cheeky, perhaps, but we call the Cortelyou Library “the Prison for Books” because of the way the brick building squats on its corner lot, formidable with slits for windows, a sealed off book drop and the stabbing metal beams of public art in a bundle before the door. Inside, the middle-aged women at the desks look harried by the kids from the half dozen nearby schools and dulled by the bad lights. The long tables and hard chairs do not encourage a leisurely stay; the immediately available selection of adult reading is so-so.
despite its uninviting façade, the Cortelyou Library is a workhorse in our community and the unsung hero of this little blog. You can order books from not only the Brooklyn system but also libraries across the country through Interlibrary Loan. The books arrive like magic for pick-up and reading in the blissful comfort of your own quarters or that crusty, comfy corner café, Vox Pop, or further afield in the sunlight of Prospect Park’s Long Meadow. That’s infinite volumes at your beck and call. For free.
for the Radical Muffin, that has meant half a dozen books on container gardening, all of Marcella Hazan’s books published after More Classic Italian Cooking, a fresh batch of baking manifestos, and Delizia! The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food. Those are the titles in hand for May alone. Believe me when I say you wouldn’t get half of the delectable information in this blog without the library. And the Brooklyn Public Library is in jeopardy.
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) faces a $20.6 million cut in city funding. As a result of this cut: 16 branch libraries would close, weekend hours would be severely limited, essential materials and important services would be drastically cut, and hundreds of staff members would be laid off. Library staff and supporters have been hustling this month especially to raise private donations and publically challenge the cuts. You can help.
right now, visit the Brooklyn Public Library website to send a message to City Council and make a donation: http://www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/
then the second weekend in June, come participate in the 24-hour We Will Not Be Shushed Read-In: “Together we can save our libraries and keep our library staff behind the desk where they belong.”
readers and library workers from all three tri-library systems, with the full endorsement of Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library administration, are gathering on the steps of the BPL Central Library at Grand Army Plaza to rally and read for 24-hours from Saturday, June 12 at 5pm until Sunday at 5pm, with Sunday morning devoted to children’s stories. The organizers are looking for readers over the 24-hour period, and need supporters to come out and help out at the event.
i’ll be there with snacks, based on recipes from cookbooks greedily gathered through the library system. Maybe we could raise enough money for all the branches to be as inviting as the main hub.