Bedford Branch Library

496 Franklin Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238


Branch History

Brooklyn Public Library’s first branch opened on December 20, 1897, in the old P. S. 3 on Bedford Avenue. It moved several times in the succeeding years before finally settling into a new location funded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905. Bedford Library, BPL’s founding branch, has served patrons from its beautiful building on Franklin Avenue ever since.

Today, patrons visit Bedford Library for many reasons, including its adult learning center on the second floor, at which adults develop literacy skills to meet their personal, educational and employment goals. Popular programs at the branch include Shape Up NYC Aerobics, Wii Gaming and Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

The neighborhood has been home to some big names over the years. Lena Horne lived for a time on Chauncey Street, while Aaron Copland, Shirley Chisholm, Isaac Asimov, Rita Hayworth and Norman Mailer are graduates of nearby Boys and Girls High School. Baseball legend Jackie Robinson and chess master Bobby Fischer are native sons. The neighborhood is home to the Stuyvesant Heights historic district as well as hundreds of classic brownstones.

Now in its third century of service, Bedford Library is more essential than ever to the life of the neighborhood, and its staff take great pride in providing outstanding programs and resources to patrons from every walk of life.

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