Do you have a loved one who is incarcerated in a New York State prison? Brooklyn Public Library’s TeleStory program makes it easier to stay in touch.

TeleStory offers you FREE one hour–long video calls to family members who are in one of ten NYS DOCCS locations (see locations on the right). Your video call will take place in the comfort and convenience of a BPL branch. If children are joining the call, the Library will also provide books, toys and staff support.

Please note: TeleStory is designed to supplement—not replace—in-person visits.

What you'll need to know before your first video call

Below are the most frequently asked questions about TeleStory. Once you have read the FAQ, please contact us to schedule your visit.

TeleStory is for families who have a loved one incarcerated within New York State DOCCS facilities. Children of incarcerated individuals are given priority.

At this time, BPL cannot provide TeleStory video calls within city jails. NYC DOC provides a video call program on the weekends. For more information on this program, please visit the NYC DOC website.

Call or text 718.916.9408 or email If this is your first visit, please fill out an online intake and review and sign our online informed consent form BEFORE you contact us. This service is in high demand; we’ll do our best to accommodate your request! 

After the visit is confirmed with DOCCS, you will receive a confirmation text or call from us that states the day, time and BPL branch. You will also receive text reminder the day before your video call.  

TeleStory is available on weekdays and some Saturdays at branches.  

Up to four family members can participate in a video call.  

All visitors ages 18 or older are required to present valid identification. This includes signature cards (social security card or EBT) or a picture ID (drivers license, state ID, IDNYC card, armed services ID or employment ID).

Your video call begins automatically at the scheduled time and lasts for exactly one hour. We recommend you arrive 15 minutes early in order to ensure you get your full hour of call time. If you are running late or need to reschedule your visit, please call or text 718.916.9408 to let our scheduler know.

It depends on the availability at the correctional facility and at the Library branch.

Learn more about TeleStory in this video:

How do I book a call?

For your first video call, fill out an online intake and review and sign our online informed consent form.

We will then send your information to DOCCS to start the approval process.

Once DOCCS has approved the family members, we will reach out to you to schedule a video call.

Email us or call/text 718.916.9408 with any questions.


Please keep in mind
  • Video calls begin and end promptly at the scheduled time. Please arrive early to get your full call time!
  • DOCCS forbids the use of cell phones and other electronic devices during video calls.
  • Inappropriate or sexual behavior during a video call is prohibited.



TeleStory is available at 9 state prison facilities. 

  • Altona
  • Cayuga
  • Elmira
  • Franklin
  • Mid-State
  • Riverview
  • Ulster
  • Washington
  • Wende

See the DOCCS map of facility locations.


Other Locations

Our friends at Osborne Association provide video calling services to nine state prison facilities not included in the TeleStory program. For more information on this program and which facilities are included, please refer to the Osborne Association website.