The Book of HOV Draws Unprecedented Number of Visitors to Brooklyn Public Library

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

The Book of HOV Tribute Exhibition Sets Records in Attendance and Library Engagement
Books on Jay-Z's Booklist and Vinyl Records Sampled by the Artist Donated to Permanent Collection

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The Book of HOV, a tribute exhibition created by Roc Nation to honor the career of Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter recently concluded its nearly five-month run at Brooklyn Public Library. This groundbreaking exhibition, which included wrapping the iconic Central Library in the artist’s lyrics, drew more than 600,000 visitors, marking a 74 percent increase in attendance at Central Library. The exhibition’s final day on December 4 drew nearly 11,000 patrons— the most in a single day in the library’s history. 

In conjunction with the exhibit, BPL and Roc Nation collaborated to offer 13 limited-edition library cards, available at libraries across Brooklyn. New Yorkers were encouraged to visit different branches across the system to collect all 13 designs.

“Brooklyn Public Library extends its heartfelt gratitude to everyone who visited from near and far, to Roc Nation, and to Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter for making The Book of HOV a resounding success,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO, Brooklyn Public Library. “This exhibition is a testament to JAY-Z’s global impact, and to the dynamic energy and spirit of Brooklynites and hip-hop fans. We look forward to welcoming back our new patrons and cardholders who, thanks to The Book of HOV, have already begun enjoying all of the materials, services and programming the library has to offer.”

"I am so proud of the incredible impact of The Book Of HOV,” said Desiree Perez, CEO, Roc Nation. “What began as a seed of an idea grew to one of the most culturally significant events of 2023. We hope everyone who was inspired to attend the exhibition will continue to benefit and utilize the amazing programs the library provides. Thank you to Linda Johnson and the Brooklyn Public Library team for their partnership and every individual that helped bring The Book of HOV to life."

During the exhibition’s run more than 36,000 new The Book of HOV library card accounts were created. In addition, the library saw a 66 percent increase in accounts system wide, and a more than 300 percent increase in new card accounts at Central Library. The Black Album proved to be the most requested card, followed by The Blueprint. As of October, nearly 20 percent of new The Book of HOV cardholders had already used their library cards, which provide access to books, e-books, records, musical instruments, and much more. Cardholders can also reserve meeting rooms, access computers, and enjoy the full range of library services and programming. 

Limited-edition library cards are still available at select branches, while supplies last. Library visitors will also have access to all of the books on JAY-Z’s booklist, which were donated by Roc Nation to Brooklyn Public Library. In addition, Roc Nation donated every album ever sampled by JAY-Z to the library’s vinyl collection, allowing patrons to listen to records on-site or check them out with their library card.