National Honor Recognizes the People Shaping the Future of Libraries

Librarians Rakisha Kearns-White and Robert Weinstein have been named to the 2023 Class of Movers and Shakers by Library Journal. The award recognizes librarians across the country who are moving libraries forward, providing inspiration and innovation to colleagues and patrons.

“We Brooklynites have long known that are blessed with some of the greatest libraries in the world,” said Council Member Chi Ossé, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations. “That fact is thanks to no one more than their outstanding staff. I commend Ms. Kearns-White and Mr. Weinstein on their well-earned recognition. Their work has helped young people in crucial ways while pushing forward the scope of our libraries’ offerings and commitments. They have made Brooklyn proud.”

Rakisha Kearns-White is the creative force behind the Cycle Alliance, a program to help young people learn how to de-stigmatize and de-gender conversations about menstruation; and to empower teens to advocate for social causes. She also worked across the organization to ensure all of BPL’s 61 locations had free feminine hygiene products in the restrooms. In 2023, Kearns-White launched the Period Pantry, organizing donations of free tampons, pads and other products to be readily available in the teen wing at Central Library for women and teens who can’t afford or access the products. A champion of positive sex education and period equity, Kearns embodies the Library’s mission to provide equal access to information and resources to all Brooklynites.

As Brooklyn Public Library’s Satellite Coordinator, Robert Weinstein is responsible for bringing the Library into the community via two bookmobiles and a tech mobile funded by Mayor Eric Adams. In 2022, the vehicles made nearly 300 trips totaling 2,100 miles bringing books, technology and programs to parks, shelters, community centers and underserved communities. He also played an integral role in organizing a trip on the bookmobile with television host Jimmy Kimmel, bringing national attention to the Library’s work fighting censorship. A passionate advocate for BPL, Weinstein happily took on the task of organizing the fleet to distribute nearly 2000 cupcakes in just one day—to help all of Brooklyn celebrate the Library’s 125th birthday.

“We are thrilled to have two BPL librarians named to the Library Journal’s 2023 class of Movers and Shakers. Robert Weinstein, who manages our bookmobile services, works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure library services are provided to every corner of the borough. Rakisha Kearns-White is a fierce advocate for teens, helping young people find their voices and advocate for the issues that matter to them,” said Linda Johnson, President and CEO, Brooklyn Public Library. “Both Robert Weinstein and Rakisha Kearns-White have made such a positive impact in Brooklyn, and we are delighted to now have their work recognized nationwide.”

About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.6 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 65,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. And we give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.