Whispering Libraries

BPL's Whispering Libraries are curated playlists of music, poetry, oral history and spoken literature, played for the public after hours and at select times of day outside at ten of our neighborhood libraries. You may also hear snippets of Whispering Libraries playlists as you travel around the borough this spring courtesy of a small group of volunteer cyclists who will be pedaling around the streets of Brooklyn with small speakers attached to their bicycles.

Available outdoors beginning April 1 at the following participating neighborhood libraries:

Are you a Brooklyn/NYC bicyclist who loves the library and looking for a volunteer opportunity? We’re looking for ordinary cyclists to ride through Brooklyn and play our Whispering Libraries playlists. We have the equipment; you bring the bicycle and your love of riding. To participate write to jwhitney@bklynlibrary.org.

Night of Ideas

This playlist was created for BPL's 2021 Night of Ideas, featuring authors Astra Taylor, Nell Painter, Mona Eltahawy, Suketu Mehta and philosophers Renata Salecl and Agnes Callard.

Made possible by a Humanities New York Action Grant through funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Branch Playlists

We've named our ten playlists for each participating branch library (so you won’t forget where to hear them live), and you'll hear only that location's playlist right now. But stay tuned as we explain what you can hear and add to the playlists later this year. And soon, you'll be able to listen to them any time, anywhere, right on this web page.

Playlists can be heard five times daily on weekdays, Monday through Friday, at the following times: 7:30 & 11 am; 1, 6 and 8 pm. Each branch library's playlist has a running time of ;10 to 12 mins., and we encourage you to check back here for updates!

You will hear contributions by Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 2020 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prizewinners Ruha Benjamin and Nominee Saeed Jones, U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, 2021 Frost Medal Recipient N. Scott Momaday, the late Rep. John Lewis, authors Naomi Klein, Nicole Sealey, Edwidge Danticat, Leila Chatti, BPL's Borrowed podcast, BPL Creatives in Residence Ethel Quartet, and more.