Community And Stakeholder Engagement For The Brooklyn Public Library New Utrecht Branch Renovation
The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has served Brooklynites as an educator, community resource, civic space, and social support since inception 1896. BPL has evolved over its years, serving a more a diverse population with expanding needs. Branch libraries have become critical to economic empowerment by creating access to education for technological and language skills as well as community resources for social networks and programming. At the same time, some branches struggle with outdated infrastructure, technology, and space constraints. To address these issues, BPL has entered an era of replacing and renovating one third of branch libraries, including the New Utrecht branch, built in 1956. Karp Strategies has been hired by BPL, in conjunction with Rice + Lipka Architects, to lead a community outreach program to integrate community needs and goals into the design of the new library spaces. To carry out this mission Karp Strategies employed both targeted and community-wide engagement strategies with translation services, and distilled and synthesized the values and input from the community. This information was transmitted to the architects and BPL throughout, who then integrated it into the designs for the New Utrecht branch.