February 10, 2016

Edwin Maxwell | Movers & Shakers 2014 — Community Builders



Library Information Supervisor
Flatbush Branch, Brooklyn Public Library

MLS, Queens College, Flushing, NY, 2009

Skills Training & Employment Project (www.bklynpubliclibrary.org/step); Growing Dollars and Sense (www.bklynpubliclibrary.org/jobs-business/growing-dollars/growing-dollars-and-sense-teens)

Photo ©2014 Michael Pilla


A former youth services librarian who in 2013 was promoted to library information supervisor at the Flatbush Branch of Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), Edwin Maxwell taps into his own background, growing up in the hardscrabble Bronx, and his hands-on work as a librarian to draw at-risk youth to library resources and programs that have practical application in their lives.
Inspired by the Skills Training & Employment Project (STEP) at BPL, where he worked one-on-one with job seekers, Maxwell says his goal is to connect library resources with each individual’s real-life challenges.

That belief plays out in programs such as the Growing Dollars and Sense Teen Virtual Investment Club (of which he was a key architect), whereby teenagers take intensive, six-month training with finance professionals and compete in an online virtual stock game. In the program’s first year, all 30 teens stuck with the program (though it’s hard to get them to commit for such a long time, says Maxwell) and achieved a positive return. The winner had a 29.01 percent return on investment—better than most professional portfolios.

Now the program will expand tenfold. Maxwell points out that the teens who participated “have become some of the library’s biggest advocates and have been eager to testify to funders…about the library.”

“Edwin is dedicated to helping teens increase their media literacy skills and workforce readiness,” says Jennifer Thompson, coordinator of YA services at BPL’s Central Library. “His creative, fun-infused approach to programming involving the latest tech toys makes him a much admired mentor.”

Next Maxwell aims to revitalize the Flatbush Branch’s Caribbean Literary and Cultural Center; create a Sunshine, Seeds and Reads Community Garden; and build a teen space. “My dream job is to create a Life-Transformative Library built around transformative public programs—workforce development, financial literacy, digital literacy, adult learning, early literacy—supported by library resources.”

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  1. yea edwin

  2. Congratulations Edwin! You deserve it!

  3. Go get it, Edwin!

  4. Congrats to my colleague and friend, Mr. Edwin! Represent.

  5. Congratulations!!!!!

  6. I bow to you Mr. Maxwell

  7. The road and world is wide open, keep moving, very proud of you Edwin.

  8. Excellent librarianship Edwin! Please continue.

  9. Lina Amon says:

    Congratulations Edwin! Feeling very proud!

  10. Sheneatha says:

    Congratulations to Mr. Maxwell! He has become my mentor during my internship at Brooklyn Public. I have been impressed by his knowledge, talents and enthusiasm. I have been blessed by his dedication to sharing those things to empower others!

  11. LINDA WEIR says:

    Congrats Edwin! You truly deserve this award for all your hard work and dedication.

  12. Elysia Henry says:

    Congratulations Edwin on your recognition, you truly deserve it. You exemplify what hard work and success equates to.

  13. Andrew Vesprey says:

    Thats What’s up Dawg!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Richard M says:

    It is a pleasure working with such a brilliant person like Edwin.

  15. Shanicka Hubbard says:

    Congrats Edwin Maxwell on your award!! Looking good my friend…super proud of you :)

  16. Congrats Edwin! I can’t think of a person more deserving of this recognition.. I wish we still had you in the Youth Wing!

  17. Way to go Edwin! Onward and upward for libraries!

  18. Awesome recognition and very well deserved! Extremely proud of my brother – Congrats!

  19. Christian says:

    Great work my friend, you inspire me and others. This is awesome to hear, I’m not surprised because it’s you.

  20. Lynnette says:

    To say I’m proud of you is truly an understatement…excellent piece on you and I look forward to many more accomplishments in the future.

  21. Congrats! So proud of you for doing something that is having such a positive impact. Some people just talk, but you’re doing. What you are dong will have positive effects for a lifetime and more. :)

  22. William colclough says:

    Congrats on a great moment. Keep it up contine to insprire the people

  23. Stephanie C says:

    Congrats my friend. The recognition is well deserved . The youth of today’s society need a positive role model and defiantly the young men. Continue to aspire to inspire.