May 9, 2013

Brooklyn Public Library to hold biking fundraiser this weekend


Bike the Branches is an all-day charity event to benefit the Brooklyn Public Library this Saturday, May 11.

As part of its annual Support the Branches fundraiser efforts, the Brooklyn Public Library is holding a charity bike event this Saturday, called Bike the Branches. A borough-wide celebration of Brooklyn’s cultural heritage, Bike the Branches invites people to tour the various BPL locations and enjoy some entertainment at many of them.

Register for the event and you’ll get a passport, which you can get stamped at as many of the sixty branches as you can between 10am-5pm. Many locations will be hosting special events throughout the day as well. Some are bicycle-themed, like a bike safety session at Bay Ridge and “Bike Communicating 101” at the Macon Library. Others are geared to families with children, such as a reading of Latin American folktales (also at Bay Ridge) and six (count ’em, six) different magic shows; and several will appeal to a general audience, including readings, musical performances, and a recipe exchange.

While people are free to go at their own pace and visit whichever library locations they please, Bike the Branches has a list of nine suggested tours you can take, each with a different theme. You can take the architectural tour for a glimpse at the range of architectural styles of the branches over the past 115 years, the melting pot tour to see examples of Brooklyn’s ethnic diversity, or the waterfront tour for scenic views of New York Harbor—the latter paying specific attention to the libraries that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. And naturally, there’s a Literary Brooklyn tour, which takes bicyclists by the homes of authors like Richard Wright, Henry Miller, and Norman Mailer, as well as backdrops to works by Paule Marshall and Jonathan Lethem, among others.

The day wraps up with a big celebration at the Central Library on Grand Army Plaza. The Finish Line Celebration will go from 5-7pm and feature a live performance by Brooklyn-based band The Skins, as well as prizes and other entertainment. Registration for the event is online here (with discounts for students, children, families, and groups); all the proceeds will go to funding the BPL, in the form of growing its collection, updating its computer equipment, and developing more community programs.


Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.