NYC has become the city of outdoor dining, and there are lots of other creative uses 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).
The outdoor reading rooms came about during the pandemic, when the Brooklyn Public Library told us they were working tirelessly to make sure they were 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.
In 2020 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.
They’ve since expanded the program to more than 40 library locations. 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.