Jail and Prison Libraries

Grandma and grandson looking into a screen at dad during video conference.Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) connects incarcerated New Yorkers to their communities and families through robust access to information and innovative family programming. BPL offers jail based library services for individuals in NYC Department of Corrections (DOC) facilities and relevant programs for and services for people when they come home.

Adult Jail Libraries

BPL operates weekly mobile libraries located at four DOC facilities. Brooklyn librarians and volunteers visit these facilities to hand deliver books, magazines and newspapers to hundreds of incarcerated New Yorkers each month.

Adolescent Jail Libraries

In partnership with the DOC, Brooklyn Public Library helped to establish reading rooms in 21 housing areas for 16 and 17 year-olds incarcerated at the RNDC facility on Rikers Island. Each week BPL staff add new books to the reading rooms and take requests from the young men in the facility. Adolescents in this facility also participate in an American Library Association and National Endowment for the Humanities sponsored Great Stories Club book discussion series.  


Children who wish to read books with their incarcerated parents through a live video feed can do so for free at 12 Brooklyn Public Library branches. These visits are designed to foster stronger bonds between parent and child through the act of reading together in a welcoming community setting. These video visits aim to supplement, not replace, in person visits. Parents of teens detained in DOC facilities are also invited to visit with their children through this service.

Daddy & Me, Mommy & Me

BPL provides a monthly early literacy training program for parents in the justice system. The program was created by BPL and New York Public Library staff in 2010 and is based on curriculum from BPL’s signature First Five Years initiative. Over a series of four classes parents learn how their young children are learning to read and write and how to play a lead role in their educational development from afar. Each participant is invited to read and record a favorite story to be given to their family along with a copy of the book. 


Generally speaking, we take books in very good condition, paperback, and of recent publication.

Secure and Non-Secure Juvenile Detention Sites

The Administration for Children's Services (ACS) operates secure and non-secure detention sites for juveniles throughout NYC. BPL is happy to partner with individual sites to offer library orientations, library card registration drives, detention site based programming, guided library tours, and other programs as determined by ACS staff.


Brooklyn Public Library  
Outreach Services 
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Phone: 718.230.2745
Email: nfranklin@bklynlibrary.org

Brooklyn Public Library’s Department of Outreach Services has been established with the generous support of The Charles H. Revson Foundation. Additional funding for the Great Stories Club is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Library Association.