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An Arts, Books and Society podcast featuring Krissa Corbett Cavouras and Adwoa Adusei
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Episodes of Borrowed

In the early 1900s, if you walked around Sunset Park, you might have heard Finnish being spoken on the streets. That's because the neighborhood was home to the largest concentration of Finns in New York City, and though most have since gone fro
Brooklyn is constantly changing. This episode takes a look at the changes on just one street in one neighborhood: Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park, which many call Brooklyn's Chinatown. In the early 1990s, BPL and the Museum of Chinese in America
At the start of World War II, 200 women were employed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. That number ballooned to 7,000 at the height of the war, but afterward—women workers were gone as rapidly as they appeared. We tell the story of this unique moment
In the middle of the 20th century, a ten square block area in North Gowanus was home to the largest Mohawk settlement outside of Canada. We hear about the Mohawk women who built that community while their husbands and fathers were building sk
We're launching a mini-series about four neighborhoods that made Brooklyn the vibrant, diverse borough it is today! “Building Brooklyn” will take you to Gowanus, the Navy Yard, Sunset Park, and Canarsie to discover some of Brooklyn’s most uniqu
It’s the start of summer, which means block parties, beach trips, and also, big primary elections here in New York City. This will be the city's first election cycle where voters will get to cast their votes for up to five candidates for each
"To me, what all these books say is independence and personal choice," says Nefertiti Matos of the stacks of Braille books at NYPL's Andrew Heiskell Library. In this episode, we talk about what inclusion means, whether it's creating tactile gra
It’s been a rough year. So, we gathered all the good news we could find to brighten your podcast feed. Hear kids read to a therapy dog, a library love story, babies learning ASL, and adults age 90 and older learning to use Zoom.
Ingrid Douglas never finished high school as a teenager. When she started looking for a better job at age sixty, she found not having a degree was a huge barrier. So, Ingrid came to the library to get her diploma. In this episode, we talk to st
Burnout from work is something a lot of us are thinking about right now. It's been on the minds of librarians, too. We talk to a group of library workers who got together to combat the stress of the profession, and support each other.
Hear me out: A Vietnamese refugee opens a restaurant to keep her kids out of gangs, Brooklynites on their changing borough, a daughter seeks justice after her father's death from COVID-19, giving birth during a pandemic, the meaning of shelte
Hear me out: a Bed-Stuy kid grapples with her Brooklyn identity, a Chassidic woman follows her faith to from South Africa to Crown Heights, musicians find belonging in the South Indian music diaspora, a Brooklynite memorializes early activism
Our work in the correctional facilities in New York City didn't stop during the pandemic. We talked with the Justice Initiatives team at BPL to hear how they are connecting with patrons who are incarcerated and supporting families with loved
What do librarians do all day? When they're not planning programs or working the reference desk, these librarians are also obscure trivia players, birders and ... sword fighters!
"We want all the kids to see themselves in all the stories," says Raakhee Mirchandani, author of Super Satya Saves the Day. This episode, we hear Drag Queen Cholula Lemon read Mirchandani's book, and we visit BPL's wildly popular Tibetan langua
A special episode, created in partnership with Queens Memory and the online newspaper The CITY, on grief and mourning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we can move forward as a community.
Belle da Costa Greene and Nella Larsen are two librarians of color, one who is white passing, and the other of mixed heritage who wrote famously about the phenomenon of passing in her novels. We're telling the stories of these women and asking
To honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we take a trip to Green-Wood cemetery to the grave of Sarah Smith Garnet, one of Brooklyn's Black women suffragists. We also talk with NYC Council Member Farrah Louis about how the women i
We dig into the history of a once-unacknowledged African burial ground in East New York, Brooklyn, and ask how a new library branch can honor that legacy. 
From Selma, Alabama to Brooklyn, New York — we look at how racial violence and racial memory impacts our country and our libraries. 
You can physically borrow books again, Brooklyn! This episode, we ask how the pandemic can help us re-imagine what we use libraries for. Plus, we talk to LA County Library about how extreme weather is impacting their reopening, and dig into the
Since our libraries were closed for the last four months, we were on the lookout for organizations that were acting in the spirit of public libraries. We found one! Listen to an audio portrait of the food justice movement happening on street
In honor of Juneteenth 2020, the anniversary of the day in 1865 when the news was finally delivered to Galveston, Texas that slavery in the United States had been abolished, we are returning to an episode from earlier in our season. "Free Brook
In an unprecedented time of stress and resilience, many Brooklynites are at the front lines of responding to the coronavirus crisis, and many more are encountering a new normal, as we adjust to changing work, education, housing, and even access
In 1943, Brooklyn Public Library launched its first radio program, in partnership with WNYC. “Folk Songs for the Seven Million,” written and produced by Elaine Lambert Lewis, documented folk songs and stories from around the country and colle
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