10. Outdoor Reading Rooms

Outdoor reading room by Heinrich Spillman

At the Brooklyn Public Library, you can enjoy a good read outside in the warm spring weather at the library’s new outdoor reading room. Outdoor seating and WiFi accessibility will be provided at twenty locations throughout the Brooklyn Library system. At the Central Library, guests can sit on pieces crafted by artist Heinrich Spillman made of reclaimed wood saved from destruction by woodchippers and landfill. The majority of the wood was sourced from Green-Wood Cemetery.

In conjunction with the reading rooms, ten libraries across Brooklyn will feature Whispering Libraries, a curated, audio experience taking place outdoors. The sound installation invites the public to listen to a curated playlist of music, poetry, oral histories, podcast excerpts, spoken literature, and more. Some of the things you might hear include excerpts of speeches by the late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis, classical music from BPL Creatives-in-Residence ETHEL Quartet, and prescient words from writers Naomi Klein and Fran Lebowitz. The audio is piped through hidden speakers and can be heard up to five times a day on weekdays and select Saturdays starting at 7:30 a.m. You might even spot a volunteer cyclist biking through the streets broadcasting the playlists!