programs will be supported other topics, and are paired withby an expanded collection of business counselors in theirrelated materials and resources. communities. The contestants withAdditionally, branch libraries will the top business plans receive seedwork with local partners to offer money—up to $15,000—to helpprograms specific to jobseekers in launch their businesses. Throughtheir neighborhoods. Use of online the introduction of a PowerUP!20 Brooklyn Public Library
    • Bookmobile headed to areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy.Encourage patrons to Initiative, New York Cares, Street In the coming years, we willbe civically engaged Lab, Transit Forward, United Way work with civic and social serviceand informed and countless others to collect warm organizations and government coats for displaced individuals and agencies to expand our efforts to BPL provides equal access to families, offer online learning tools host community meetings, debatesknowledge and the tools necessary for displaced public school students, for local elections and communityfor an informed, engaged and and provide information on FEMA forums. These collaborations willeducated citizenry, while serving applications and voting sites across help advance personal growth,as a powerful force for economic the system. Locally, BPL opened local action and civic awarenessgrowth. The Library acts as a town the Red Hook branch as a warming among our patrons.hall, and our support for civic center and provided storm supplies,engagement is an extension of our charging stations and children’score services. activities through our bookmobiles BPL is trusted throughout the at Coney Island, Gerritsen Beachborough as an unbiased provider and Red Hook. Every year, we alsoof information. Our environment host public engagement campaigns,cultivates community involvement, ranging from registration forvolunteerism and the open exchange Early Intervention services forof ideas. With branches in almost babies and toddlers to providingevery community, BPL is uniquely assistance to Brooklynites preparingsituated to foster and support local for the Diversity Immigrant Visacommunity-based groups, and serve Program. Our branches meet theiras a bridge between Brooklyn’s community’s needs by holdingdiverse communities. In 2012, our citizenship classes, workshopscivic role was best evidenced by our in financial literacy, health andcomprehensive storm response. BPL nutrition and by partnering withpartnered with organizations such local groups.as Federal Emergency ManagementAgency (FEMA), Red Hook Brooklyn Public Library 21
    • ACCESS22 Brooklyn Public Library Photo © Philip Greenberg
    • Improve access to library resources and increase the number ofactive registered cardholdersBrooklyn Public Library’s collection is one of its core public resources and our professionalstaff use their vast knowledge of books and research methods to connect patrons tothe information they seek. This expertise becomes even more critical as we continue tooffer materials in new formats and on multiple platforms. Our staff have an invaluableunderstanding of community needs, from school curricula to popular titles in theirneighborhoods, that can help guide our patrons’ online and offline experiences.As the publishing industry moves inexorably toward digital production and distribution,the Library must ensure access for those who may not have the means or training totake advantage of the benefits of electronic formats. BPL must also continue to promoteliteracy and learning through engaging active patrons and non-users alike. Throughonline community outreach, “pop-up” libraries in pedestrian plazas and direct delivery tohomebound seniors, the Library will ensure access to our collection for all Brooklynites.In the coming years, the Library will deepen its relationship with individual patrons,supporters, donors and leaders that comprise the communities we serve and encourage activeand meaningful use of our assets, from our programs to our spaces to our materials.Key Initiatives 2012: Expand collection 2012: Launch new to support Common 2012: Expand eBook 2013: Launch program online catalog, Core educational access beginning with to recognize and reward BiblioCommons standards and Penguin/3M/NYPL pilot “power users” immigrant communities 2013: Begin pilot 2014: Launch universal 2017: Expand BPL 2013: Expand Readers efforts to offer BPL card and universal membership to Advisory services in non-traditional drop-off services across over 50% of Brooklyn’s system-wide “pop-up” spaces the City 2.5m residents Brooklyn Public Library 23
    • Develop a targeted collection of the platform or device. BPL our Readers’ Advisory services,that reflects Brooklyn’s will continue to build an eBook which include everything fromdiverse cultures and interests collection that represents our suggesting books to libraryand provides access via patrons’ diversity and reading patrons at the circulation desk, topreferred formats and media preferences. In partnership with recommending online materials NYPL, BPL has worked to increase in order to help patrons find BPL’s collection is targeted eBook access for our patrons, the information they need.to meet our patrons’ broad through efforts including a 2012 In partnership with New Yorkeducational and recreational pilot with Penguin Group and 3M. Public Library and Queens Library,needs. The collection ranges from At the same time, libraries BPL is strongly advocating foronline databases and original currently have little control over the establishment of citywidesource material for writers, to the publisher/eBook distributor universal card privileges andGED test preparation books and relationship. It’s our responsibility universal drop-off services by 2015.contemporary Russian novels. to continue to educate readers According to recent commuterOur collection must be curated to about the issues concerning access analysis provided by the Populationmaintain its quality and relevance to eBooks in public libraries and Division of the NYC Department ofto our changing user base. The advocate for libraries’ interests by City Planning, this change wouldLibrary has carefully managed its partnering with national initiatives benefit the 807,000+ commutersacquisitions strategy, and today spearheaded by the American who currently work in a boroughour branches circulate nearly Library Association as well as other than the one in which they20 million books, materials and grassroots efforts like Reader’s live, and the countless studentseBooks a year. In 2012, BPL began First, a new coalition to improve who attend schools outside theira two-year efffort to expand its eBook access and services for resident boroughs. This servicecollection to meet the needs of public library users. expansion will begin in 2014 withBrooklyn students and educators as a pilot involving BPL and NYPL,the Common Core rolls out across Make it easier to find, which will allow any NYPL or BPLNew York State. BPL will continue borrow and return BPL patron to drop off materials into regularly evaluate its selection materials and resources either system’s branches.and acquisitions strategy and online, in person andcontinue engaging with publishers, across the City Support and launch effortsdistributors and patrons. to provide Brooklynites with As user reading preferences BPL strives to make its access to our collections inincorporate more digital content, collection of books, eBooks, DVDs non-traditional settingsBPL will respond by providing and other materials easy to findaccess to all platforms. The shift and convenient to use. In 2012, BPL will offer our materials infrom physical to digital materials BPL launched BiblioCommons, unexpected environments, fromhas been dramatic. According to a a new online search tool that “pop-up” libraries in pedestrianJuly 2012 survey by the Association provides accurate, more relevant plazas to the extended loan ofof American Publishers and the and user-friendly catalog search materials at public schools orBook Industry Study Group, results and enables users to senior centers. MyLibraryNYCeBooks more than doubled in connect with other readers, share is our first major expansion ofpopularity in 2011, with eBooks book reviews and keep track of material access to Brooklynites,outselling hardcover books in adult their reading history. BPL’s new with books being delivered directlyfiction for the first time. catalog also features information to Brooklyn public schools. We Currently, BPL has one of in Spanish, Chinese, French and will also strengthen our “depositthe top eBook collections in Russian, and is the platform that collections,” through which thethe country. As our patrons supports the MyLibraryNYC public Library lends targeted materialsincreasingly choose digital formats, school initiative. reflective of local needs atour goal is to ensure the same Beginning in 2013, our neighborhood community centers.customer experience regardless library professionals will grow24 Brooklyn Public Library
    • Note: Total Circulation includes all library materials. Digital Circulation is limited to video, music, audio books and eBooks. Circulation Per Capita Comparison (FY 2011) Seattle, WA Columbus,OH Indianapolis, IN San Jose, CA San Francisco, CA Toronto, ONLibrary System Jacksonville, FL Phoenix, AZ Queens, NY New York, NY Brooklyn,NY Dallas, TX Fort Worth,TX Charlotte,NC Boston, MA San Diego, CA Philadelphia, PA San Antonio, TX 0.00 2.00 4.00 6.00 8.00 10.00 12.00 14.00 16.00 18.00 20.00 Source: Public Library Data Service (PLDS). Brooklyn Public Library 25
    • BPL Digital Engagement In 2012, Brooklyn Public Library launched BiblioCommons, an online catalog that provides the kind of search experience that users have elsewhere on the web. It features improved browsing and quicker, more refined results. Patrons can Photo © Philip Greenberg now review books, send direct messages and store wish lists and BPL will continue to be a strong events, educational programs and reading histories. Users will be ablesupporter of borough activities that public training initiatives, as well to browse the online platform frompromote literacy and thoughtful as making frequent use of our a mobile device, as well as accessdiscussion about books. Our efforts materials and resources. the catalog from a new app forrange from the Brooklyn borough Beginning in 2013, BPL will Android™ and iPhone®.president’s annual Brooklyn Book launch a program that will rewardFestival to the launch of temporary our patrons for their active and This launch represents the first inoutdoor reading rooms in Red longtime use of the Library. a series of digital innovations. WeHook’s Coffey Park and Brooklyn Rewards will be based on patrons’ will continue to pursue interactiveBorough Hall Plaza, in partnership overall material checkouts and communication with our customerswith the non-profit Street Lab’s renewals, length of cardholder through our website, socialUni Project. status, number of events attended media channels and via patrons’ and how engaged they are with mobile devices. We will promoteCreate a library membership our online community. This original content and meaningfulprogram that recognizes and new program will help create engagement with our patrons aboutrewards active users personalized experiences for “power our neighborhood branches and users,” and will feature incentives, allow organizations, technologists, In 2012, BPL had over 950,000 including special borrowing developers and other interestedcardholders, a 35% increase in the privileges, invitations to exclusive parties to access open data andpast year. Nearly 38% of Brooklyn’s cultural programs and notifications engage in data visualization2.5 million residents currently about upcoming author book tours projects. Through these efforts, wecarry a BPL library card. We aim and BPL events. will increase BPL’s profile, highlightto grow this number to 50% by our achievements and improve2017. But we cannot define success accessibility to those aroundby simply increasing the number the world who are interested inof registered users. We aim for Brooklyn and the Library’san engaged community of active vast offerings.users taking part in our cultural26 Brooklyn Public Library
    • Brooklyn Public Library 27Photo © Philip Greenberg
    • CULTUREBPL Exhibition, Fashion Illustration: A Contemporary Look28 Brooklyn Public Library Photo © Philip Greenberg
    • Support creative expression, culture andthe arts throughout BrooklynBrooklyn Public Library is committed to inspiring Brooklynites of all ages by providingaccess to outstanding cultural resources, such as author talks, musical performancesand art exhibitions. BPL is uniquely situated to bring together artists with very differentbackgrounds to engage in dialogue and build community. In the coming years, we willstrengthen our libraries’ roles as creative centers of their neighborhoods. The Librarywill consider what Brooklyn’s many writers, designers, artists and other creativeresidents want—such as access to training, programs and workspaces—and how theinstitution can reposition itself to become a stronger force for advancing their growthand artistic development.BPL is also at the epicenter of a resurgent interest in the history of Brooklyn, fromformer residents to the national and international press. People across the worldwish to trace their roots to the borough, view historic maps of neighborhoods, andconnect with photos, ephemera and other materials. We will significantly improveaccess to the Brooklyn Collection and expand its holdings so that more people canresearch their genealogy, track Brooklyn’s current cultural renaissance and learnabout the borough’s history.Key Initiatives 2012: Launch Brooklyn 2013: Launch partnership 2012: Install Espresso Visual Heritage website 2013: Launch BPL with Spaceworks at Book Machine for with Brooklyn Historical writers-in-residence Red Hook and self publishing Society, Brooklyn Museum program Williamsburgh branches and Pratt Institute 2014: Launch “Artist 2014: Expand the 2015: Complete Toolkit” to help Brooklyn Collection to digitization of Brooklyn independent artists document Brooklyn’s Daily Eagle and 63 local build skills to achieve contemporary culture Brooklyn newspapers sustainable careers Brooklyn Public Library 29
    • Provide cultural build upon our recent successes, In the coming years, we will striveprogramming and such as 2012’s Fashion Illustration: to offer a more comprehensive lookrecreational opportunities A Contemporary Look, one of the at our borough. In late 2012, we largest showcases ever assembled of launched Brooklyn Visual Heritage, Creative expression, recreation the work of established and widely a website created in collaborationand an appreciation for the arts published New York- and Brooklyn- with Pratt Institute’s School ofare important for all Brooklynites. based fashion illustrators. BPL Information and Library Science,Learning can happen in many will also work to attract more the Brooklyn Historical Societyways, and BPL offers a diverse New Yorkers to Central Library’s and Brooklyn Museum. This effort,range of programs and resources Dr. S. Stevan Dweck Center developed through the Institutethat encourage imaginative for Contemporary Culture, the of Museum and Library Services-learning for people of all ages and Library’s largest performance funded Project CHART (Culturalbackgrounds. These opportunities venue. We will continue to provide Heritage, Access, Research andinclude storytimes, arts and crafts, programming through partnerships Technology), focuses on developingchess workshops, Summer Reading with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the skills of future staff membersevents, film series and dance classes Carnegie Hall and the Museum and on the digitization of historicon Central Library’s plaza as well as of Modern Art. In 2013, BPL will images of Brooklyn. By 2015, BPLother interactive experiences. increase community participation will complete the digitization of Our cultural programs will in programs by using targeted the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, whichextend across all age levels. To outreach and creating a more user- includes the years spanning 1903–further support our growing friendly online events calendar. 1955, as well as 63 other Brooklynpartnership with the NYC As a result, more people will neighborhood papers. To facilitateDepartment of Education, BPL will experience the rich and culturally access, we will redesign Brooklynexpand its Theater in the Schools diverse schedule of readings, talks Collection’s website to improveprogram, which has already and performances presented in the search results and make it easierintroduced many public school landmarked Central Library. for researchers to obtain items.students to their first live theater Finally, we will raise awarenessexperience. Productions including Highlight the borough’s about Brooklyn’s past throughCool Rainforest Connections rich history and the work rotating exhibits in our branchesand The City’s Green Book are of contemporary Brooklyn and discussion groups.staged by professional theater authors and writers While we take care to preservegroups, including Hampstead and catalog the past, we must alsoStage Company, Plaza Theatrical As a 115-year-old institution track current trends and events.Productions, Wildlife Theater, with ties to every Brooklyn In 2013, BPL will expand theand International Theater Arts neighborhood, BPL is at the Brooklyn Collection to documentInstitute, a group that often intersection of the borough’s storied Brooklyn’s contemporary culture.presents in a bilingual format. past and its exciting future. We BPL will collect unique and notableBPL will also expand its creative believe that the Library should work created in Brooklyn, as wellarts programming for older and can be a leading source of as ephemera and photos. Theseadults through a partnership information about Brooklyn, items will supplement the Brooklynwith the non-profit Lifetime whether patrons are looking for Collection’s existing concentrationArts. From quilting and choral nineteenth-century maps of their on nineteenth and early twentiethsinging to drawing and writing neighborhoods, images of a 1950s century historical materials.short stories, our programs help Brooklyn actress or books bypatrons develop new artistic emerging Brooklyn authors.skills, express themselves The Library’s Brooklynand interact with others. Collection brings local history BPL will continue to provide to life through maps, photos,invaluable humanities events for ephemera and the historicalthe borough. These efforts will Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper.30 Brooklyn Public Library
    • Brooklyn Connections Since 2006, BPL’s Brooklyn Connections program has helped middle- and high-school students develop important research and analytical skills while learning about the borough’s history. Students in English Language Arts and Social Studies classes complete a standards-based local history project, receive tours of the Brooklyn Collection (BPL’s special collection of Brooklyn- related historical documents) and enjoy direct access to the Collection’s original archival materials. Connections staff members visit participating public schools to provide in-class instruction and deliver document reproductions tailored to class projects. Additionally, students can receive after-school project assistance at the Brooklyn Collection. Teachers enjoy one-on-one planning sessions with staff and have the opportunity to attend professional development workshops. Brooklyn Connections has experienced significant growth—from serving 20 classes in 2007–2008 to 48 classes in 2011–2012. Since its inception, the program has reached nearly 4,000 students in grades 6 through 12, including students with special needs and English Language Learners. The initiative serves low-income and Title 1 schools, where 40% or more of students receive free or reduced lunch. Over the past five years, Brooklyn Connections has helped thousands of young Brooklynites develop a greater understanding of local history and build the critical-thinking skills needed for lifelong academic success.Become a lead the publishing industry. Also have access to elsewhere. Whensupporter of Brooklyn’s in 2013, the Library will open planning exhibitions, the Librarycreative community a writer’s room; this will be the will continue to give priority to the first step in creating a writer- work of Brooklyn-based artists, Brooklyn is one of the country’s in-residence program that will providing many new creativepreeminent creative hubs, a place enable Brooklyn writers to work professionals with the opportunitywhere artists, writers, designers in dedicated, quiet spaces. to display their work. Throughand performers come to live and We will leverage our extensive programming and events, thework. The Library is committed physical plant to establish Library will champion the workto expanding opportunities environments that can best of our borough’s many talentedfor professional development, support the creative community. individuals and help foster thecollaboration and public In 2013, through a partnership development of Brooklyn’s nextengagement for the borough’s with Spaceworks (a nonprofit generation of artists, writers,creative community. organization that creates long- performers and designers. In 2012, the Library began to term and affordable artistdeepen its support of local writers rehearsal space), we will dedicateby launching the Espresso Book underutilized space at ourMachine as a self-publishing Williamsburgh and Red Hookresource at the Central Library. branches for use by local artists.In 2013, the Library will This innovative program willcreate an advisory board that connect our patrons to new creativeincludes local authors to help resources while breathing newguide the development of new life into underutilized branches.services. We will also seek out At the Shelby White and Leonother organizations to enhance Levy Information Commons, weprogramming at our libraries will offer advanced computerby providing writing workshops software and digital design toolsand classes on how to navigate that artists and designers may not Brooklyn Public Library 31
    • 32 Brooklyn Public Library Photo © Philip Greenberg
    • Present a welcoming and inclusive environmentOne of Brooklyn’s greatest strengths is its diversity. According to the 2010 AmericanCommunity Survey, more than 37% of Brooklyn residents were born outside of theUnited States4 and nearly 46% of Brooklynites over the age of five speak a languageother than English at home5. By providing English classes and conversation groups, aswell as materials in more than 126 languages, Brooklyn Public Library is a source ofsupport and information for new Americans. Yet despite our progress, there is stillmuch work to be done. By expanding our bilingual programming, tailoring our servicesto meet specific community needs and improving the entire system’s capacity tocommunicate with speakers of other languages, we can continue to be a vital resourcefor our borough’s newcomers.The Library also strives to meet the needs of Brooklyn’s emerging communities,including veterans, persons experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, andincarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, among others. By creating newpartnerships with social service providers, strengthening our referral network, providingstaff training and creating new ties within Brooklyn’s communities, we will make adifference for all Brooklynites.Key Initiatives 2012: Partner with the 2013: Launch outreach 2012: Provide four Center for Court Innovation 2013: Launch program services to support senior language translations to allow parolees to meet to help immigrants find citizens, immigrants on BPL online catalog with caseworkers in their skilled jobs and careers and emerging communities local communities 2014: Fully train all 2013: Expand Lifetime 2017: Fully implement staff on emerging Arts program for older language access plan communities and adults across the borough across BPL referral processes Brooklyn Public Library 33
    • Strengthen library & Career Library will spearhead These individual efforts willaccessibility for immigrants a new program to help prepare lead to fully implementing an and connect immigrants with institution-wide language access All patrons, regardless of the jobs and careers that meet their and immigrant services planlanguage(s) they speak, should be abilities—particularly for those in 2017. This plan will includeable to enjoy a high level of service who have not been able to apply establishing an expandedat local libraries. Brooklyn is now overseas training and credentials immigrant service volunteerone of the most diverse counties into meaningful jobs in the United program, installing signage atin the nation. According to 2010 States. By 2015, we will increase branches in multiple languagesAmerican Community Survey the number of English for Speakers and providing interpretation anddata, over 948,000 of Brooklyn’s of Other Language (ESOL) groups translation tools to employees.residents are foreign-born6, and that we host to accommodate By being mindful of the needs ofover one million residents—46% the top ten foreign languages immigrants and new learners ofof the borough—speak a language spoken in Brooklyn: Spanish, English, we can ensure our librariesother than English at home7. Over Chinese, Russian, French Creole, reflect the diversity of our borough583,000 residents are considered Yiddish, Polish, Italian, Bengali, and inspire all Brooklynites tolimited English proficient8. Arabic and Urdu. Additionally, achieve their goals. A centralized plan of service we will identify ways to make ourfor immigrant communities will existing programs more relevant Provide programming andenable our staff members to better to speakers of other languages and services for older adultsmeet the needs of patrons. Our immigrants, including First Fiveimmigrant services initiative Years programming for children, Brooklyn has the largestbegan in 2012, when BPL began literacy classes, and business and concentration of older adults inoffering a robust online catalog career resources. New York City, with nearly 12%with translations in Spanish, of our population over the age ofChinese, Russian and French, and 659. With an age span of nearlyin multilingual Common Core three decades, this population hascollections. In 2013, BPL’s Business varying language, mobility, income, capabilities and needs. BPL will continue to develop and strengthen Lifetime Arts its programs and outreach to this population. In 2012, we began a Brooklyn has the largest concentration of older adults in New York City, a segment partnership with Lifetime Arts to that will continue to grow and challenge public service providers. Understanding introduce artist-led instructional and successfully responding to the needs of older adult customers will be critical arts programs for older adults, and to BPL’s future success. Partnering with Lifetime Arts has been a positive step in received strong customer and staff improving service to this constituency. The sequential arts programming series, feedback. In 2013, we will expand which includes social interaction opportunities, is building the Library’s capacity to these programs to additional deliver and sustain meaningful instructional arts programs for an aging population. locations and provide related staff Programs included quilting, poetry, drawing, collage, painting and singing, among development. By 2016, we will others, for the 55+ population. increase our Books by Mail service to homebound seniors from its In FY12, a series of 12 arts programs with more than 100 individual sessions took 200 current participants to 600. place in 10 branches, Central Library and senior centers across the borough. Most importantly, we will conduct Through this effort, BPL facilitated engagement among older Brooklynites, some of extensive outreach efforts to ensure whom lead very isolated lives. The programs were well attended and positively that older adults are aware of the reviewed by the participants. Lifetime Arts has secured a prestigious IMLS grant that programs and services available will support additional programs at BPL in FY13. BPL will continue to expand this at BPL. worthwhile program across the borough.34 Brooklyn Public Library
    • Brooklyn Public Library 35Photo © Gregg Richards
    • Persons by English Language Ability Brooklyn, 2010 Limited English Proficient Speaks (LEP) language 578,771 other than 25% Speaks English English at at home Home 1,250,028 English 47% 53% Proficient 1,082,443 503,672 22% Total Persons Ages 5 and Over: 2,332,471 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey-Public Use Microdata Sample Population Division-New York City Department of City Planning Limited English Proficient Population by Language Spoken at Home in New York City and Brooklyn, 2010 New York City Brooklyn Overall LEP 1,816,599 Overall LEP 578,771 Percent Percent Total 100.0 Total 100.0 Spanish 50.4 Spanish 35.1 Chinese* 16.5 Chinese* 20.6 Russian 6.3 Russian 15.0 French Creole 2.7 French Creole 5.5 Korean 2.6 Yiddish 4.9 Italian 2.2 Polish 2.5 Bengali 2.1 Italian 2.2 Polish 1.6 Bengali 2.1 Yiddish 1.6 Arabic 2.1 Arabic 1.5 Urdu 1.2 * Includes Chinese, Cantonese, Mandarin and Formosan Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey-Public Use Microdata Sample Population Division-New York City Department of City Planning36 Brooklyn Public Library
    • Improve service to all with outside organizations, initiatives, we will developpatrons, including veterans, such as social service providers a cohesive strategy for ensuringpersons experiencing and advocacy groups, to that all patrons who visit ourhomelessness, people with offer specialized information libraries feel welcome and receivedisabilities, and incarcerated and assistance for emerging helpful information.and formerly incarcerated communities, as well as olderindividuals adults and immigrants. This department will coordinate new People from all backgrounds, programming for our branchesliving under a variety of with external providers, encouragecircumstances, rely on the Library use of the Library, strengthenfor assistance with achieving their our referral services and overseegoals. BPL will work to improve mobile services for people whoand expand upon our past efforts may experience barriers to visitingto reach underserved populations. the Library. It will educateIn 2012, we began providing space employees about internal andin our Stone Avenue Library in external resources and programs 4 2  010 American Community SurveyBrownsville to the Center for Court and spend time in Brooklyn’s 1-Year Estimate (DP02) 5 IbidInnovation, enabling parolees to communities, learning about the 6 I  bidmeet locally with their caseworkers. needs of our patrons. By 2014, 7 Ibid In 2013, BPL will create a BPL will fully train all staff on 8 2  010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimate (B16001)Department of Outreach Services, emerging communities and 9 2  010 American Community Surveydesigned to build relationships referral processes. Through these 1-Year Estimate (DP05) The Child’s Place for Children with Special Needs At its 5 locations, BPL’s The Child’s Place for Children with Special Needs provides children age birth to 12, with or without disabilities, opportunities to play and learn together in barrier-free environments. From story times and crafts, to gardening clubs and weekend performances, the Child’s Place offers a variety of fun and inclusive programming for children. Child’s Place locations are equipped with adaptive toys, paint brushes and other tools, as well as audiobooks and twin vision and Braille books, among other resources. Child’s Place staff members have special education backgrounds and experience working with children with disabilities. In addition to children’s programming, they also conduct workshops for parents and make school visits. Additionally, through the Child’s Place’s Hospital Storytelling program, volunteers visit hospitals and clinics to read aloud to children. The first Child’s Place opened in Flatlands Library in 1986. Since then, BPL has added locations in Greenpoint, Red Hook, Saratoga and Sunset Park libraries. In fiscal year 2012, the Child’s Place served over 22,000 children with disabilities, their families, peers, friends, educators and therapists at 1,360 programs. In FY13, the program will focus on making the Library more accessible and welcoming to children and teens on the autism spectrum. The Child’s Place has become a model for national inclusion, and has been recognized as a best practices program by both the Brooklyn Developmental Disabilities Council and the New York State Developmental Disabilities Photo © Philip Greenberg Planning Council. Brooklyn Public Library 37
    • SpaceKensington Library, 201238 Brooklyn Public Library Photo © Philip Greenberg
    • Provide functional, attractive and safe spaces andalign the Library’s physical footprint with twenty-firstcentury service deliveryFor generations, local libraries have served as anchors of their neighborhoods. BrooklynPublic Library’s extensive real-estate portfolio is comprised of over one million squarefeet of space in 60 libraries located throughout the borough. This physical footprint givesBPL reach into nearly every one of Brooklyn’s diverse and dynamic neighborhoods. Ourlibraries range from the iconic Central Library at Grand Army Plaza to the system’s 18original Carnegie libraries from the early twentieth century, as well as smaller, moremodern structures built over the last 75 years.Our aging branch system presents both challenges and opportunities. Years ofdeferred maintenance have left too many branches in poor condition and unable toprovide the services our patrons deserve and need. Additionally, our physical footprintwas built to serve a twentieth century model of library service and, in some cases, isno longer adequate.BPL will focus on modernizing our physical spaces, while leveraging our real-estateassets to strenghthen services for all Brooklyn communities. Our branches must becometechnology-rich and conducive for both collaborative learning and work in order to bestsupport our patrons. We will work with external stakeholders and community partnersto repurpose library spaces that are underutilized, provide homes for community-focusedprogramming, improve our responsiveness to changing neighborhood demographics anddevelop new library spaces designed for modern needs.Key Initiatives 2012: Partner local artists 2013: Launch 2014: Complete and design efforts with partnership with renovation of Central 2013: Launch Branch branches (e.g., Cortelyou Spaceworks at Library’s Grand Lobby, Rehabilitation initiative exteriors and Kensington Williamsburgh and including installation of solar-powered mobiles) Red Hook branches self-check kiosks 2016: Fully deploy 2016: Complete roll-out 2016: Launch new 2016: Launch library upgraded technology of customized, Teen Space at sevices in the infrastructure, including age-specific spaces Central Library South Site complex broadband services across the system Brooklyn Public Library 39
    • Modernize the Library’s real- on one such project by partnering such as public plazas, schools,estate footprint to deliver with Brooklyn-based developer community centers and seniorservices in the spaces where Two Trees to build a state-of- centers. In certain neighborhoods,our users live and work the-art new branch in the heart BPL will work with community of the BAM Cultural District in leaders and the private sector to BPL’s one million plus square Downtown Brooklyn. At other investigate relocating existingfeet of City-owned real estate locations, the Library will work branches to better serve changingsuffers from more than $230 with community leaders to identify populations, develop new, high-million in deferred maintenance creative partnerships that can tech and flexible libraries and enterneeds, and our branches, with share space with the Library and into partnerships with developersan average age of 58 years, are provide enhanced programming in to realize the revenue potential ofin many cases not configured to more modern facilities. select BPL branches.meet the Library’s twenty-first While BPL’s extensive branch BPL will modernize andcentury service requirements. As network is an extraordinary maintain our local branchesmost of our branches are owned resource, it also presents several through regular technology andby the City, BPL has relied on the challenges. By investing in a equipment upgrades, such as thegenerosity of our elected officials substantial “bricks and mortar” current installation of self-checkto support our capital needs. service delivery system, BPL machines across the system. ThisUnfortunately, we do not receive is often challenged to respond initiative also includes expandingnearly enough funding to meet our to Brooklyn’s rapidly shifting artistic partnerships such asenormous infrastructure needs demographics and development those begun in 2012, includingand must think creatively about patterns. BPL will explore new the Cortelyou Library muralways to deliver the sort of public solutions aimed at bringing and the solar mobiles in our newspaces that our patrons and staff our collection and resources to Kensington branch. In 2013, wedeserve. Our plan is to address the community and expanding will launch a groundbreakingthis problem in several ways. At our presence in Brooklyn’s partnership with Spaceworks,some locations, BPL will work with neighborhoods beyond the a newly founded not-for-profit,private developers to realize the confines of our branches. We will tasked with creating affordablesometimes significant value in our collaborate with other service work and performance spaces forbranches and develop brand new providers to locate collections and New York City artists. Spaceworkslibraries. BPL recently began work programming in unique places will develop innovative work Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons In early 2013, BPL will open the groundbreaking Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons. This innovative project has repurposed a poorly conceived and uninspiring space directly off the main lobby of BPL’s Central Library into a spectacular collaborative learning and technology resource. The new space, designed by internationally renowned architect Toshiko Mori and funded by a generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation, will respect Central Library’s stunning Art Deco architecture while bringing a high-tech digital learning center to the heart of Brooklyn. Rendering: Toshiko Mori Architect The Information Commons will consist of public meeting rooms, a training lab and an open workspace, each equipped with technology and resources to facilitate individual and group work, learning and creativity. An open seating area will offer space and electrical outlets for 70 laptops, as well as 25 public computer workstations. These will include 10 iMacs running the latest creative and multimedia editing software. The Information Commons will also feature seven meeting rooms the public can reserve, with one room doubling as a recording studio where visitors can record podcasts, videos or other multimedia projects, as well as a state-of-the-art 36-seat digital training lab.40 Brooklyn Public Library
    • Capital Funding Per Capita FY03–FY12 $80.00 $70.00 $60.00 $50.00 $40.00 $30.00 $20.00 $10.00 $0.00 Queens NYPL Brooklyn Source: Center for an Urban Future, Branches of Opportunity, January 2013and performance spaces at Offer flexible spaces that programs, quiet spaces forWilliamsburgh and Red Hook meet the evolving needs of writers, and studio and rehearsallibraries and will work with BPL to our users spaces for use by Brooklyn’sprovide arts programming for our large creative community.patrons at these locations. Our libraries are community In 2013, BPL will begin its centers and must be safe and Create environments thatBranch Rehabilitation initiative, welcoming for everyone. By 2016, accommodate existing andan aggressive schedule of projects the Library will reconfigure emerging technology anddesigned to significantly enrich the its branches to create new and facilitate digital learningpatron experience at all libraries. innovative spaces designed to serveBPL will identify opportunities the needs of different patrons. BPL All libraries in the twenty-firstto improve our physical spaces, will develop dedicated children’s century must embrace the rapidlywith a focus on enhancing spaces at all 60 of our branches, increasing role of technologycommunity rooms, outdoor and provide distinct space for in society. BPL is a leader ingrounds, building exteriors and teenagers. For example, at the promoting digital literacy andother aesthetic improvements, Central Library in 2016, we will providing technology access forincluding murals. Additionally, relocate teen services to the second all Brooklynites. In January 2013,BPL is committed to fully floor in a flexible space that will we will greatly enhance our digitalreopening all six of the branches much better serve the rapidly resources by opening the Shelby(Brighton Beach, Coney Island, evolving needs of Brooklyn’s White and Leon Levy InformationGerritsen Beach, Gravesend, young adults. Commons at Central Library.Red Hook and Sheepshead We will also create other We will invest in infrastructureBay) damaged and closed as a customized spaces geared improvements designed toresult of Hurricane Sandy. toward specific patron groups, enhance broadband access at such as collaborative spaces all BPL branches, ensuring that for entrepreneurs, one-on- all Brooklyn communities have one consultative spaces for equitable access to BPL’s wealth jobseekers and mentorship of digital resources, ranging from Brooklyn Public Library 41
    • tablets to desktop computers. All Computer Sessions and WiFi Sessionsbranches will see an expandednumber of digital access points. Wewill also implement new technology 2,500,000 250,000to enhance service to our customersand reduce focus on manual 2,000,000 200,000processes, enabling staff to spend Computer Sessionsmore time providing direct service WiFi Sessions 1,500,000 150,000to the public. These technologyimprovements range from self- 1,000,000 100,000checkout machines for patronsto tablet devices for our mobile 500,000 50,000reference librarians. 0 0Continue to renovate FY 06 FY 07 FY 08 FY 09 FY 10 FY 11 FY 12the landmarked CentralLibrary to create spaces Computer Sessions WiFi Sessionsdesigned to supportinnovative and relevantprograms and services financial literacy, job skills/career perform their own work. The space readiness training, and business will be staffed with young adult BPL will make Central Library and entrepreneurship resources librarians and expert mentors whomore efficient and easier to use, and classes. With the B&CL and will facilitate digital projects, runwhile establishing a vision for the NYC Department of Small workshops and assist teens withwhat a twenty-first century library Business Services Workforce1 using advanced technology. It willcan be. Building on the successful Expansion Center all under one be an informal, fun space thatlaunch of the Dr. S. Stevan Dweck roof, patrons who are seeking will encourage teens to expressCenter for Contemporary Culture, information about career services themselves, work with each otherwe will continue to transform will also be able to obtain help and discover new interests.Central Library by launching with job placement. In addition tothe Shelby White and Leon Levy traditional services, Central LibraryInformation Commons in 2013. will provide meeting and workBy 2014, BPL will complete a full space for the self-employed andrenovation of Central Library’s jobseekers, as well as additionalGrand Lobby, including installing spaces for a combination of staff-self-check kiosks. In 2014, we and volunteer-led instruction andwill also expand the Brooklyn collaborative learning.Collection, creating new program Finally, in 2016 we will launchand work spaces for authors, a new space within Centralcontent creators, researchers, Library dedicated to teens andstudents and general users. young adults. It will incorporate Another key service component technology—such as computers,will be the integration of the gaming consoles and mediaBusiness & Career Library, which stations—and modular furnitureis currently located in Brooklyn that allows for flexibility andHeights, with Central Library’s collaboration. This inviting spaceAdult Learning Center in 2017. will display teen art and showcaseThis will provide one destination a range of media. Programs willfor a full range of services that include talks, film screeningsincludes adult basic education, and opportunities for teens to42 Brooklyn Public Library
    • Park Slope Library, 2012 Brooklyn Public Library 43 Photo © Philip Greenberg
    • stewardship44 Brooklyn Public Library Photo © Philip Greenberg
    • Develop and maintain an adaptive andresponsive culture of serviceDramatic shifts in consumer technology and user preferences are creating opportunitiesand challenges for large urban libraries. In order to become more agile and responsive toour patrons’ needs as well as to our shifting external environment, BPL will develop anorganizational culture that fosters innovative thinking and rewards success in the areashighlighted by this strategic plan.BPL will establish the internal systems and processes by which to better serve ourpatrons, including branch performance data, targeted demographic analyses andcustomer satisfaction surveys. To the extent our data can interest, excite and engage ourpartner organizations and support the community at large, it will be collected, promotedand made available to the public. The Library will focus its resources on its service to thepublic and streamline back-office operations wherever possible.Key Initiatives 2013: Expand 2013: Launch shared 2012: Establish Office BPL performance 2013: Launch BPL donor technical services of Strategic Planning management and membership campaign partnership with NYPL demographic analysis 2017: Complete 2015: Complete 2016: Complete roll-out of sustainability initiative self-check installations networked service model and promote a across the system paperless library Brooklyn Public Library 45
    • Actively engage staff,trustees, supporters,volunteers and partnerorganizations in the Library’smission and transformation Brooklyn Public Library staffmembers, trustees, volunteersand community partners have along-standing dedication to publicservice. Each one of our staffmembers represents the values ofour organization and shapes thepublic’s opinion of the Library. Inorder to effectively support theneeds of our community, we mustensure our staff are appropriatelytrained, supported and investedin the future of the institution. Photo © Gregg RichardsThis effort requires an ongoing,open dialogue with employees, andmeaningful action in response to Launch a networked community needs. BPL will makeinternal and external challenges. service model to optimize flexibility both in physical layoutAdditionally, we must raise services and locations and programming a hallmark of itsawareness of our resources and across the borough extensive system.encourage more Brooklynites tovisit our libraries. Beginning in 2013, the Library Deepen and build As the composition of will launch a networked service relationships with existingBrooklyn’s population and model of regional and local and new fundersindustries shifts, the Library branches throughout Brooklyn. Atmust play an important role in every local branch, we will offer As the Library looks towardsbringing together all communities, the high-quality services that the implementing its vision,from low-income neighborhoods borough has come to expect of our philanthropy in all forms is criticalto new immigrants to aspiring Library: safe and clean community for growth. We will build andentrepreneurs. The Library serves spaces, knowledgeable and deepen relationships with corporateas a bridge for Brooklyn residents, informed staff, a broad collection of and foundation funders throughproviding access to technology materials, children’s programming, redeveloped and revitalized givingand information and closing broadband access and technology. opportunities. These efforts alsogaps in educational and cultural At regional branches, we will require outcomes-based approachesopportunities. At the same time, the provide the specialized services that clearly show the impact ofLibrary faces tremendous resource and programming that meet our work.pressures. Only by strategically the needs and interests of our The Library must createleveraging our staff, partner patrons. Regional branches will meaningful relationshipsorganizations and volunteers can be accessible by mass transit and with individual donors at allwe provide more comprehensive located across the borough. BPL levels. Beginning in 2013, theservices, including multilingual will complete the reorganization Library will establish new donorprograms, community events and of our “stand-alone” branch programs and offer specialcreative programs. system into a network by 2016, events throughout the year. In while customizing branch layout addition, by engaging with patrons and programming for individual who have positive experiences46 Brooklyn Public Library
    • with the Library and creating by streamlining library services friendly electronic workflows.new opportunities to contriute with operational advances such as In addition, by implementingfinancially, we hope to build a online fines payment, centralized time-saving technologies, fromnew base of individual support collection development and the the completion of self-checkAt the same time, we will launch installation of self-check machines. installations across the systemnew strategies for cultivating and In 2013, BPL will expand in 2014 to the introduction ofstewarding major gifts, including its performance management handheld technology, our librarycorporate and individual naming system. This system will include professionals will be able toopportunities for capital projects information about how our concentrate more of their efforts onand signature programs. collections, technology and public service. While philanthropic giving facilities are used at all levels, To ensure that the Libraryand development are areas that as well as external data, such as does not lose sight of the need forthe Library will continue to grow, demographic and industry trends continuous improvement, BPLwe must continue to advocate in Brooklyn. We will establish an created a new Office of Strategicfor public funding—from local ongoing process for gathering, Planning in 2012. This office wasmunicipal government to state analyzing and leveraging patron charged with the development andand federal aid. In 2013, we will and employee insights through oversight of this strategic roadmap,help Friends of Brooklyn Public focus groups, surveys and advisory performance managementLibrary groups to grow, leveraging groups so the Library can be initiatives and tracking shiftstheir community knowledge to more responsive to change. The in consumer preferences andsupport our grassroots advocacy, Library will make much of this Brooklyn’s changing landscape.programming and development data available to the public, so we This office will also assess,efforts. As we launch our new can address community needs in foster, monitor and implementvision for service, the Library will a collaborative manner and raise organization-wide change efforts.continue to partner with our Board awareness of the critical services By becoming a proactiveof Trustees and Friends groups we provide to Brooklyn. organization, BPL will be bettersystem-wide. These partnerships Internally, the Library will positioned to meet the futurebecome all the more critical continue to streamline operational needs of its communities andas changes in government and processes. In 2013, we plan to remain a source of education,foundation priorities take place; partner with the New York Public inspiration and empowermentthe Library will have a stronger Library to create a new, fully for many years to come.and louder voice through consolidated and shared libraryBoard engagement and technical services team that willgrassroots support. oversee selection, acquisitions, cataloging, processing, sortingIncrease transparency, and delivery of books andaccountability and efficiency other materials for both of ouracross the institution institutions. This initiative would reduce BPL’s annual operating Over the past few years, BPL expenses, expand services for ourhas made tremendous strides patrons and free up much-neededthrough service enhancements and space at the iconic Central Librarytechnology innovations. Through for public service. It will alsoour Open Libraries Initiative in provide the foundation for universal2011, BPL increased service hours card and drop off services citywide.by 21%, from 35.8 to 43.5 hours By 2017, we will complete aeach week, and increased the sustainability effort aimed atnumber of 6-day service branches digitizing our back-office andfrom 16 to 33. These service removing wasteful paper-basedimprovements were made possible processes in favor of environmentally Brooklyn Public Library 47
    • Brooklyn Public LibraryBoard of Trustees 2012–2013Anthony W. Crowell Nina Collins Ex-Officio Members & DesignatedChair Representatives Joseph I. DouekNicholas A. Gravante, Jr. Hon. Michael R. BloombergVice Chair Jeff Gennette Mayor of the City of New York R  epresented by DiahannMiriam Katowitz Hon. Ira B. Harkavy Billings-BurfordVice Chair Kyle Kimball Hon. Marty MarkowitzPeter Aschkenasy President of the Borough ofTreasurer Michael Liburd Brooklyn Represented by Carolyn GreerAntonia Yuille Williams Gino P. MenchiniSecretary Hon. Christine C. Quinn Hon. Alice Fisher Rubin Speaker of the New York CityJordan Barowitz Council Sandra Schubert Represented by Nina CrewsBonnie Bellamy-Watkins Robin Shanus Hon. John C. LiuDr. Elaine Buckberg Comptroller of the City of New York Christina Tettonis Represented by Eric V. EveKwanza Butler Leticia Theodore-GreeneIris Y. Chiu Dr. Lucille C. Thomas48 Brooklyn Public Library
    • Brooklyn Public Library 49