Carnegie Libraries

For one hundred years, the Carnegie Libraries have been the setting for the core of Brooklyn Public Library's work: neighborhood service.

Andrew Carnegie's 1901 gift of library buildings allowed BPL to create permanent homes for books and programs within walking distance of every resident in every neighborhood.

Before these branches were built, the Library typically rented retail space to provide local service. These shopfronts, crowded, make-shift rooms with collections too small to meet public demand, offered little relief from the average home of the time. In the new branches, however, volume after volume in multiple languages filled spacious, bright reading rooms.

Literacy efforts and cultural programs brought education and delight to young and old. The joint efforts of architects and librarians created modern public spaces dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and entertainment, and every topic in between. These warm, welcoming libraries brought the larger institution of BPL to the people of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn's Carnegie Libraries