Brooklyn Public Library


Free Your Mind

May 14, 2008 10:10 AM | 2 comments
We wanted to respond to recent threads about our internet Policy. Please feel free to view it here.
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Bad News for Newspapers

May 13, 2008 9:46 AM | 0 comments

Newspaper publishers once fought tooth and nail for recognition amongst competing publications; now they’re just fighting for recognition.


Last week, we reported on the downward publishing trend for the once-cherished encyclopedia. It seems newspapers aren’t safe either. When considering the 1,437 daily newspapers printed in the United States, Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California at Annenberg, has given them 20 to 25 more years before fading away.


There’s certainly evidence on his side. The New York Post recently reduced its height by an inch and a half, following the example of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Reuters recently reported on a survey of worldwide newspaper editors that revealed a popular opinion that newspapers would eventually be free to stay alive in competition with the internet. Even The Onion is poking fun at this issue.


A world without newspapers. Even in these modern times, that’s still tough news to swallow.

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Who Stole My "H"?

May 12, 2008 9:55 AM | 2 comments

What’s in a Word is more than just a book by renowned author Webb Garrison. What’s in the word Williamsburgh is the million dollar question on the minds of many Brooklynites.

The name Williamsburgh, spelled with the letter H may seem strange to many. After all, most present day Brooklyn locations like the Williamsburg Bridge, and Williamsburg the neighborhood, omit the letter H at the end. But have you ever wondered what happened to our dear friend letter H.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. In the mid 1800’s, before it was home to hipsters and artists Williamsburgh was its own village within the Town of Bushwick. After making a name for itself as a bustling and thriving community of its own, Williamsburg seceded from Bushwick and became the City of Williamsburgh in 1852. The City of Williamsburgh maintained its status for only three years before merging with Bushwick and becoming part of Brooklyn in 1855. At this time not only did Williamsburg merge with Brooklyn, it also managed to lose its identity in the merger, dropping the H from its name.

Want to learn more about Brooklyn past and present? Then check out the Brooklyn Collection online or at Central Library.

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Ink vs. Internet

May 7, 2008 11:40 AM | 5 comments

In his book The Vanishing Newspaper, Philip Meyer predicts that the final copy of the final newspaper will appear on someone’s doorstep one day in 2043. But there’s something (or rather, someone) else who’s already disappeared from America’s doorsteps: the encyclopedia salesman.


In 2007, Scott “Willie” Lohman, Encyclopedia Britannica’s last door-to-door salesman made his last sale, ending the company’s reliance on kitchen table pitchmen. But it’s more than just the salesmen that have disappeared—the volumes themselves are going the way of the dinosaurs.


The New York Times recently reported that Germany’s foremost multivolume encyclopedia, Brockhaus, is making all of its 300,000 articles available online—for free. And the publishing house says it can’t promise that it will ever produce another print edition, something it has done regularly since 1808.


Other European and American publishers are following suit and moving their encyclopedias entirely into the digital realm. For years we’ve been reading about the death throes of ink and paper, but now the victims are household names. Has the War on Print finally gone hot? Stay tuned…to your computer screen.

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Get Mo’ Better at Brooklyn Public Library

May 5, 2008 2:29 PM | 0 comments

What do Joe’s Pub, The Nuyorican Poets Café, and the NYC Department of Education all have in common? Well if you guessed that they have all been privy to the Mo Beasley experience then you have guessed correctly.


As a poet, educator and public speaker, Mo’ Beasley is no stranger to Brooklyn. This long time resident has graced many stages and will be making a stop at Brooklyn Public Library’s Dweck Center. Thanks to the Brooklyn Vanguard, Brooklynites will be treated to an evening of spoken work poetry performed live by Mo Beasley himself on Saturday, May 10th


G-Daddy: A Father's Rage / A Grandfather's Delight By Mo Beasley Essay for the untitled fatherhood anthology (Soft Skull Press 2008)

I am a 38 year old grandfather to an adorable two year old girl named Vanessa. That reality has come to frighten, enrage, and delight me since I first heard "Daddy I'm pregnant." My 19-year-old daughter, Tanya, dropped the news near the end of her freshman year at Spelman College. It was also towards the end of a four year whirlwind as a single parent guiding my "woman child" out of her turbulent teens, through high school, and into the premiere institute of higher learning for African American women. Rage, betrayal and defeat set in when "I'm gonna' do whatever I gotta' do to take care of my baby" and "I did it and she can do it too" were the common replies to this uncommon situation. The replies came from Tanya and her mother Leslie, respectively. It is all too common in poor black families for our daughters to become single/teenage mothers. It was uncommon for Tanya to come live with me when her 15 year old "wildin'" exhausted her mom and step-dad.


For more information about the Brooklyn Vanguard or how to obtain tickets of the event please contact 718.230.2100

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