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Brooklyn has so many stories to tell, and a lot of them start at the library. Brooklyn Public Library's flagship podcast, Borrowed, brings you stories that start here and take you somewhere new. 

Borrowed is hosted by Krissa Corbett Cavouras, director of marketing and engagement at Brooklyn Public Library, and Adwoa Adusei, librarian at Brooklyn Public Library’s Brownsville branch. Virginia Marshall writes and produces the show, with help from Fritzi Bodenheimer, Jennifer Proffitt, Meryl Friedman and Robin Lester Kenton. Our music composer is Billy Libby.

How do I listen?

You can listen right on our website by clicking the audio players below. You can also listen to Borrowed on your smart phone on any podcast app of your choice! All you have to do is search for “Borrowed” on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, Google Play Music or RadioPublic, to name just a few. Then click “subscribe” or “follow” to get new episodes downloaded to your device as soon as they come out. We release new episodes every other week when we are producing a season.

Can I read a transcript of the podcast?

Yes! You can read full transcripts for each episode by clicking on the title of the episode below. You'll also find pictures and links to articles or books mentioned in the episode. 

I have an idea for an episode. Can I tell you about it?

Yes! We're always looking for stories about our Brooklyn community, or how public libraries impact our lives. Reach out to us by emailing [email protected].


Season 2, Episode 16

Your Friendly Neighborhood Fridge

August 7, 2020

Since our libraries were closed for the last four months, we were on the lookout for organizations that were acting in the spirit of public libraries. We found one! Listen to an audio portrait of the food justice movement happening on street corners across Brooklyn. And we'll be back in your feed again in September for Season 3 of Borrowed.


Season 2, Episode 15

Rebroadcast: Free Brooklyn

June 25, 2020

In honor of Juneteenth 2020, the anniversary of the day in 1865 when the news was finally delivered to Galveston, Texas that slavery in the United States had been abolished, we are returning to an episode from earlier in our season. "Free Brooklyn" tells two important stories about the struggle for freedom: a young girl “auctioned” at Plymouth Church in 1860 and the story of Weeksville, Brooklyn's historically Black neighborhood.

Click here for June Koffi's BookMatch list, curated especially for this episode.


Season 2, Episode 14

Stories from the Pandemic

June 3, 2020

In an unprecedented time of stress and resilience, many Brooklynites are at the front lines of responding to the coronavirus crisis, and many more are encountering a new normal, as we adjust to changing work, education, housing, and even access to basic amenities. Listen to stories from people across the borough as part of our ongoing local oral history archive.

Click here for anti-racist book recommendations for adults and kids.


Season 2, Episode 13

A Folklorist for the Seven Million

May 13, 2020

In 1943, Brooklyn Public Library launched its first radio program, in partnership with WNYC. “Folk Songs for the Seven Million,” written and produced by Elaine Lambert Lewis, documented folk songs and stories from around the country and collected folk traditions from everyday Brooklynites. On this episode, we pay tribute to our audio ancestor.

Click here for Jess Harwick's BookMatch list created especially for this episode.


Season 2, Episode 12

In Fifty Years

April 22, 2020

Earth Day is here, but a lot of us are inside. On this episode of Borrowed, we gather sounds of the natural world from the stoops and parks of Brooklyn, and we look back at the first Earth Day fifty years ago, and ask what it means for us today.

Click here for the book list created especially for this episode.


Season 2, Episode 11

Get Counted

April 1, 2020

The census doesn’t just distribute representatives in congress and billions of dollars in federal funds—it determines city bus routes, how many garbage cans are on your block, and whether a grocery store opens in your neighborhood. Filling out the census is one of the most powerful ways to use your voice.

Click here for the book list curated especially for this episode.


Season 2, Episode 10

Social Distancing? We're Here For You!

March 17, 2020

Working from home? Kids at home? The library is here for you! We’ve got virtual resources galore to help you keep a healthy social distance during the coronavirus outbreak. Attend virtual story time every day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., or join our virtual Dungeons & Dragons for teens. You can also read the latest newspapers and magazines online for free, and learn from home, whether you’re a kid or an adult!

Click here for Emma Carbone's BookMatch list curated especially for this episode.


Season 2, Episode 9

Three Brooklyn Stories

March 3, 2020

Listen to three Brooklynites talk about their personal connections to places across the borough. We’ll hear from a Walt Whitman scholar at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, an LGBTQ activist in Brighton Beach, and one of Biggie’s biggest fans on a block in Clinton Hill. 


Season 2, Episode 8

Stroller Parking

February 18, 2020

If you’re a kid or if you take care of a kid, chances are you use the library a lot. Listen in on some creative ways that libraries are engaging with children and their caregivers, from writing workshops just for caregivers to classes that help patrons open daycare centers in their own homes. 

Click here for Emily Heath's BookMatch list curated especially for this episode.


Season 2, Episode 7

Borrowed, Live!

February 3, 2020

For our first ever live show, we went back to the basics and talked about books! Listen to our librarians as they match audience members to books on the spot, reveal what, in fact, is the real number-one-checked-out-book in Brooklyn and recommend their favorite reads of 2019. This episode was recorded during the Brooklyn Podcast Festival at Union Hall on January 26.

Click here for a list of the BookMatch books talked about in this episode.


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