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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 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.


Season 2, Episode 6

Carnegie's Legacy

January 23, 2020

Andrew Carnegie has a classic rags-to-riches story: an immigrant turned steel magnate who financed the construction of over 2,500 public library buildings worldwide, including 21 in Brooklyn. But, his business and labor policies often hurt the very people his libraries served. As one Carnegie steel worker said in 1900: “After working 12 hours, how can a man go to a library?” We dig into Carnegie’s complicated legacy, with a special appearance from the Bowery Boys!

Click here for John Leighton's BookMatch list curated especially for this episode.


Season 2, Bonus Episode

Plunging into the New Year

January 1, 2020

To ring in the new year, take a dive into the stories of the Coney Island Polar Bear club. We hear from voices from across New York City—a cop speaking openly about his wife's drug addiction, Russian immigrants looking for tradition, and a mother mourning her daughter's death—who all have their own reasons for jumping into the freezing ocean every Sunday.


Season 2, Episode 5

Blocks and Brownstones

December 23, 2019

Perhaps Brooklyn’s most iconic neighborhood is Bedford-Stuyvesant. The tree-lined streets and grand brownstones have been here for over 150 years, and the Brooklynites who call those brownstones home are constantly changing. In this episode, we tell the story of this neighborhood through the lives of three women who set down roots here in different ways: activist Hattie Carthan, writer Paule Marshall, and novelist Naomi Jackson. 

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


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