The spring weather is here! And after a year of being cooped up, New Yorkers are ready to spend as much time outdoors as possible.
NYC has become the city of outdoor dining, and there are lots of other creative using of outdoor space to take advantage of the beautiful weather. One example we’ve been loving is the fresh “outdoor reading rooms” at the Brooklyn Library’s Central Library in Prospect Heights (10 Grand Army Plaza).
Like many NYC libraries throughout the pandemic, the Brooklyn Public Library told us they have worked tirelessly to make sure they are still able to connect with patrons who rely on them for books and other resources. “We are always thinking: if we cannot have patrons come into the library, how can we bring our services out to them?” a spokesperson said.
Last year, they created “BPL Outdoors” — which basically mimics the function of their indoor space, “offering places for people to sit and talk, read, use our WiFi, or just relax” — and tried it out at their Red Hook and Flatbush branches to great success. Now they are expanding the program to 20 branches across Brooklyn. Some locations will even have book carts outside for browsing!
They are also working to allow patrons to loan laptops to bring outdoors as well.
Besides just a cozy spot to read or work, they are also establishing programs specifically meant to take place outdoors, like:
- Story Walks: panels of stories or songs and rhymes which will be placed on our fences so as you stroll along, you will find another page or verse
- University Open Air: with Prospect Park Alliance, immigrant teachers and professors share their knowledge with the public by welcoming students to enjoy free classes under the trees at Prospect Park
- Outdoor Living Room Exhibit: featuring furniture concepts for public park-like settings by Heinrich Spillmann
We can’t wait to try it out, and hope other libraries throughout the five boroughs follow suit!
featured image source: Credit to Gregg Richards