Brooklyn Public Library


’Tis the Season for Biking

Apr 30, 2008 11:37 AM | 0 comments

Despite the spring showers, there’s sunny news for Brooklyn bicycle riders. The Brooklyn Paper reports new lanes for bicyclists and a walking path will be built along Kent Avenue and West Street in Greenpoint. The continuous greenway would stretch nearly three miles, and provide safe passage along one of the neighborhood’s most heavily trafficked avenues. It’s the latest installment in the bike lane building boom, part of Mayor Bloomberg’s long-term green vision to paint 1,200 new miles of bike lanes. 

It’s easy to find the bike lanes in your neighborhood on NYC Bike Maps, part of the great links collected on BPL’s Bicycling in NYC webpage. You’ll find everything from resources and repairs to history and safety tips. So pump up those tires, grab your helmet, and I’ll see you on the road. 

Got a favorite place to bike in Brooklyn? Drop a comment and share it with everybody.

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Brooklyn, Through the Ages

Apr 28, 2008 3:49 PM | 0 comments

What made the front page back in 1888 is quite different than today’s news. Take a look at what the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, a major Brooklyn newspaper from 1841 to 1955, was reporting on its front page on April 28, 1888:

  • Thirty new passenger coaches were delivered to the New York Central and Hudson River Railroads.
  • Permits for the ownership of new buildings were less in demand than the year before.
  • The fourth annual dinner of the Apollo Club took place at Remsen Hall. 


How do you think people in the future will look at what made the front page of our newspapers today?


If you are curious about the history of Brooklyn, check out Brooklyn Public Library’s website for full access to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from 1841 to 1902.
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The Proof is in the Peas

Apr 23, 2008 9:24 AM | 0 comments

Fifty-five years ago this month, James Watson and Francis Crick unlocked the structure of the DNA molecule, and suddenly the words “double helix” were on everyone’s lips. But the twisting story of DNA didn’t end (or start) there. It turns out that cracking the code of life is one of the greatest detective stories in history, spanning three centuries: 

  • 1843 – 1868: Austrian monk Gregor Mendel’s experi- ments with garden peas lay the foundation of modern genetics.
  • 1910: Thomas Hunt Morgan’s experiments on fruit flies reveal a variety of genetic phenomena, transforming ninth grade biology classes forever.
  • 1953: Watson and Crick make their historic discovery. Read about their exciting race to beat other researchers to the prize in Double Helix.
  • 1996: Researchers in Scotland clone a sheep from the cell of an adult ewe. They name her “Dolly” (see photo).
  • April, 2003: After 13 years of international research, the complete human genome is revealed, giving us the ability to read nature’s blueprint for building a human being.

And the story goes on. Genetic science will continue to shape the way we live in the 21st century—from curing diseases to finding new energy sources. To learn more, check out BPL’s links on Genetics and Genomics, or stop by Central Library on Friday, April 25—also known as National DNA Day—for some fun activities like live webcasts and virtual laboratories; play DNA Jeopardy; even learn about careers in genetics.


In the meantime, eat your peas!


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The Earth is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Apr 21, 2008 11:01 AM | 0 comments

I’m sure that we’ve all seen the slogan Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, as it's all over fliers and street signs -- and blue recycling bins are everywhere. Every day we are constantly being told that it’s up to us save our Earth. But how many of us know what Earth Day really is? Is it a day dedicated to planting trees, recycling, or reading a book instead of using your computer? If you guessed all of the above, you’re on the right track.


Celebrated annually on April 22, Earth Day is a day to increase awareness and appreciation for our environment. It is the brainchild of former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and it was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. Nelson conceptualized this day as a way to educate people about the widespread destruction of our environment.


So what can we do to make our environment a cleaner, greener place?


  • Get a library card- save trees by borrowing books instead of buying them.
  • Walk or take public transportation to your local library instead of driving your car- there’s one right in your own neighborhood.
  • Shut off your television, open up a book- reduce energy consumption and enrich the mind.

Are you doing your part in saving the Earth?


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Big Up to PowerUP!

Apr 18, 2008 9:30 AM | 0 comments

Hot dogs on the beach? A moving staircase? Barbicide? Believe it or not, there was a time when these ideas sounded crazy, but they turned into serious cash for the Brooklyn entrepreneurs who came up with them. Think you’ve got the next million dollar business idea? If you live in Brooklyn, enter Brooklyn Public Library’s Fifth Annual PowerUP! Busines Plan Competition, and compete for the grand prize of $15,000 in start-up capital. 


Past winners include Park Slope’s Bogota restaurant and hip baby tee makers
Tot Stops. If you’re still not buying it (even though there’s no cost to enter), listen to what Tot Stops co-founder Jessica Sequinot had to say about her PowerUP! experience:


“Believe it or not, I will say the most rewarding part of the contest is the knowledge and the contacts I acquired at my library. The business plan that I wrote was so thorough that anybody could open it up tomorrow and run my business.


“The library’s panel of judges consisted of different professionals throughout Brooklyn who have opened doors for my business that would probably not have opened otherwise. If you have a dream of opening a business, do something every day to achieve that dream, and visit your local library.”


For more information, and to sign up for a PowerUP! orientation session, click over to BPL’s Business Library website.


Hot dogs, anyone?


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