Libraries Can Be More Than Just Books

Matt A.V. Chaban:

For all of Sunset Park’s celebrated taquerias, dim sum parlors and picturesque piers, the most popular destination in that neighborhood might just be the local branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Despite its squat concrete frame and fluorescent lights — a far cry from the neighboring brownstones — the library draws a capacity crowd most days.

On a recent afternoon, students from down the block and around the world scribbled out homework, studied with tutors, practiced English and honed their chess skills. On the walls, posters promoted not just reading but citizenship services and business-planning classes. Parents and children alike sat at banks of computers, indulging in a world of knowledge that many New Yorkers take for granted.