Brooklyn Transitions

Brooklyn Transitions logo

The Brooklyn Collection and Info Commons are conducting an event and documentation series about gentrification, Brooklyn Transitions.

The purpose of the series is to start a dialogue about the shifting of once-deemed affordable neighborhoods into high-priced areas, with resulting displacement of people and transitionsboth positive and negativein Brooklyn and the city as a whole.

Upcoming Events
Oral History Project

As part of Brooklyn Transitions, we want to hear your stories and preserve your voice during rapid changes to our borough. The Info Commons and Brooklyn Collection are asking Brooklynites to take part in an oral history project to share your experiences in the neighborhoods you were born and reared in—and how they have changed, talk about the migration patterns of your Brooklyn life over time, or express your feelings on new beginnings to or displacement from a living situation.

It is important that we all have a voice in the changes of our communities. Lend your words and experience to the Brooklyn Transitions Oral History Project to be heard, preserved, and accounted for. All recordings will be archived at the Brooklyn Collection and selections will be shared with the public online.

This project will take place in the Info Commons recording studio on the first floor. As of January 2016, recording sessions are by appointment. To book a time slot, please email infocommons AT bklynlibrary DOT org, or call 718.230.2248.

Past Events

‘It was not about money’ : An Intersection | Prospect Heights discussion

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Central Library, Info Commons Lab

The Intersection | Prospect Heights conversations continue as we talk with organizers, politicians, and planners about what the experience of change in Prospect Heights implies for neighborhoods across the city facing large-scale development and rezoning. How do we preserve people?

Speakers include Letitia James, NYC Public Advocate, Thomas Angotti (Hunter College, CUNY), Deb Howard (IMPACCT), Regina Cahill (North Flatbush BID) and others. Moderated by Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani (Buscada) and Gib Veconi (PHNDC).

Part of Intersection | Prospect Heights, a public art and dialogue project to understand neighborhood change through individual experience. A project by Buscada, Prospect Heights NeighborhoodDevelopment Council, and the Brooklyn Public Library.

More information:

Prospect Heights | Intersection

Where is your Prospect Heights? In October 2015, Brooklyn Public Library partnered with Buscada and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council in bringing you opportunities to take a new look at the present through experiences of the not-too-distant past, and expose change through individual stories—including your own.

Intersection | Prospect Heights: Opening & Place Conversation
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Central Library, Info Commons Lab
Where is your Prospect Heights? Tell stories about a place that’s important to you and hear from other neighbors - everyone is welcome to talk at these sessions. This evening features stories from radio host Bob Law, journalist George Packer and you.

Intersection | Prospect Heights: Place Conversation
Saturday, October 24, 2015
3:30 – 5 pm
Central Library, Info Commons Lab
Where is your Prospect Heights? Tell stories about a place that’s important to you and hear from other neighbors - everyone is welcome to talk at these sessions. This afternoon features stories from NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, other invited guests and you.

In addition to participating in these community storytelling events, you can make an appointment to record your own Prospect Heights story!

Brooklyn Transitions logo

Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 6-8pm
Park Slope Library
Book Discussion: The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
Semi-autobiographical novel exploring race, music, and the transformation of Brooklyn from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 6-8pm
Park Slope Library
Book Discussion: A Meaningful Life by L.J. Davis
1971 black comedy about a so-called urban pioneer sinking every penny into a crumbling brownstone.

Monday, April 13, 7-9pm
Central Library, Info Commons Lab
Film Screening: “The Domino Effect”
A documentary film exploring the process of real estate development in New York City, digging deep to uncover the complex networks of banks, developers, politicians, and non-profit organizations that shape our cities. Film creators in attendance for Q&A.

Wednesday, March 25, 6-8pm
Park Slope Library
Book Discussion: Desperate Characters by Paula Fox
1970 novel about a fractured marriage in the yet-to-be super-gentrified area of Cobble/Boerum Hill.

Saturday, March 21, 1-3pm
Central Library, Info Commons Lab
Housing Rights Fair
Community organizations will provide information and resources to help tenants and homeowners navigate a gentrifying city.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 7-9pm
Central Library, Info Commons Lab
Film Screening: “Zipper”
A small-time ride operator and his beloved carnival contraption become casualties in the battle over the future of Coney Island. Presented by Aziz Rahman of the Brooklyn Film and Arts Festival.

January 28, 2015, 7-8:30pm
Film Screening and Discussion: "Battle For Brooklyn" – This documentary is an intensely intimate look at the very public and passionate fight waged by owners and residents facing condemnation of their property to make way for the controversial Atlantic Yards project, a massive plan to build 16 skyscrapers and a basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets in the heart of Brooklyn. Shot over seven years and compiled from almost 500 hours of footage, "Battle for Brooklyn" is an epic tale of how far people will go to fight for what they believe in.

December 15, 2014, 7pm
The Future of Brooklyn and Its Citizens – What will the Brooklyn of tomorrow look like? Will Brooklyn be the new Manhattan? Who "deserves" to stay in Brooklyn? With Tom Angotti, Rob Robinson and Raquel Batista.

November 17, 2014, 7pm
Present Changes to Brooklyn Neighborhoods – Community activists and scholars discussed the hot topic of current gentrification in Brooklyn neighborhoods. Why is it happening, and who is it happening to? With Nicole Marwell, Morgan Munsey, Imani Henry and Alicia Boyd.

October 20, 2014, 7pm
History of Gentrification in Brooklyn – A panel of historians discussed the historical patterns of change in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, giving an account of the reasons for and ramifications of gentrification over the years. With Suleiman Osman, Sharon Zukin and Isabel Hill.

video clips: