Chat Reference

As a librarian, at Brooklyn Public Library, I have the unique ability to meet library users in person and via different interfaces. I get various questions through our email service and via chat reference. Questions come from Brooklyn, or locations in some of the world remote villages. I answer questions about coins, civilizations, homework help, and directions, almost anything you can think of. Sometimes when answering questions, you’re just not sure of how you’re affecting the life of a user.
I received an interesting query recently from a patron who asked: “What generation do 35-year-olds belong to?” During the course of the interaction I discovered that it was the patron birthday, and the user came to the library for self-discovery. It was then that I realize that the information I was searching for this individual was for personal empowerment, and no other community resource would be able to provide such service, for free, using this platform, and really take the time to respond to their immediate need. We discovered that this individual was on the cusp of two generations: Millennial and Generation X, but it was an eye-opening experience none-the-less. Libraries change lives, and we must recognize that.

-Mrs. Kim E.

Kings Bay

A friend and I started a pre-school literacy program 2 years ago. Our attendance of 2-4 year olds runs between 20 & 25 each Thursday. We do theme- based projects. This year we did the alphabet. A typical session includes reading 2 books on the “letter of the day”, an arts & crafts project, followed by a play session. We use a combination of library materials and supplies that we provide. Scavenger hunts, rhythm bands & puppets are all part of our repertoire.

The library staff is enthusiastic in supporting the program & have come to know the children & their families by visiting during the session, making sure the area we use is well maintained, & always letting us know how glad they are to have us. The Kings Bay Branch of the BPL is vital to our community. I’m always struck by how people come before opening time and wait outside for our big red doors to open. They range from kids coming after school to senior citizens arriving for bridge lessons. This branch strives to meet the diverse needs of the area.