Built in 1914, branch was reported as ‘world’s first children’s library’
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) celebrated the 100th anniversary of Stone Avenue Library in Brownsville on Monday, as well as the branch’s new renovations completed in partnership with the NYC Department of Design and Construction's See ChangeNYC initiative and Council Member Darlene Mealy.
In 1914, what was reported to be the world’s first children’s library opened in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Then known as the Brownsville Children’s Library, the branch was built to meet a great community need. Now known as Stone Avenue Library, the branch serves all ages while maintaining a focus on children and families.
Building on the branch’s notable history, it has recently been modernized to meet evolving community needs. Its features include flexible spaces for different age groups, independent study and one-on-one discussions; a Word Wall featuring Fry words, 1,000 words most used in reading and writing; a giant chess set; two self-check machines and a new Customer Service desk; new furniture, lighting fixtures, doors and hardware; refinished floors and millwork; and a poet in residence sponsored by See ChangeNYC.
See ChangeNYC is an initiative of the NYC Department of Design and Construction that is dedicated to re-imagining the environments and experiences of the City's service centers – including probation centers, senior centers, and libraries – into places where people are activated to improve their lives.
“Today we have two great reasons to celebrate: Not only have we reopened the beautifully renovated and modernized Stone Avenue Library, but we are also commemorating the 100th anniversary of the branch […] Stone Avenue Library will inspire many more generations of Brooklynites to aim high and have fun while learning,” said Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library.
The branch also benefits from a recent gift from Mike Reiss, writer and producer of The Simpson’s TV show, and his wife Denise, which was used to purchase furniture for the children's area, gaming equipment for teens and additional collections.