The stacks are back: Brooklyn Public Library to reopen 13 branches for browsing, computer use next month

Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library’s Central branch.
File photo

They’re making a return!

Brooklyn Public Library will reopen 13 of its branches for browsing and computer use on May 10, the borough’s book lender announced Thursday.

“The expansion of library services is a meaningful part of our city’s reopening and recovery,” said BPL president and chief executive officer Linda Johnson on April 29. “We know just how many Brooklynites desperately need access to computers and printers, and just how many miss the ritual of picking out a new book at their neighborhood branch.”

Kings County bookworms will be able to peruse the stacks for the first time since the library system closed all its 60 branches more than a year ago due to the pandemic, while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines, like wearing a mask and social distancing.

Browsing will be limited to a set timeframe and patrons will have to book an appointment to use computers at the select locations.

The library system plans to bring back browsing and computer use in the coming weeks at all of its locations that currently offer grab-and-go lobby service, which BPL originally started rolling out last July.

Library leaders want to add more locations this summer and hope for a full reopening “as soon as possible” this year. 

They also want to launch outdoor programming on top of their current virtual events, classes, and resources.

“In addition to these new indoor services, we will offer outdoor reading rooms, WiFi, and programs for all ages. This is an important step toward fully and safely restoring in-person library service,” Johnson said.

The 13 branches that will open Monday, May 10, are:

  • Brownsville
  • Canarsie
  • Central
  • Clinton Hill
  • Coney Island
  • Crown Heights
  • Flatbush
  • Ft. Hamilton
  • Greenpoint
  • Kings Highway
  • Midwood
  • Mill Basin
  • Red Hook