Skip to Main Content

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.

Listen on Apple Podcasts     Listen on Stitcher     Listen on Spotify     Listen on Radio Public        

Season 3, Episode 6

Storytime Anytime

December 21, 2020

This episode, we hear Drag Queen Cholula Lemon read Super Satya Saves the Day by Raakhee Mirchandani, and we visit BPL's wildly popular Tibetan language storytime, which provides language refuge for thousands of Tibetan-speaking New Yorkers, and reaches thousands more across the world. Bring a kiddo along to listen!

Check out this book list for titles related to this episode.


Season 3, Episode 5

Missing Them

December 7, 2020

A special episode, created in partnership with Queens Memory and the online newspaper The CITY, on grief and mourning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we can move forward as a community.


Season 3, Episode 4

On Passing

November 18, 2020

Belle da Costa Greene and Nella Larsen are two librarians of color, one who is white passing, and the other of mixed heritage who wrote famously about the phenomenon of passing in her novels. We're telling the stories of these women and asking what they can tell us about race in librarianship and in literature.

Check out the list of books recommended for this episode. 


Season 3, Bonus Episode

Votes for Women

October 30, 2020

To honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we take a trip to Green-Wood cemetery to the grave of Sarah Smith Garnet, one of Brooklyn's Black women suffragists. We also talk with NYC Council Member Farrah Louis about how the women in her family encouraged activism through voting.


Season 3, Episode 3

From Montgomery to East New York

October 26, 2020

We dig into the history of a once-unacknowledged African burial ground in East New York, Brooklyn, and ask how a new library branch can honor that legacy. 

Check out this list of books recommended for this episode. 


Season 3, Episode 2

Marching Onward

October 14, 2020

From Selma, Alabama to Brooklyn, New York — we look at how racial violence and racial memory impacts our country and our libraries. 

Check out this list for books by and about Indigenous and Native American people. 


Season 3, Episode 1

Reopening, Reimagining

September 30, 2020

This episode, we ask how the pandemic can help us re-imagine what we use libraries for. Plus, we talk to LA County Library about how extreme weather is impacting their reopening, and dig into the science of how we are keeping you (and your books) healthy.

Click here for a list of book recommendations curated for this episode.


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.


close navigation