BKLYN Incubator builds ties between Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and Brooklyn’s communities, while celebrating and unlocking the potential of great ideas.
In 2016, Revson funded the expansion of a pilot project called BKLYN Incubator (originally funded as a federal Institute of Museum & Library Services exploratory grant). This expansion grew the Incubator to be a core BPL Staff engagement programCommunity members and library staff collaborate to submit proposals for community-focused projects to enhance library programming. Selected proposals are then collectively implemented between library staff and community organizations with funding and assistance from the Incubator program. Through mentorship and partnership, staff are empowered, community members are engaged, and Brooklyn benefits from new, innovative programs.
Since its launch, BKLYN Incubator has engaged diverse staff from dozens of branches: 337 staff from 50 branches and 13 departments have submitted 143 proposals.As a result, staff have expanded their ideas on the types of programs they can offer within their branches, built new partnerships with community organizations, local artists, and schools, and strengthened collaboration with peers throughout the library system.
Before launching the 9th round in summer of 2022, the Incubator resulted in 58 pilot projects. For example, in 2018 the project Hospital Storytelling was developed by the Flatbush Branch of BPL to combat educational inequality among hospitalized children. The program provided books and academic opportunities to children in Brooklyn hospitals, reaching 5,000 children and their loved ones.
More recently, in 2021, nearly $90,000 dollars were awarded to nine partners to collaborate with BPL staff to implement projects ranging from an artistic map making program to help teens grapple with the isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic to a program amplifying the voices of those incarcerated on Rikers by connecting them with a larger community of justice-affected writers and artists.
Learn more here: https://www.bklynlibrary.org/incubator-submissions