Brooklyn Public Library opens more branches for grab-and-go

A Brooklyn Public Library branch.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

The Brooklyn Public Library unveiled grab-and-go services at six more branches on Monday, bringing the total number of outposts where Brooklyn books worms can quickly pick-up reading supplies to 23. 

The new partially reopened book repositories — which include Midwood, Kensington, Mill Basin, Walt Whitman, Washington Irving, and the Annex in Dumbo — will allow readers to snag books while limiting their time inside the library, which the book honchos unveiled in July amid the spread of COVID-19. 

Library patrons can reserve materials online or over the phone, and must wear face masks and socially distance when picking up or returning the books, according to a library rep, who noted that each item is quarantined for 96 hours after it is returned.

The service has been popular among the borough’s bookworms, as members have checked out nearly 44,000 physical items between the libraries’ opening on July 13 and Aug. 30 — and holds and check-outs increase every week, according to the chief librarian.

“[It] shows how much people truly depend on their neighborhood library, and as holds have continued to increase from week to week, staff are truly grateful to see their neighbors return to branches,” said Nick Higgins. 

The in-person service compliments the library’s large online library, where members can check out e-books and audiobooks and attend a wide range of free virtual programs, such as resume workshops, multi-lingual read alouds, and arts programs. Since March, the library has hosted nearly 2,500 programs that have drawn more than 600,000 in total, according to spokeswoman Fritzi Bodenheimer.

The newly-opened branches will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10 am to 4 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 1 to 7 pm. The 17 previously opened branches, with one exception, are also open Saturdays from 1o am to 4 pm.

Here’s a list of the branches with grab-and-go services:

  • Annex (open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 am to 3 pm)
  • Bay Ridge Library
  • Bushwick Library
  • Canarsie Library
  • Central Library
  • Clarendon Library
  • Coney Island Library
  • Cortelyou Library
  • Flatbush Library
  • Fort Hamilton Library
  • Homecrest Library
  • Kensington Library
  • Kings Highway Library
  • Macon Library
  • Midwood Library
  • Mill Basin Library
  • New Lots Library 
  • Park Slope Library
  • Red Hook Library
  • Stone Avenue Library
  • Walt Whitman Library
  • Washington Irving Library
  • Williamsburgh Library