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Jay-Z Library Cards Help Increase Membership At Brooklyn Public Library

Jay-Z’s star power is so great that the hip-hop mogul can bring readers back inside the library.

The Brooklyn Public Library has seen a spike in new memberships thanks in large part to the 13 limited-edition library cards designed with artwork from Jay-Z albums, CNN reports. Since releasing the specially curated cards, the library has signed up 14,000 new library accounts.

Created in honor of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, the Jay-Z-themed library cards, which are free to New York State residents, will only be available until later this month.

“The community’s enthusiastic response to this exhibition is a testament to Jay-Z’s immense impact,” Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library, told CNN.

Some are already trying to resell the limited-edition cards online, but the library says that doesn’t account for the thousands who have signed up for cards that can only be activated to a Brooklyn Public Library account.

The limited-edition library cards are part of “The Book of HOV” exhibit the library opened last month in its Youth Wing. The first-of-its-kind exhibit chronicles Jay-Z’s musical legacy through rare photos, original recordings, videos, and other artifacts on display throughout the Brooklyn Public Library.

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation curated the exhibit with partners including Bruce Rodgers’ Tribe Inc., which produced 17 Super Bowls, four of them alongside Roc Nation; Ian Schatzberg’s General Idea Agency, a brand design agency; and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Jay-Z’s art dealer, ARTnews reports.

Since the library doesn’t have the same capability of displaying art as a museum does, Jay’s team worked tirelessly to seamlessly incorporate the exhibition into the library’s design and structure.

“It’s not a classic museum exhibition in a traditional museum context, obviously,” Schatzberg said.

“The ambition was to design a story about Brooklyn’s finest within the context of one of Brooklyn’s great public institutions, while also augmenting and amplifying the sort of ethos and purpose of the public library, which was to be accessible for everybody.”


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