Brooklyn Public Library has marked its 125th anniversary with a proclamation by Mayor-elect and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams celebrating the library’s history and two new facilities: the Civic Commons and the TechMobile.
The new Civic Commons at Central Library opened earlier this year as an easily accessible, dedicated hub for community organizations and services. Currently the space, equipped with free WiFi, is home to Central Library’s Passport Services Center, IDNYC office, a rotating community partner office and a computer lab.
In the future, the space will host civic events such as local committee meetings, informational workshops and voter registration drives through partnerships with Brooklyn Voters Alliance, Immigrant Justice Corps, the NYC Department of Health and others, BPL said.
The commons was made possible with $2 million in capital funding provided by Adams, who said in his proclamation that for more than a century, the Brooklyn Public Library had been a hub of learning, enrichment and civic participation serving Brooklynites of all backgrounds.
“As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of this institution this year, it is also worthwhile to reflect on what the next 125 years will look like, and how the library can deepen its commitment to equity,” he said.
“The two new facilities we are unveiling today, the Civic Commons and the TechMobile, point the way forward.”
He said the new facilities would help tackle some of our city’s most pressing issues, such as the difficulty immigrant New Yorkers face in accessing City services, and the “shameful digital divide that holds people of all ages back from realizing their full potential.”
The TechMobile will allow BPL to take computer services to communities in need, complementing its BKLYN Reach program and supporting the borough’s ongoing commitment to end the digital divide, the library said.
The vehicle, also funded by the Adam’s office, has Wi-Fi and laptops to loan; built-in desktop computers; all-in-one printer for copying, scanning and printing; external outlets for charging devices; and more. Plans are underway to bring the TechMobile to senior centers for technology classes and to offer teens film, photography, gaming and audio workshops, the library said.
Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library, said that over its 125 years the Brooklyn Public Library had welcomed everyone into a “singularly democratic and dignified space to cultivate their dreams and connect to their communities.”
“We are grateful to Borough President and Mayor-Elect Eric Adams for ensuring that everyone in Brooklyn, now and 125 years from now, has access to millions of books, vital technology, and a staggering array of other equalizing resources.”