Meet the Brooklyn Public Library 2.0

The storied institution gets a digital-age update with its new Info Commons and mobile app.

Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library

Between MObama's Oscar satellite-enabled cameo last night and a bit of news out of Kings County, it's clear that all sorts of storied institutions—including the White House and the Brooklyn Public Library—have embraced technology in a whole new way.

Despite a daunting tally for estimated repairs (a cool $230 million), the Brooklyn Public Library recently invested in two key upgrades to its system: a mobile application for iPhone and Android platforms and a new Info Commons area in its main branch. The app gives registered library members the ability to place holds on books, search the card catalog, check a book's availability and reconcile overdue fines. (Although that still doesn't help us find the copy of Anna Karenina we borrowed last fall… Next step: BiblioGPS in all titles?)

The new common space in the central headquarters (10 Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; 718-230-2100, is worth a trip, whether or not you've added the shiny mobile tool to your phone. Found on the first floor, the revamped Info Commons boasts reservable meeting rooms, a high-tech training lab and open work space. It's ideal for freelancers who've grown tired of their coffee-shop routines or anyone who wants to build new computer skills.

Have you checked out either one? If you have, what do you think so far?