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Borrowed

Borrowed

Author: Brooklyn Public Library

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Brooklyn Public Library is full of stories. Borrowed brings the very best of them to you.

 

Borrowed is a narrative series about superhero librarians, neighborhood stories and what it means to be a free, democratic place in today’s changing world. We tell stories about libraries during natural disasters, the challenges of homelessness, and NYC’s fraught relationship with trash.

 

Borrowed and Banned is our limited series about America's ideological war with its bookshelves. From September to December 2023, we released ten episodes featuring the stories of students on the frontlines, librarians and teachers whose livelihoods are endangered when they speak up, and writers whose books have become political battleground.  

 

For transcripts, pictures, book lists, and resources, please visit our web page: bklynlib.org/podcasts 

96 Episodes
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It's summer and school's out! No matter what age you are, you can spend your summer at the library with book lists and activities galore. We go over the facts and stats of BPL's popular Culture Pass program, which has helped thousands of New Yorkers visit museums and performance spaces in the city ... for free!Read a transcript of the episode here.More resources:Reserve free passes to museums and performance sites across NYC with Culture Pass (and your library card)!Is there a kid or teen in ...
Drag Story Hour

Drag Story Hour

2024-06-0614:53

Brooklyn Public Library has been hosting Drag Story Hours since 2016. It's one of our most popular, colorful, and well-attended events for kids. In this episode, we explore why Drag Story Hour is important, and how it’s had to change in recent years in response to an increasingly tense political climate.More resources:June is Pride Month! Celebrate at the Library with crafting, story times, film screenings and more!Learn more about Drag Story Hour and explore their resources for parents and c...
Outside of Brooklyn, Arthur Miller's name has largely faded from memory. On this episode, we tell the story of the Black community leader who was killed by NYPD chokehold in 1978, the movement pushed forward as a result of his death, and the ways that Brooklyn Public Library’s Center for Brooklyn History helps to keep the story alive.Further resources:Listen to the "Voices of Crown Heights Oral History Collection" or visit the Center for Brooklyn History in person. Check out our list of ...
Listen in on one of BPL's most popular art programs: a theater workshop where, once a week, budding thespians come together to read plays, talk about character motivations, and dig into some surprisingly emotional and political topics.Read a transcript of this episode on our website.Join fellow thespians at Central Library's theater workshop. Or, find a creative writing workshop at branches across BPL.Read along with the theater workshop by checking out the plays on our booklist.The Library n...
We revisit an episode from January 2021 in honor of National Library Workers Day, and ask: 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! Read a transcript here.Have a minute? Vote for Borrowed and Banned in the Webby's! We were nominated for an award in the "Best Writing for Podcasts" category. Celebrate National Library Workers Day by thanking your fa...
Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap

2024-03-2112:28

Teens and older adults are perhaps the two age groups you might think have the least in common. But a new program at BPL seeks to bring the two generations together ... by having them debate.Read a transcript of this episode on our web page.Resources mentioned on this episode:Learn more about services for older adults at BPL and programs for teens!Listen to "Bridging the Gap," a podcast series on our BKLYN Community Audio feed and check out these books about debate.Take this very short survey...
Browse the Branches

Browse the Branches

2024-03-1414:24

Brooklyn has 62 neighborhood libraries, each with a distinct architecture, culture, and soul. To kick off the new season and to celebrate our audio stories coming home to Brooklyn, we'll take a tour of the borough with the help of our neighborhood libraries and some of our stalwart patrons who visited all 62 of them ... in a matter of days!Read a transcript of this episode.Take our Browse the Branches challenge! Not in New York City? You can read your way through the branches with this book l...
The Challenge

The Challenge

2023-12-1429:48

Student activists in York, Pennsylvania organized a silent protest when hundreds of books were banned from their classrooms, paving the way for lasting change in their community. In this final episode of the series, we tackle the challenge head-on: from encouraging open dialogue about the books on our shelves to the ongoing work of protecting the freedom to read. Read the transcript here.Our call to action for this episode:How will you use the stories you’ve heard over the course of this...
On the Frontlines

On the Frontlines

2023-12-0726:20

Library workers often risk their livelihoods when they speak out against censorship, spurring community members to pick up the fight for intellectual freedom. We tell the story of how one Louisiana parish came together to defend their library amidst book challenges, tip lines, and even sign burning.Read the transcript here.Our call to action for this episode:Find the people in your community who care about public libraries and get together with them.More resources:EveryLibrary Institute is an...
Maia Kobabe's debut memoir, Gender Queer, was the most frequently banned book in 2021 and 2022. We talked with em about what it's like to be on the recieving end of so many challenges, and the importance of public libraries.Read the transcript here.More resources:Check out Gender Queer.Find Maia's resources for defending Gender Queer, and eir recent comic about book bans and libraries.Read The Washington Post's article on book bans.
Beloved Blues

Beloved Blues

2023-11-2224:06

Despite being one of the most frequently banned authors, Toni Morrison’s work has inspired countless others to tell stories outside the mainstream. We take a closer look at Morisson's writing, her legacy, and her impact on the anti-censorship movement.Read the transcript here.Our call to action for this episode:Learn how you can support and defend public libraries at Libraries for the People.More resources:Read Toni Morrison's books. If you're a young person, you can apply for a Books Unbanne...
George M. Johnson talks about their debut Young Adult memoir All Boys Aren't Blue, the support of their family, their love of Toni Morrison, and the importance of standing against book bans. Read the transcript here.Resources:Check out All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson. Read about Johnson's family supporting their book when it was challenged in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.Access other banned books with our free Books Unbanned library card for teens.
Battle of the Classics

Battle of the Classics

2023-11-0920:45

Our call to action for this episode:Talk about the books that are important to you, even if they aren’t challenged.Stay informed about what books are being challenged in your area by subscribing to Book Riot's Literary Activism Newsletter. Each week, journalist Kelly Jensen writes about the latest in book banning trends, stories, and reports from across the country. More resources:Read the new "classics," selected by teens. If you're a young person, you can join the Intellectual Fre...
Mike Curato talks about his award-winning graphic novel Flamer, his writing practice, and how it feels to have his story vaulted into national headlines as parents, politicians, and school boards campaign to remove his book from school and library shelves.Read the transcript here.Resources:Check out Flamer from BPL, or other books by Mike Curato.See what books were most frequently challenged in 2022, according to the America Library Association.This conversation touches on suicide. If you or ...
Over the past few years, school board races have become more heated and more political — and books have become the center of that political storm. We look at what happened in Keller, Texas when an ultra-conservative group took over the school board.You can read a transcript of this episode here.Our call to action for this episode:Find out when the next school board meeting is happening in your community, and show up.Unite Against Book Bans has an Action Toolkit with advice for how to talk abo...
It’s an off-week for Borrowed and Banned, but we do have something special to share. We’re doing a collaboration with PRX’s Radiotopia, and they sent along an episode from one of their shows that is really relevant to our series. This Day in Esoteric Political History is a podcast that tells the story of one moment from US history that took place on a particular day -- and discuss what it might have to teach us about our current moment. Back in 2020, the hosts did an episode...
Seen and Obscene

Seen and Obscene

2023-10-1227:17

The birth of obscenity laws in the 1870s provides a cautionary tale for the present moment, when far-right conservatives incorrectly label books “sexually explicit” as a way to provoke outrage in communities nationwide. This episode, we delve into the parallels that history can reveal and hear from students in Texas fighting for their freedom to read. You can read a transcript of this episode here.Our calls to action for this episode:Be an ally and an advocate for the teens in your life....
All for a Library Card

All for a Library Card

2023-09-2827:45

When a high school teacher in Norman, Oklahoma shared a QR code with her students that would grant them access to BPL’s digital collection, she took a stand against a restrictive state law. That act of resistance made her first day of school ... also her last. Our call to action for this episode: Get a library card! Wherever you live, sign up for a library card in person or online. If you're between the ages of 13 and 21, you can apply to our free Books Unbanned e-library card. Plus, Sea...
Last year, over 2,500 unique titles were challenged in libraries across the country. That’s the highest number in over 20 years. On Borrowed and Banned, we tell the story of America’s ideological war with its bookshelves by talking with the people most impacted: the students on the frontlines, the librarians and teachers whose livelihoods are endangered when they speak up, and the writers whose books have become political battleground. Read the transcript and find resources: https://www....
We’re doing something a little bit different today and sharing an episode from a totally different podcast we love … it’s called Grown, and it’s from the Moth. Grown is all about the experience of growing up. There's conversations, true stories told live, and young people grappling with big questions. Read more about Grown and subscribe at grownpod.com. We hope you enjoy! About the episode: "Natural hair. A culture festival. Middle school jerks. In this episode, we hear ...
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Comments (2)

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Jun 28th
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Apr 29th
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