Brooklyn Public Library


BPL's 5th Annual Teen Writing Contest, 2014

Mar 31, 2014 5:29 PM | 0 comments

Enter the contest


See if you can win first prize


Poetry or prose...



Brooklyn Public Library proudly presents its 5th annual writing contest for teens. Last year we received over one hundred submissions from all across Brooklyn. Think you've got what it takes to be our winner this year? Submit your entry here! May the odds be ever in your favor...

Bookmark and Share

Teen Tech Week 2014

Feb 27, 2014 1:55 PM | 0 comments

What better way is there to show off your love for technology, than Teen Tech Week? Teen tech week started in 2007 as an annual event for teens. It is that time of year that is devoted to you, the teens of our society. During this week libraries will offer and present many ideas and activities for teens to involve themselves in to make and produce things that showcase their individual as well as group talent and effort. It is also an opportunity for teens to learn how to use technology creatively and effectively.

This year teen tech week starts March 9 and ends March 15th, with the theme of DYI. This is the week to let your inner Geek out! Libraries throughout the borough will contribute to the success of teen tech week with various activities and do-it-yourself projects. We realize the importance of servicing our youth through library programs and materials. With teens using the library for information through books digital and audio, computers as well as entertainment and socializing we look forward to teen tech week so that you know that we are paying attention.

Suggestions and ideas

Family Activity—teens help seniors build computer skills

Teens create their own e-book, zine or newspaper

Create a helpful how to guide for using an iphone, ipad, ipod or tablet

Create a soundtrack or trailer for a favorite book

Read a technology book to peak new interest

Start a teen tech club at school or in the library

Teen tech week is a fun way to learn more about technology that interest you and make new friends. It is a great way to show off your skillz by teaching others and sharing what you know, while using library materials and services. So visit your local library during teen tech week and participate, be a part of all that’s going on. Experience something new and exciting! Remember to visit Teen Zone for more DIY books and websites.  Go to to find out what’s going on in your branch…have fun!!! 

Bookmark and Share

Coretta Scott King Book Award Honors

Jan 29, 2014 1:29 PM | 0 comments

What better way to celebrate Black History Month than to check out the winners of the American Library Association's Coretta Scott King Book Awards? Each year, these awards are given to "outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values." 

The awards highlight both new and enduring talent, and commemorate the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Some fantastic books for young adults were among this year's author honors:

March, Book 1, by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell. The first installment in a graphic novel series about the life of legendary civil rights leader and current congressman John Lewis.

Darius & Twig, by Walter Dean Myers. Two friends work to move on from their Harlem neighborhood to bigger things, but are thwarted by bullies, money problems, and drama in the streets. 

Read more about the award here:

Stop by your library top pick up one of these books, and consider staying for a Black History Month event - all are listed here:

Bookmark and Share

2014 is the Year to Show Yourself Some LOVE!

Jan 9, 2014 3:03 PM | 0 comments

 Photo credits Quin Dombrowski (creative commons license - some rights reserved)


As 2014 begins, it is natural to think about the new things we'd like to do in this brand New Year, and changes we'd like to make. Starting afresh is a way to take good care of ourselves, especially in the deep of the winter cold. What are the ways in which you plan to show yourself some love this coming year?

We asked this question to some of the youth services staff who work at Brooklyn Public Library, and here are some of the things they had to say. What would you add to the list? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!

1. What are the ways in which you plan to show yourself some love this coming year?

· I plan on showing some love to me by eating healthier and not letting the small stuff get to me.

· I want to take a meditation class and learn more about Japanese cooking!

· Don't be too hard on yourself, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

· I am going to try to spend more time relaxing and trying some new ways to destress like yoga, acupuncture, or Tai Chi.

· By accepting myself first, warts and all.

· I plan on showing myself love by accepting my uniqueness and stop trying to fit in and be accepted by others.

· I plan to read something spiritually stirring or soul searching books.

2. Are there things you'll be doing to take better care of yourself, physically, emotionally, or intellectually? What are they?

· Take a trip to somewhere I’ve never been before.

· By eating less junk food and surrounding myself with people who support me, I will hopefully make myself better.

· Need to breathe well, so for that I’ll be doing yoga.

· Emotionally I will focus on practicing meditations and yoga exercises. It’s important on me to work on myself and stop focusing on others.

· I will try to give myself the Revitalizing Sit Down. This is simply finding time to sit down and do nothing for about 10 - 15 minutes when I come home from a busy day. I habitually at times just start working at a home project and deny myself the chance to breath. Also, I will embrace the idea of a timeout rather that feeling guilty with the thought of, “I can be getting this or that done right now.” I will embrace the idea that a timeout is not a waste of time but rather should be a part of my day.

3. What advice would you give to your teen self, about how to start a new year off to a fresh, fabulous new start?

· Try something new for the fun of it, not necessarily for “self-improvement.” Accept yourself as you are now, and it’ll be easier to approach new experiences and challenges with curiosity and joy.

· Some advice I would give to my younger self: PUT DOWN THE DARN MCDONALDS AND PICK UP A SALAD!!

· Do one small thing every day that makes someone else smile. And then write it down.

· Dear Teen Self: The World needs you as you are. Celebrate the more revitalized you for 2014!

· Try to avoid extremes; find balance!

Visit the TeenZone for more teen related info. including internship opportunities, etc.

Bookmark and Share

Shout Out to former BPL volunteers Tiffani & Annette!

Nov 19, 2013 2:55 PM | 0 comments

Tiffani Browne and Annette Okungbowa used to be volunteers at BPL as part of the Multicultural Internship Program. Tiffani interned at the Kings Highway Library and Annette interned at the Arlington Library. 



What are you doing currently?

Tiffani: I am currently a sophomore, full time student at Brooklyn College. I also work as an usher at the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza, for programs in the Dweck Auditorium.

Annette: I am currently a Junior at CUNY-Baruch College majoring in Marketing. I am currently also a Sales & Operations Intern at NBC Universal.

If you’re in school, what is your major or focus?

Tiffani: My major is Biology and I am working toward becoming a neonatologist. Starting tomorrow, I will be volunteering at Downstate Infant and Child Learning Center. I'm excited to start a new journey and experience!

What were some of the things you learned at BPL that helped you in school or at other jobs?

Tiffani: I learned so many different things while I was a MIP at Brooklyn Public Library. I learned to be more confident in myself and along with that, I gained communication skills. Although I had slightly known, before volunteering as a MIP, that there was diversity in Brooklyn; I saw it firsthand in the library. It was a place where nothing matters but who you were individually. I learned how to work with larger groups of children and the patience and understanding it takes to work with others.

Annette: One of the greatest things I learned as a MIP was punctuality and how important it is in the real world. Being that I was 15 years old when I started the internship and it was essentially my first "job", I had no idea that I had to call when I would be late, even if it was for 15 minutes. Another thing I learned was to never be afraid to try new things. One thing that limited me a bit was that I already had a rigid view as to what I expected from the program before I even started. As a result, whenever I am a part of a new internship, I make sure to approach it without any expectations and to fully immerse myself in anything I am asked to do.

Do you have any suggestions for current teens regarding volunteer work, college, and/or career?

Tiffani: To any teen out there who wants to contribute to their community or someone's life, I strongly suggest being confident when visiting different organizations. Don't be afraid to approach someone and ask questions, it doesn't hurt to ask. Most important of all make sure you love what you are doing. Not because someone told you to do it, because you will not enjoy your volunteer experience and it may not have a great impact on your life. This would result in a waste of your time.
If you are searching and you get many No's, don't let those deter you. Keep trying until you find something. Never get discouraged when you get turned away because sometimes we need to know what rejection feels like to fully succeed in life!
The most important thing that Jen and all the other mentors taught us was to "READ YOUR EMAIL EVERYDAY!!" You can miss out on great opportunities in life.

Annette: My suggestion to current teens regarding college or career is to never limit yourself and to always strive to be the best you can be, no matter the circumstance. I know that sounds cliché but it's true. Furthermore, never take any opportunity for granted. Whenever an opportunity is placed in front of you, grab it by the horns and don't let go. Lastly, approach everything with an open mind. Never approach any situation with preconceived notions because those ideas can limit as well as skew your experience.
I'd also leave them with this quote: "It's not the hand that you're dealt but how you play your cards." - A wise man

Thank you, Tiffani & Annette!


Check out these other interviews of past volunteers as well - Isheta & Ashley and Chyanne, Heidi & Hadiya

Do you want to be featured on Teenzone? E-mail us at

Interested in volunteering with BPL? Find out more here:


Bookmark and Share