Brooklyn Public Library Holds Annual Gala & After Party

December 11, 2008

Press Contact:
Malika L. Granville, Marketing & Communications Associate
Brooklyn Public Library
Phone: 718.230.2211



(Brooklyn, NY) October 9, 2008—Brooklyn Public Library hosts its 12th Annual Gala with benefit auction on Thursday, November 13 at the Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza. Live auction proceeds will benefit our newest Bookmobiles, mobile libraries that bring books and programs to areas and people who need them

This year’s event recognizes four exceptional individuals for their valuable contributions to literature, BPL and the Brooklyn community at large. Honorees are: Russell Simmons, Chairman & CEO, Rush Communications; Lucille C. Thomas, Trustee & Immediate Past Chair, Brooklyn Public Library; Andrea Davis-Pinkney & Brian Pinkney, award-winning husband and wife author/artist team. Hosting the event is Soledad O'Brien, Anchor and Correspondent at CNN.

A guest auctioneer from Sotheby’s will take bids on items including: a five-night resort stay in Jamaica; exclusive tickets to top-rated network television shows; and special Brooklyn-themed experiences.

Following the celebration is the Gala After Party event, hosted by BPL's Brooklyn Vanguard, the library’s young donor group. Attendees will enjoy an open bar and dancing to the tunes of DJ Beverly Bond, until 1 AM at the Dweck Center. Proceeds also benefit BPL’s new Bookmobiles.

2008 Honorees

Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons is co-founder of Def Jam Recordings. More than popularizing hip-hop culture in the realms of fashion and media, Mr. Simmons promotes the music for social change with his organizations. He and his brothers founded Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, providing disadvantaged urban youth access to the arts.

Dr. Lucille C. Thomas
Dr. Lucille C. Thomas is the immediate past president of the Brooklyn Public Library, and has been appointed to the Board of Trustees by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Her numerous awards include “Honorary Member,” the highest recognition from The American Library Association.

Andrea Davis and Brian Pinkney
Andrea Davis and Brian Pinkney are a couple who are as accomplished as author/artist collaborators as they are as individuals. Between them, they have published more than 50 children’s books, and have garnered several awards including a Caldecott Honor for Duke Ellington and Coretta Scott King Honor medals.

Soledad O'Brien
Soledad O'Brien is an anchor and correspondent for CNN. She is the recipient of the NAACP’s President's Award.Ms. O'Brien has garnered numerous recognitions, including a Gracie Allen Award for her reporting from Cyprus on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, as well as her reports from the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

For tickets call Maggie Beaute-Lucien at 718.230.2465, or visit

Lead sponsors of Brooklyn Public Library’s 12th Annual Gala are Bloomberg L.P., Citibank N.A., Janet and David Offensend, UPS and Xerox. Additional support is provided by Gala Benefactors Baker & Taylor, BFC Partners, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, K.Backus & Associates, Betty and Stephen Kahn, Maimonides Medical Center, Miriam Katowitz and Arthur Radin; Gala Contributors Disney.Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide, HarperCollins Publishers, HILB Rogal & Hobbs of N.Y. LLC, Jackson Lewis, Muss Development LLC, Overdrive, Inc., Random House, Inc., Rush Philanthropic, Sheila Scharfman, Scholastic Inc. and Weil,Gotshal & Manges; and Gala Patrons Bob Buckholz and Lizanne Fontaine, Anthony W. Crowell, Michael Griffin and Molly Butcher Hart, Carol and Robert Linn, and Dionne Mack-Harvin, Gideon Rose and Sheri Berman, VIM Jeans
In-kind support for the Gala and Gala After Party is provided by Brooklyn Brewery, Pernod Ricard USA, Svetka and UPS.

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries around the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a huge selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website:

Marketing & Communications
Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library is an independent New York City library system serving the borough of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest in the United States. Its Central Library, Business Library, and 58 neighborhood libraries offer free information, programs and computer access to people of all ages. You can reach the Library's resources of over 70 reference databases, catalog information and news 24 hours a day at