The House That Herman Built



Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch is now exhibiting a powerful collaboration between New Orleans-based artist Jackie Sumell and former prisoner and Black Panther, Herman Wallace. Wallace was a member of the Angola 3, who was wrongfully convicted of the 1972 murder of a prison guard; likely framed due to their political activism. Wallace spent nearly 42 years in solitary confinement and died just days after his conviction was overturned. The project Wallace worked on with Sumell began when she asked him, “What sort of house does a man who has lived in a 6-foot-by-9-foot cell for over 30 years dream of?”

The House That Herman Built is an on-going project that began as an exchange between two individuals and has expanded into an international art exhibition, a book, a documentary film, and is now in the fundraising stages of building Herman Wallace’s dream home in the city of New Orleans. The exhibit includes a life-sized replica of Wallace’s prison cell, selections from his correspondence with Sumell, books from his reading list, and, now in the library’s main lobby, a model of the dream house that he designed. In the wake of his death, this project, in all of its forms, speaks to Herman’s struggle and the struggle of all people forced to endure wrongful convictions and the inhumane conditions of long term solitary confinement. Go see it at BPL or take a look at the video below put out by Democracy Now!


Vote to help bring more library, archive & museum (LAM) content to SXSW 2015


” Librarians & Libraries Lovers Descend on SXSW Interactive”, ATX Librarians Social Club. Events March 5-10, 2014

Want to see more library, archive, & museum content come to SXSW 2015? The SXSW PanelPicker is now open for public voting. 30% of the decision to pick a panel is based on public input, so sign up for an account, and get your votes in before Friday, Sept. 5! Feel free to add comments to the proposals to show additional support, and share far and wide! Selected panels will be announced starting Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Below is a short list of SXSW 2015 LAM (Interactive and EDU) panels. See a more inclusive list here and don’t forget to vote!

Coworking, Creating, Doing Business @ your library

Libraries as Playgrounds for Digital Natives

Creating Citywide Connected Learning Ecosystems 

Schools & Libraries Together: Rethinking Learning

Schools’ Vortex: Innovative Library ‘Makerspaces’ 

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month for American Public Libraries


catlibrarycardThere is no better time of the year than September to sign up for a library card. All next month, the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries all across the country are celebrating the value of getting a library card. If you don’t already have a library card, then be sure to stop by your local public library sometime during the month of September. If you have one, but know a friend or young person who doesn’t, then bring them to the library to get a card! They will want one to check out books, ebooks, audio tapes, cds, videos, dvds, and access computer terminals, databases and download mp3s—all free!

Live in Brooklyn?

Live in Manhattan, Bronx, or Staten Island?

Live in Queens?


“A library is like a train station for the mind. It is the point from which you can travel anywhere, everywhere.”



Steve Keene painting at the Brooklyn Public Library. Photo by Julia Lipkins. 2014.

I appreciated a quote that I stumbled on today in the lobby of the Central Branch of Brooklyn Public Library by Steve Keene. Keene is BPL’s 2014 artist-in residence. His art can be seen through August 29 in an exhibition that pays homage to Brooklyn and to BPL, rendered in Keene’s Wood Sculpture and Tattooed Plywood.

“I’m excited about working with Brooklyn Public Library,” stated Keene. “A library is like a train station for the mind. It is the point from which you can travel anywhere, everywhere. There is something so energizing about both the familiar and the unknown all at your fingertips waiting for new connections to be made. I try to include this sense of unlimited possibility in my work.”



What is your library to you? Save NYC Libraries has a great social media campaign going which collects and shares the stories of everyday people who need/want/work in/utilize/or otherwise love the library in all kinds of different ways. Read them all here. And if you have your own story to tell you can do so my submitting it here. You can also chose to allow Save NYC Libraries to use your story for library advocacy purposes. Why? Because our stories make the libraries real for lawmakers and funders.

Cats (and Librarians) Against Cat Calls


Miss Ingrid (Magpie Librarian) ❤ ❤ ❤ has stolen my heart with her new display created to get young adult and teen patrons to start thinking about street harassment at Brooklyn Public Library.

catsagainstcatcallsstreet harassment

In addition to posters, topic-related books are on display and handouts (one side directed at the harassed, the other at possible allies and harassers) are for the taking. Thank you Ingrid! View her post here: Cats (and Librarians) Against Cat Calls: A display about street harassment

Brooklyn Public Library and the Affordable Care Act


Today marks the opening of nationwide health insurance exchanges that serve as a component of President Obama’s health care reform. Among other initiatives, Brooklyn Public Library is maintaining a website on the Affordable Care Act. To assist with providing information and assistance about plan coverage, enrollment and eligibility, New York State has disbursed $27 million in grants to In-Person Assistors and Navigators. One Navigator organization, the Brooklyn Alliance, will provide in-person assistance at several Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) locations this week.

East Flatbush Library
9612 Church Avenue at Rockaway Parkway
Languages spoken: English, Spanish
Tuesday: 1–7PM

Flatbush Library
22 Linden Boulevard at Flatbush Avenue
Languages spoken: English
Tuesday: 1–8PM

Greenpoint Library
107 Norman Avenue at Leonard Avenue
Languages spoken: English, French Albanian, Italian
Wednesday: 12–7PM
Thursday: 12PM–7PM

Kings Highway Library
2115 Ocean Avenue (near Kings Highway)
Languages spoken: English, Russian, Romanian, Cantonese, Mandarin, French
Monday: 1–8PM
Tuesday: 10AM–6PM
Wednesday: 10AM–5PM
Thursday: 10AM–5PM
Saturday: 10AM–3PM

Mapleton Library
1702 60th Street
Languages spoken: Russian, Romanian, Cantonese, Mandarin
Tuesday: 1–8PM
Wednesday: 10AM–5PM
Thursday: 1PM–8PM
Saturday: 10AM–3PM

Marcy Library
617 Dekalb Avenue at Nostrand Avenue
Languages spoken: English
Tuesday: 1–8PM

Sunset Park Library
5108 4th Avenue at 51st Street
Languages spoken: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin
Tuesday: 12–8PM
Wednesday: 10AM–6PM
Thursday: 1PM–8PM
Saturday: 10AM–4PM

To find other Navigator organizations and events, visit the New York State of Health website.