Below are the programs funded through BKLYN Incubator at Brooklyn Public Library.
Pilot programs are launched in rounds.
Artist in Residence
Round 4 • February-August 2018 • Macon Library, Eastern Parkway Library
Create, Learn and Share: Space to Create + Willingness to Learn + Ability to Share = Cultivation of New Talent
Team Lead: LaMeane Isaac, Neighborhood Library Supervisor
Community Partner: STooPS
Check out the program's webpage for more information.
BKLYN Fashion Academy
Round 4 • January-May 2018 • Business and Career Library, Arts and Music Division
BKLYN Fashion Academy is a comprehensive, interactive initiative created to equip aspiring women’s wear designers with the knowledge and tools to produce a collection from sketch to runway.
Team Lead: Lynnsie Augustin, Outreach Specialist
Community Partner: Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF + DA); Mood Fabrics
Check out the program's webpage for more information.
Bklyn Mixtape Podcasting Club
Round 1 • May-June 2016 • Central Library
The Info Commons and BRIC will host a podcasting club for adults to produce publishable audio stories on the forthcoming podcast, Bklyn Mixtape.
Team Lead: Stephanie Elstro, Sr. Librarian
Community Partner: BRIC
Round 3 • October-December 2017 • Central Library, Crown Heights Library
Teens recommend books to other teens, engaging with the library collection and their peers.
Team Lead: Lisa Goldstein, Young Wing Division Chief
Community Partner: Ayanna Coleman
Brighton Bridges & Coney Island Causeways
Round 4 • March-June 2018 • Brighton Beach Library, Coney Island Library
Staff and our partners will receive arts-based cultural competency training to better engage library users, cultivate unity, and celebrate the complex diversity of Brighton Beach and Coney Island.
Team Lead: Adriana Mitchell, Neighborhood Library Supervisor
Community Partner: APNA; Brighton Beach Neighborhood Association; The Shorefront Y
Brooklyn Robotics League
Round 4 • February-June 2018 • Most branches
Provide library staff with the knowledge and resources to lead Lego EV3 workshops while teaching the youth of Brooklyn to be confident, problem-solving members of their community by building robots.
Team Lead: Gail Grant, Technology Training Supervisor; Theresa Chukwu, Technology Training Supervisor
Community Partner: NYC First
Brownsville Excerpts: Teen Podcasting
Round 3 • July-September 2017 • Brownsville Library, Stone Avenue Library
Multimedia program that highlights the library’s activities and life in Brownsville, while also providing broadcasting production skills and a vocal outlet for young adults
Team Lead: Adwoa Adusei, Adult Sr. Librarian I
Community Partner: Made in Brownsville; Brooklyn Arts Council; Brownsville Community Justice Center
Round 2 • May-September 2017 • DeKalb Library
A series of interdisciplinary workshops in art, technology, and activism which aims to amplify and preserve the rich diversity of voices in Bushwick.
Team Lead: Janice Dees, Adult Sr. Librarian I
Community Partner: Silent Barn
"The participants were excited about the prospect of having their work cataloged and preserved at the library for others to read and inquired about whether more zine workshops would be held at the branch soon." - Janice Dees, Team Lead
Changing Habits: East New York's 30-Day Reading Challenge
Round 2 • September-October 2017 • New Lots Library
A 30-day challenge aimed at assisting East New York residents in jumpstarting a lifelong healthy habit of regular reading.
Team Lead: Larissa Larrier, Library Information Supervisor
Community Partner: BRIC; Community Board 5; Protecting the East; East New York Restoration
QUICK STAT: 192 people signed up!
"Most participants were excited that a reading challenge was being conducted in their neighborhood and exclusively for adults. Changing Habits shows a commitment to improving the quality of life in adults by encouraging them to adapt new reading habits. Providing a program such as Changing Habits complements BPL’s education goal of building strong literacy goals among adults." - Larissa Larrier, Team Lead
Creating Our Story Together
Round 4 • January-March 2018 • Highlawn Library
We will strengthen family literacy skills by designing and facilitating an oral and written storytelling project for school-age children and their families at the Highlawn Library.
Team Lead: Danielle Shapiro, Neighborhood Library Supervisor
Community Partner: Community-Word Project
Digging for Black Pride Urban Excavation Program: Recovering Autobiographical Memories
Round 1 • March-May 2016 • Flatbush Library
This program is an in-school research-based primary resource curriculum that teaches, utilizing the visual arts, autobiographical methods and inquiry.
Team Leads: Megan Goins-Diouf, Young Adult Sr. Librarian; Valerie Livingston, Adult Sr. Librarian IA
Community Partner: Weeksville Heritage Center; Youth and Community Development and the Library at Erasmus High School
"This program made a difference in the lives of our students because they went on to graduate with a sense of themselves as part and parcel of the Flatbush Community, with a visual record of their rich and varied neighborhood and how they might better understand their place within it." - Valerie Livingston, Team Lead
Documentary Photography Bootcamp
Round 3 • September-November 2017 • New Lots Library, Arlington Library
BPL will build on a successful partnership with BRIC, Brooklyn’s leading provider of free arts programs, to deliver a 7-week new media training program for teens, in New Lots & Arlington libraries.
Team Lead: Eke Williams, Technology Training Supervisor
Community Partner: BRIC
Eke Williams, team lead, won the 2018 Innovative Librarians Award from Gwinnett County Public Library for this program.
Echoes of Our Lives
Round 4 • April-July 2018 • New Lots Learning Center
Echoes of Our Lives is a writing project that encourages adult writers in our learning centers to participate in a writers workshop in which they will write and publish their work.
Team Lead: Anna Limontas-Salisbury, Young Adult Literacy Program Student Advisor
Community Partner: NY Writers Coalition; Imani House
Future Leaders Career Awareness Series
Round 1 • March-April 2016 • Cypress Hills Library
A 6 session career awareness series for an after-school program of about 50 6-8th graders, comprising 3 guest speakers and 3 librarian-led workshops.
Team Lead: Abby Garnett, Children's Sr. Librarian I
Community Partner: City Year
In response to the observed need for increased exposure to varied career options and life expectations in our community's young teenagers, the series partnered with a local afterschool program at J.H.S. 218 (City Year) to increase students' research skills, enhance soft communication skills, increase confidence with respect to future planning and accessing library resources, and demonstrate how to access practical resources using a library card. The program served a fluctuating group of about 35 students between ages 12 and 14, and 8 City Year staff members. A second iteration of this program, called the Career Exploration Academy, ran in partnership with the Business and Career Library in March and April 2017.
"The mentors on my project were invaluable assets, and I felt that their investment in the program and availability was one of the most important factors that led to the program's success. I can't overstate how helpful it was to have someone available to listen to my ideas and offer suggestions when I hit an obstacle that I didn't know how to move past. Additionally, their knowledge of career-related databases and resources was hugely important when I designed my curriculum. " - Abby Garnett, Team Lead
Girls Report Now!
Round 1 • May-August 2016 • Leonard Library
Teaching girls between the ages of 12 and 16 the fundamentals of reporting so that they can document, explore, and engage with the world around them.
Team Lead: Erik Bobilin, Neighborhood Library Supervisor
Community Partner: Katie McDonough from Fusion News
Green Leaves: Read'em and Reap
Round 2 • 2017 • Brownsville Library
Literature and technology workshops highlighting Brownsville’s food justice initiatives to cultivate the community’s ownership of its green spaces.
Team Lead: Adwoa Adusei, Adult Services Librarian
Community Partner: NYCHA/Green City Force; ProjectEATS at Active Citizen Project
How Does Your Library Garden Grow
Round 1 • April-June 2016 • Clinton Hill Library
Clinton Hill’s community garden is a 3 month program in which teens connect with nature, experience hands-on science, and gain self-confidence.
Team Lead: Meredith Powers, Young Adult Specialist Sr. Librarian
Community Partner: Library Committee at PS/MS 492 Academy of Arts & Letters
"It had been a few years since there was a dedicated young adult librarian working in the branch, and there were very few teen-focused activities happening at all, so I wanted to create a community of local teens who felt like they belonged at their neighborhood library. While I struggled to measure an increased interest and understanding of science and nature in the teens attending the programs, I was able to observe increased engagement with the library: more teens came to library programs, the semi-regular crowd of teens who were hanging out in the library after school increasingly began to approach me with questions, ideas for programs, and suggestions for books and other resources that they wanted to see in the library. As they realized that their suggestions and ideas were being taken seriously, they continued to make their opinions known and they frequently volunteered to help me set up and clean up for teen programs and other programs within the library." - Meredith Powers, Team Lead
Illuminating Literacy: Using Illuminated Manuscripts to Foster Literacy Skills in Reluctant Readers
Round 1 • July-August 2016 • Flatbush Library
Implement an illumination book making program that provides engaging literacy learning options for school aged students with low literacy levels.
Team Lead: John Huth, Young Adult Librarian
Community Partner: Morgan Library
"In many ways we exceeded the expectations we articulated in the original proposal. A wide variety of learners from diverse backgrounds were highly engaged and self-directed in the book making process in both branch and school settings. Adaptive strategies and modifications were more effective than we anticipated and the book making process was easily differentiated for differently abled or second language learners from 3rd through 12th grade." - John Huth, Team Lead
KNRC Youth Radio Podcast
Round 3 • October-November 2017 • Canarsie Library
With storyteller and multimedia expert Jamie Courville, Canarsie Library will host a series of radio podcasting workshops for teenagers to share stories and produce digital audio files through the KNRC Youth Radio Podcast.
Team Lead: Cassie Hickman, Children's Sr. Librarian I
Community Partner: Canarsie High School
This program was selected for the first round of Incubator Replication: it replicated as BKLYN Outpost Redux, at family shelters and Central Library, and Poetry in E Flat, at the East Flatbush branch. In addition, Cassie Hickman, team lead, was a finalist for Gwinnett County Public Library's 2018 Innovative Librarians Award for her work on KNRC Youth Radio Podcast.
"At the Listening Event, one student said that this experience humanized the library for him – he no longer sees the library as a building, but as a place where he knows people!" - Cassie Hickman, Team Lead
League of Readers (LORe)
Round 4 • January-May 2018 • Eastern Parkway Library
The League of Readers is a book club version 2.0 that connects teens to the source materials of popular geek fandoms and meets together to discuss, compare, and create their very own fan swag.
Team Lead: Ellen Weaver, Library Information Supervisor
Community Partner: P-Tech High School
Bianca Hezekiah, second team lead, was a finalist for Gwinnett County Public Library's 2018 Innovative Librarians Award for her work on this program.
Library Lab: Wired and Powered
Round 4 • January-May 2018 • East Flatbush Library
Teens will learn about electronics by deconstructing and reassembling computers as well as building a set of functional speakers.
Team Lead: Jessica Spears, Young Adult Sr. Librarian I
Community Partner: Beam Center
Musical Instrument Lending Library
Round 4 • Begins May 2018 • Central Library
Patrons with a BPL Library Card will be able to check out musical instruments for 8 weeks.
Team Lead: Harold Stern, Sr. Librarian I
Community Partner: Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
Check out the program's webpage for more information.
Reading the Rhythm
Round 1 • 2016 • DeKalb Library
“Reading the Rhythm” combines a dance program and book discussion to support literacy education and creative self-expression for teens.
Team Lead: Janice Dees, Adult Sr. Librarian I; Theresa Chukwu, Technology Resource Specialist
Community Partner: Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center
"The program gave these participants an opportunity to discuss traumatic events and the lingering effects of trauma without feeling singled out, judged, or embarrassed. This kind of emotional impact is hard to calculate but I believe it is the most important and successful outcome of Reading the Rhythm and one that makes it worthy of replication at other branches." - Janice Dees, Team Lead
"I sincerely love the spirit and mission behind the Incubator process—that every staff member has interesting and valuable ideas that should be seriously considered for funding. This is a radical idea for many public library systems and I am glad BPL has been at the forefront at making innovative programming implementation a process open to everyone." - Janice Dees, Team Lead
Remix Academy: Learn DJ and Life Skills without Missing a Beat
Round 2 • September-October 2016 • Bedford Library
DJ and music production workshop series that teaches entrepreneurial, leadership and life skills to Bed-Stuy teens.
Team Lead: Christina Ferrari, Children's Librarian
Community Partner: Building Beats
Due to growing interest, plans were made to continue Remix Academy at Bedford. Funds from a Zipcar grant were allocated to run an Adult version of Remix Academy in late winter/early spring 2017.
"I am so grateful for my experience with the Incubator Process and I am very glad that I decided to submit my idea! It has strengthened my project management skills, and as a newer BPL employee, it helped me make interdepartmental connections that might have taken years for me to develop on my own. Expanding my network has given me a better understanding of how the BPL system operates and has also empowered me to plan future projects, knowing I now have this extended support system. For me, having a mentor was invaluable. They helped make introductions to key contacts in several departments, speeding up the communication turnaround significantly. They also helped me prioritize certain projects based on their experience within the system." - Christina Ferrari, Team Lead
Round 1 • March-June 2016 • New Lots Library
Root Resource will assist new and existing immigrants in the East New York, Brooklyn to become licensed childcare providers.
Team Lead: Patricia Moore and Edwin Maxwell, New Lots Librarians
Community Partner: CUNY Provider Training Project; The American Red Cross; Business Outreach Center of Brooklyn; East New York Reads
Shine on Me
Round 3 • September-November 2017 • East Flatbush Library
Team Lead: Donald Peebles, Adult Librarian
Community Partner: Breaking Ground
Shine on Me, a 10-week advocacy program for homeless community members, emerged as a means for Adult Librarian Donald Peebles to give back to the community after experiencing homelessness himself years prior. Recognizing a need for a holistic program that gives a face to homelessness, Donald proposed Shine on Me as a library safe space for participants to build confidence, to receive support and social resources, and to learn more about finding a job and financial literacy. Each week functioned as a small step: some weeks participants met with life coaches and social workers, others they received training on the NYC housing search or on empowerment, and others still they practiced for job interviews. By the end of the 10 weeks, there were 34 participants in the program through word of mouth outreach. Shine on Me’s sessions reached their culmination the day before Thanksgiving, with a buffet of food that was put out for both the participants and anyone else in the library who might be hungry. Participants felt motivated to complete the program, and evaluated Shine on Me as uplifting, filled with positive energy, helpful in breaking barriers, and as a safe space with no fear; they hoped the program would be later replicated for more homeless community members to partake. Some participants still come by the East Flatbush Library to say hello to Donald to ask for bits of advice. Donald views Shine on Me as a start to a broader conversation we need to have—he wants this conversation around homelessness to continue, especially because of the substantial stigma associated with it.
Round 3 • June-July 2017 • Clarendon Library
More than just a coding workshop for youth, TECH 21 teaches ethical digital citizenship and gives youth the tools to realize their creative aspirations through 21st century web development.
Team Lead: Albert Tablante, Young Adult Specialist Librarian IA
Community Partner: Ramil Lim through CoderDojo NYC
Check out the website TECH21 built at tech21bklyn.org
"The majority of applicants had little to no programming experience and their main access point for internet service was the library. Although they had experience as internet consumers, they did not have experience as digital creators. Also, they did not know many of the digital citizenship issues and topics. A midcourse survey’s findings reinforced that the students’ main computer and internet access point was the library; it showed progress in web development ideas and digital ethics. The students were most enthusiastic—asking many questions—about the Digital Ethics topics Net Neutrality and Copyright Infringement. By the end, the participants had learned more about coding, web development, and digital citizenship." - Albert Tablante, Team Lead
Tracing Your Roots
Round 2 • September-October 2017 • DeKalb Library
“Tracing Your Roots” is a writing workshop for teens to express their family’s journey to America in prose and poetry and have a public reading.
Team Lead: Tom Brogan, Neighborhood Library Supervisor
Community Partner: EBC High School for Public Service; El Puente Bushwick
"For the teen participants, I think they gained an appreciation of the sacrifices and hopes and dreams their parents had in coming to the United States. Some of the participants who have green cards described their own adjustment in coming to the United States. Overall, the teen participants gained a renewed pride of their cultural background." - Tom Brogan, Team Lead
We Hold These Truths
Round 3 • 2017 • Central Library
A documentary-style theater performance—based on the writings of Adult Literacy students—designed to raise awareness of the adult basic education program and give voice to our student population and the issues that matter most to them.
Team Lead: Felice Belle, Literacy Advisor
Community Partner: Narrative 4
Replication programs are launched in cycles.
In order to continue to learn from BKLYN Incubator programs, we now offer a replication option to evolve successful programs from previous rounds. By looking at the lessons learned in the pilot run of Incubator initiatives, the replication program offers staff the opportunity to further that work creatively, learn from each other, and meet different patron needs. The first cycle of Replication is focused on building programs based in audio, podcasting, and journalism.
BKLYN Outpost Redux
Cycle 1 • February-May 2018 • Central Library, Outreach Services
Developed to offer adult and young adult residents in family shelters the interest of expanding their digital knowledge through storytelling. A replication inspired by the KNRC Youth Radio Podcast.
Girls Report Now
Cycle 1 • February-May 2018 • DeKalb Library
GRN is a journalism lab taking place after school at the DeKalb branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, for girls ages 12-17 to work with a female journalist to learn and apply the fundamentals of journalism, such as interviews, writing, and pitching news stories. A replication inspired by Girls Report Now!
Poetry in E Flat
Cycle 1 • February-May 2018 • East Flatbush Library
Poetry in E Flat will develop the poetry of young adults at the East Flatbush Library, and record their work through podcast. It will also broadcast poetry lessons taught by the program’s teaching artist onto the BPL website, in order to make that education accessible. A replication inspired by the KNRC Youth Radio Podcast.
Who Tells Your Story?
Cycle 1 • February-May 2018 • Outreach Services: Brooklyn College
Who Tells Your Story is a program aimed at increasing BPL’s outreach efforts to older adults; fostering digital literacy and promoting personal ownership of stories they can create. A replication inspired by Girls Report Now!