Jail Libraries

BPL Jail, Prison and Transitional Services

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) connects incarcerated New Yorkers to their communities and families through robust access to information and innovative family programming. To that end BPL offers jail based library services for individuals in NYC Department of Corrections facilities and relevant programs for and services for people when they come home.

Jail Libraries

BPL operates four mobile satellite libraries located at the Brooklyn Detention Complex, OBCC, AMKC and VCBC facilities. BPL partners with The New York Public Library's Correctional Services Department to assist their library services at four additional jails. Each week librarians visit these facilities to hand deliver recreational and educational books, magazines and newspapers to hundreds of men and women.

We accept donations. Simply call 718.230.2745 to talk about what is needed. Generally speaking, we take books in very good condition, paperback, and of recent publication.

TeleStory (Free Video Conferencing)

In April 2014 BPL set aside a room in the Central Library for children who wish to read books with their incarcerated parents through a live video feed. These visits are designed to foster stronger bonds between parent and child through the act of reading and telling stories together in a neutral, welcoming community setting. All visits are free of charge and aim to supplement, not replace, in person visits. Parents of juveniles detained on the Island are encouraged to contact us to set up visits as well.

The New York Society for Ethical Culture Social Service Board, a pioneer in Supportive Televisit Services, has partnered with the Library to develop and launch this unique program. Televisiting equipment and technical support has been generously provided by Cisco Systems. BPL’s main Corrections partner in this initiative is the NYC Department of Corrections.

Individuals and organizations interested in using this service should contact the BPL Outreach Services Department at 718.230.2745 for more information.

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. The Library 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. For information on partnering with the Library, please contact the Outreach Services Department at: 718.230.2745


This project is sponsored by Brooklyn Public Library’s Department of Outreach Services, which has been established with the generous support of The Charles H. Revson Foundation