October 12, 2005


Brooklyn, NY, October 11, 2005 – Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) will host a party to celebrate the first successful year of Public Urban Library Service Education (PULSE) – a joint librarian training program between Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and Pratt Institute, School of Information and Library Science (SILS). On Friday, October 14th, 6-10 PM, PULSE Trainees and their mentors will gather at Danny Simmons’ Corridor Gallery located at 334 Grand Avenue between Gates and Greene Avenues in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY for a festive evening of live jazz music, drinks and appetizers.

The PULSE program is designed to recruit and educate master’s degree library students who seek top positions in public urban libraries. Designed to reach out to the multi-ethnic and multi-lingual library students, PULSE provides trainees with both a curriculum focusing on public urban libraries, as well as hands-on work experience within the BPL system. Students wishing to apply for the PULSE traineeship must have been accepted as a matriculated student at Pratt SILS.

Through PULSE, library students rotate through a variety of positions with varying responsibilities at many of BPL’s 60 neighborhood libraries. Through this experience, students learn many aspects of working in a public urban library, including cataloging, children’s services, special needs populations, services for the aging, web-based services, marketing and government affairs.

"What's so exciting about PULSE is that it allows students to explore the many career opportunities available within a large, public, urban library system," said Ginnie Cooper, Executive Director of BPL. "At BPL, which serves Brooklyn's 2.5 million residents, PULSE Trainees have the amazing experience of working in many of Brooklyn's distinct, vibrant neighborhoods and learning about different cultures as they discover a variety of career options. BPL is very glad that we can offer this innovative program that enables the next generation of outstanding librarians to have this eye-opening experience."

Lila Freeman, a PULSE Trainee, has been thrilled with her first year in the program, saying, "Brooklyn has really become a part of me since I arrived from Illinois eight years ago," said who has been participating in the program for one year. "To work at BPL, a library system that is completely interwoven with the fabric of Brooklyn's daily life and culture, is a wonderfully rewarding experience for me. I have enjoyed my rotations around vastly different areas of Brooklyn – Crown Heights, Bushwick, East New York and Williamsburg. Each new setting has provided a different experience. I've discovered fascinating neighborhoods, new cuisine and have learned about different groups of people and their communities. Through PULSE, I have grown to love and respect the diversity of Brooklyn. Additionally, my work with the people of Brooklyn has confirmed my affinity for public service."

The model of PULSE provides a concept for comprehensive learning and development that could be implemented in library systems similar to BPL with a "central" library and neighborhood libraries and in smaller library systems with various departments.

"I chose PULSE because of its scope and intensity," said Lisa Castrogiovanni, a PULSE Trainee. "In a relatively short time, I have been exposed to practically all areas of librarianship. I feel well prepared to handle any challenge that I might face in the librarian profession. No other trainee program that I researched demonstrated the same levels of dedication to urban library education."

PULSE Project Manager Jerome Myers added, "while BPL is the only library system that currently offers this competitive program, we strongly encourage perspective library school students to take the time to apply to the program. Students who successfully complete PULSE can be fully confident that they will secure a librarian position within the dynamic Brooklyn Public Library system or, if they chose, can apply the knowledge and skills obtained through PULSE to other exceptional library systems."

If you would like to attend the PULSE party or schedule an interview with Ginnie Cooper, Executive Director of BPL, Jerome Myers, PULSE Project Manager or PULSE Trainees, please contact Ruth A. Wagner: 718.230.2211;

The PULSE program is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and Pratt Institute (SILS) School of Information and Library Science.

The Institute of Museum and Library Service, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning, supports Brooklyn Public Library.

Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science is located at Pratt’s Manhattan Campus at 144 West 14th Street. The seven-story, 80,000-square-foot property offers state-of-the-art facilities within a distinctive turn-of-the-century Romanesque revival building. Pratt’s expanding Manhattan-based programs benefit from the new property’s cutting-edge technology and prime location. Students are close to Union Square, Chelsea's art district, and several other leading educational institutions. Pratt Institute has been at the intersection of art, information, and society since 1887. Pratt enrolls 4,400 students from 47 states and 70 foreign countries in its schools of architecture; art and design; information and library science; and liberal arts and sciences.


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