Saturdays - 10:30 AM - Storytime with Carol & Friends starts up again on Saturday September 21.

Friday, October 4, 3:45 PM - French films for children beginning 10/4 and then every first Friday of the month

Wednesday, October 2, 6:15-7:30 - Chess with National Chess Master Manuel Ugarte, all levels and ages welcome.

And much more, see below for details about regular weekly programming and special activities coming in the fall.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Meet Your Librarian! Jeff Schwartz from the Carroll Gardens branch

Technology abounds but a library still depends on engaged and caring staff to help it thrive. Meet Jeff Schwartz, the relatively new Neighborhood Library Supervisor (that's what the head librarian is called these days), at the Carroll Gardens branch library. We sent him some interview questions:

How long have you been a librarian? 17 years

How long have you been at the CG branch? Officially since September 2010.

Where were you before that? My first job at Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) was at the Midwood branch. In the late 90s I worked as the Assistant Branch Manager at both the Eastern Parkway and the Fort Hamilton branches. One of the more demanding jobs I held was helping manage our gigantic inventory project: the Catalog We Can Trust. I’ve worked at all 58 branch libraries in the BPL system.

What made you want to be a librarian?  I was attracted by the challenge of research. When I was a kid I pored over my mom’s early 1950s World Book Encyclopedia.

What do you like best about being a librarian? Reader’s advisory-suggesting what to read directly or indirectly. Recently a customer requested Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. It turned out our local copy was checked out.  We searched the Library’s catalog for additional Tocqueville titles.  To my amazement the catalog had 10 separate bibliographic records to different Tocqueville titles in English! 

Did you go to the library a lot as a child?  I used NYPL’s Yorkville branch. I made occasional forays to the Donnell and the Mid Manhattan branches.

What are some of your favorite books?  White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. The book reveals India’s class divisions in a dark but humorous light. Adiga wrote a wonderful short story “The Elephant.” The story is about cycle-cart pullers. Anyone can read it online in the New Yorker. I greatly admire all of William Steig’s children’s books. Steig wrote Shrek and Doctor De Soto. His books are funny and clever. They are accompanied by  remarkably expressive illustrations.

Do you own an eReader? No

What do you think the role of a librarian is today - are books and libraries still relevant? BPL partnered with the Gates Foundation to seed the Internet in 1996. Hundreds of thousands of library users had their first whirl with the Internet at BPL. Librarians had a pivotal role in helping the public transition to this new medium. Today the Internet is at the heart of our successful holds process. Readers can place up to ten holds per library card on books, DVDs, and CDs.

The traditional book discussion is alive and well at Carroll Gardens.  Carroll Gardens holds a monthly adult book discussion. Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel will be examined and debated on May 18. We have had occasional Young Adult book discussions. In March our Young Adults held an intimate chat on The Hunger Games. We’re planning to have a kids book discussion in late July.

Books permit serendipitous browsing. Readers can be pleasantly surprised and astonished when browsing in the stacks of a library. You can’t replicate that experience with an e-book.
Say hi to Jeff when you next visit the library!

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