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Open-Air Reading Rooms: Brooklyn Library Creates Ideal Places for Summer Relaxation


Nadezhda Verbitskaya

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We are already used to the fact that in New York you can eat sitting on the restaurant terrace and enjoying the fresh air. But there are many other creative uses for outdoor space, especially when the weather is nice. One of them is open-air reading rooms.

Open-air reading rooms appeared during the pandemic. The first of these was opened at the Brooklyn Central Library in Prospect Heights (10 Grand Army Plaza). The staff of the Brooklyn Public Library saw this as an opportunity to continue working under severe pandemic restrictions.

In 2020, they created the BPL Outdoors program - outdoor reading rooms. Essentially, they mimic an indoor library and offer places for people to sit, talk, read, use Wi-Fi, or simply relax. The Brooklyn Public Library has tested it with great success at the Red Hook and Flatbush branches.

Since then, the program has expanded by more than 40 library locations. In some branches, carts with books have been installed right on the streets, which you can read there! Find your nearest outdoor reading room by using special card. It also lists the opening hours and services available at each location.

On the subject: The Brooklyn Library has issued more than 5 subscriptions to residents of other states so that they can read books banned there

The library is currently working on allowing patrons to borrow laptops to work outdoors.

In addition to a cozy place to read or work, programs are being developed specifically for outdoor activities.

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