Brooklyn Public Library moves community programs online

Brooklyn Public Library is offering many of its community services online while its branches are closed during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

They’re going virtual!

Brooklyn Public Library has moved several of its community services to the web since it closed all branches Monday to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Staff at the borough book lender have worked tirelessly during the last couple of days to continue offering their many free programs to Brooklynites via their computers, such as story time for kids, creative writing contests, gaming sessions, and career services, according to a spokeswoman.

“An amazing team came together to make this all work to make this happen under the circumstances that we have,” said Fritzi Bodenheimer.

Librarians have started recording children’s story time with their phones from their living room couch and broadcasting it live on the library’s Facebook page.

“All the story times are being done on the fly,” Bodenheimer said. “It’s been heartwarming.”

Librarians have started broadcasting children’s story time on social media.Screenshot

The workers hosted a digital game of Dungeons and Dragons Wednesday and are planning a Friday afternoon Mario Kart tournament for Kings County button mashers with Nintendo Switch gaming consoles.

They have replaced their usual face-to-face career guidance and resume help with an email service, which should come in especially handy during a time when many people are looking for a new job due to businesses closing down.

If you’re looking to dive into a treasure trove of historical Brooklyn newspapers dating back as far as 1835, book bigwigs have made their virtual newsstand available outside the library for the first time.

The organization will also host regular creative writing workshops for teens through social media, posting short writing prompts on their Instagram page.

The library will also continue to offer their previously-available online services, including e-books, language learning programs, practice for standardized school exams, and librarian book recommendations, offering Kings Countians a heap of educational resources while remaining indoors, according to Bodenheimer.