The Black American Library Card Project
–a Community/BPL partnership– Celebrates the contributions and culture of Black Americans.
This summer, Brooklyn Public Library will release a limited-edition library card celebrating Black American culture and history, in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn›s Community Boards. The card will be released as part of BPL›s Juneteenth 2021 celebrations, the first year this holiday will be recognized as a City, State and public school holiday. From January 4–31, artists are invited to submit designs for a library card & key fob celebrating Black American culture and history; the selected design will receive a $2,000 stipend.
To learn more, RSVP to (www.bklynlibrary.org)
for a virtual information session about: the art requirements and project logistics for the library card from BPL staff; the origins of the project from Wendy A. Robinson of Community Board 3’s Parks, Arts & Culture Committee, who proposed this idea to Brooklyn Public Library; upcoming events at Macon Library’s African American Heritage Center, from the Center’s curator Sheena Daree Miller; and a chance to have your questions answered! A zoom link will be sent prior to the event.
If you cannot attend during this time, the event will be recorded and placed on the Black American Library Card Project web pages. Any other questions, please contact BALC@bklynlibrary.org
Bedford-Stuyvesant resident Wendy A. Robinson birthed the idea for this project, and with other Community Board 3 and BPL developed it into the first in a series of future “Celebrating Heritage” library cards.
Ms. Robinson’s proposal celebrates and raises awareness of the Dionne Mack-Harvin Center, the African American Heritage space at Macon Library. She is a member of two CB3 committees that are working hard with BPL on project details: the Parks, Arts & Culture Committee chaired by Marion Little with Vice-Chair T.J. Wilson, and the Landmarks & Preservation committee, chaired by Evelyn Collier with Vice-Chair Anthony Buissereth. An interview with Ms. Robinson will appear in an upcoming issue of Our Time Press.
Designs will be reviewed by a panel of BPL staff and community stakeholders. Finalists may have their works displayed and the selected design will receive a $2,000 stipend for their work.
This limited edition card will be released Summer 2021 at the African American Heritage Center at Macon Library and available at all library branches in Brooklyn that are issuing library cards.
This initiative — community involvement in the design of a public library card — may be the first of its kind in the city, if not the nation, noted Henry Butler, CB3 District Manager, in a comment to Our Time Press.