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.

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].

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,” 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.

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Season 4, Episode 3

Building Brooklyn: Eighth Avenue

October 13, 2021

Brooklyn is constantly changing. This episode takes a look at the changes on just one street in one neighborhood: Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park, which many call Brooklyn's Chinatown. In the early 1990s, BPL and the Museum of Chinese in America collected oral histories about Sunset Park. We dive back into that archive, with help from Professor Tarry Hum, urban planner and former Sunset Parker.

Check out this list of books curated for this episode.


Season 4, Episode 2

Building Brooklyn: Women on the Waterfront

October 6, 2021

At the start of World War II, 200 women were employed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. That number ballooned to 7,000 at the height of the war, but afterward—women workers were gone as rapidly as they appeared. We tell the story using oral histories from women who worked at the yard, and an interview with author Jennifer Egan, who helped create the collection and used it as research for her award-winning novel, Manhattan Beach.

Check out this list of books about women in labor history and the Navy Yard.


Season 4, Episode 1

Building Brooklyn: Like Coming Home

September 29, 2021

In the middle of the 20th century, a ten square block area in North Gowanus was home to the largest Mohawk settlement outside of Canada. We hear about the Mohawk women who built that community while their husbands and fathers were building skyscrapers. And, we go back hundreds of years in Gowanus and tell the story of the original inhabitants of Brooklyn: the Lenape people, who gave the neighborhood its name.

Check out this book list for more reading about topics brought up in this episode.


Season 4, Trailer

Building Brooklyn: From Gowanus to Canarsie

August 31, 2021

We're launching a mini-series about four neighborhoods that made Brooklyn the vibrant, diverse borough it is today! “Building Brooklyn” will take you to Gowanus, the Navy Yard, Sunset Park, and Canarsie to discover some of Brooklyn’s most unique and over-looked stories. 


Season 3, Bonus Episode

New Yorkers: Rank Your Vote!

May 26, 2021

It’s the start of summer, which means block parties, beach trips, and also, big primary elections here in New York City. This will be the city's first election cycle where voters will get to cast their votes for up to five candidates for each position. It’s called ranked choice voting.


Season 3, Episode 14

That All May Participate

April 7, 2021

"To me, what all these books say is independence and personal choice," says Nefertiti Matos of the stacks of Braille books at NYPL's Andrew Heiskell Library. In this episode, we talk about what inclusion means, whether it's creating tactile graphics so that all may encounter the visual world, or making our virtual classes accessible to kids with disabilities. 

Check out this list of books selected for this episode.


Season 3, Episode 13

Good News

March 24, 2021

It’s been a rough year. So, we gathered all the good news we could find to brighten your podcast feed. Hear kids read to a therapy dog, a library love story, babies learning ASL, and adults age 90 and older learning to use Zoom.

Check out this list of books recommended by BPL's Poet-In-Residence, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson.


Season 3, Episode 12

Education For All

March 12, 2021

Ingrid Douglas never finished high school as a teenager. When she started looking for a better job at age sixty, she found not having a degree was a huge barrier. So, Ingrid came to the library to get her diploma. In this episode, we talk to students and instructors at BPL about how the library can be a refuge for those who have experienced trauma or adversity on their path to education.

Check out this list of books, created as a tribute to the late actress Cicely Tyson.


Season 3, Episode 11

Rekindling from Burnout

February 23, 2021

Burnout from work is something a lot of us are thinking about right now. It's been on the minds of librarians, too. We talk to a group of library workers who got together to combat the stress of the profession, and support each other.

Check out this list of books recommended specially for this episode!


Season 3, Episode 10

Hear Me Out: Part Two

February 10, 2021

Hear me out: A Vietnamese refugee opens a restaurant to keep her kids out of gangs, Brooklynites on their changing borough, a daughter seeks justice after her father's death from COVID-19, giving birth during a pandemic, the meaning of shelter for families experiencing homelessness, and the last lesbian bar in Brooklyn. These are all Brooklyn stories, created as part of BPL's first ever audio storytelling workshop.