Borough Park Library - Local History & Photos

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Welcome to Borough Park Branch, June 2000 Welcome to Borough Park Branch, June 2000 Child Reading, June 2000 Interior of Branch, June 2000 Reference Desk Area with Librarian, June 2000 Teen Corner, June 2000 Librarian, June 2000 Borough Park, c1950s Front of Borough Park Window Patrons Waiting to Enter Borough Park Branch, c.1970 Interior View with Patrons, 1946 Ground Breaking, October 1953
Branch History

The Borough Park Branch had its origin in 1904 in the Edgewood Reformed Chapel, a small church near 54th Street and 14th Avenue. In the Fall of 1907, this library joined the branch system of the Brooklyn Public Library. At that time, more than 60 percent of the population were of foreign parentage and included Germans, Italians, Jews, Poles and Russians. The busy branch was moved in 1926 to 5211-13 13th Avenue but soon outgrew this space. On November 28, 1955 the present-day branch was opened with a collection of 53,000 books, nearly doubling the holding of the old branch. Adult and young adult services were on the first floor while all children's services were located in the spacious children's room on the second floor.

Around the same time the present-day branch opened, Borough Park became home to increasing numbers of Orthodox Jews; today they number 80% of the community. Recent years have seen more immigrants from Muslim countries settling in the neighborhood. There are also significant Russian and Spanish-speaking populations.

The Borough Park Branch continues to have one of the highest circulation rates in Brooklyn, with the category of Juvenile Fiction the most popular. In addition to its special collections, the Branch serves the diverse community of Borough Park through programs for both adults and children.

Famous Facts

Temple Beth El, 15th Ave and 48th St; Oldest synagogue in Borough Park; Original building 1907; Present building designed by Shampan & Shampan in 1920 and patterned on the Moorish Revival motif.