Bard at Brooklyn Public Library
A unique collaboration between college and library.
Reimagining the use of a public library and the place of a liberal arts college, Bard at BPL brings full-time, tuition-free college opportunity to the heart of Brooklyn.
Expanding from a shared commitment to democratize access to all kinds of learning, Brooklyn Public Library and the Bard Prison Initiative have created a unique, borough-based college for undergraduates of every age.
“It’s the first of its kind. The campus will be the library. Not just the building, but the resources.”
President, Brooklyn Public Library
“When I stepped off the 2 train at Grand Army Plaza, I felt like I was coming home. Microcollege classes were engaging and always expanding my mind. Subjects that I would not have directly thought that I was interested in, such as Statistics, were given new relevance when their social and political uses were opened up for us students.”
—Michael Brown ’20
Bard at BPL brings ambitious, tuition-free college opportunity to the center of Brooklyn. Students enroll full-time in a varied academic program that culminates in associate degrees from Bard College.
Bard at BPL enrolls Brooklynites and other New Yorkers of all ages who have been previously deterred or excluded from higher education. With tuition and books fully covered, students pursue degrees while taking advantage of academic advising, tutoring, continuing education seminars, and non-academic student services. Students benefit from Brooklyn Public Library’s collection of four million materials, state-of-the-art technology, Business and Career Center, art exhibitions and cultural events, and countless other programs.
Students study everything undergraduates study at liberal arts institutions the world over: literature, philosophy, anthropology, art, science, writing, mathematics, sociology, economics, history, and more. The campus and the college conjoin two leading social institutions to offer Brooklynites a one-of-a-kind, community-based college experience.
As members of the BPI community in New York City, microcollege students receive focused assistance as they apply to bachelor’s degree programs and benefit from access to the resources of the broader BPI alumni network. Many students come to Bard at BPL looking to further advance their existing commitments in areas of community and civic engagement, and they leave prepared to use their Bard experience in Brooklyn and beyond.