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Libraries in Brooklyn, NY

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Posted by Nate Goldman on Thursday, February 7th 2019:

I remember that the branch of the Midwood Library, prior to 1954, was on E.14th St, between Avenue I and Avenue J. We had to walk up a very steep staircase to get to the small library on the second floor. On Dec. 31, 1954, I was at the opening of the current branch of the Midwood Library, on E. 17th St., just to the North of Avenue J. The place was packed on opening day. The Midwood branch was not that large, but it served its purpose. I remember that when we checked books out, there was some sort of a copying machine, which would photograph the card in the book, along with our library card. A bright light would come on, and the machine would make a humming noise. Presumably, everything is that branch is computerized today. The only other branches of the Brooklyn Public Library which I am familiar with is the main branch on Grand Army Plaza. The latter library was very large; it was located not too far from the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. There was a very steep outdoor staircase going into that library. Today, I would assume that there is a ramp, at that location. I recall that it also employed the use of the pneumatic tubes, with book requests inside, similar to the main NYC library on 42nd St., in Manhattan. I remember seeing the large monument/statue nearby, dedicated to soldiers of the Union Army, during the Civil War. The only other library in Brooklyn that I went to (I don't remember if it was part of the Brooklyn library system), was the business library in downtown Brooklyn, across from the New York State Supreme Court building. The latter library was an excellent source of reference for economics, statistics, purchasing, management, etc. I might add that in those days, noise in the libraries was not tolerated. Today, unfortunately, it appears that customs have changed, and patrons think nothing of using their cell phones in the library, or otherwise making noise. Also, safety was never a problem in the libraries. Today, we see guards, as well as scanning machines, when one leaves the library.

Reference ID: BK95706


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