Brooklyn Librarian Crowned A New York Health Hero

A Brooklyn librarian named Nicole Bryan won the New York Whole Health Hero Award for her innovative idea to transform the Macon Library during the pandemic.

Book Culture Bookspot / Libraries Business Lifestyle

When Nicole Bryan acquired the Macon Library in January 2020, she didn’t imagine the difficulties that would greet her two months later. Overnight, businesses and workplaces closed, and families were advised to stay inside until…who knew when. That is when Bryan had an idea that made her into a local health hero.


The Bedford Stuyvesant head librarian re-opened the Macon Library in May 2020 with what is said to be one of the first outdoor libraries during the pandemic. Bryan coordinated with the city to block off part of the street in front of the library so that guests could browse the reading selections freely. Online services were also added to help disperse crowds.

The Empire Whole Health Hero Award was created last year to recognize members of the New York community who were committed to helping the state re-open past the pandemic. Bryan is the only library staff member who won the award this year. Because of this, Regional Librarian LaMeane Isaac refers to the librarian as “a transformative visionary!”

Bryan’s exemplary acts of service to further educate and reignite her community during the pandemic prove that there are health heroes all around us. You can read more about the Whole Health Heroes here.

If you liked this feel-good story, click here to read about how indie booksellers united for a two-day conference earlier this year.