The circulation desk at the Brooklyn Art Library looks more like a candy store, its surface cluttered with big glass bowls filled with bright-red pencil sharpeners you might mistake for packs of bubblegum, colorful rubber erasers, and pens that could just as easily be Pocky Sticks. The shelves are chock-full of sketchbooks, notebooks, and pencil pouches. Even the library’s smallest nooks, crannies, and cubbyholes are stuffed with wonderful treats, like drawing pencils and intricate letterpress greeting cards. Its most precious inventory, though, is not for sale: Lining the walls of the library’s bright Williamsburg storefront are literally thousands of sketchbooks filled by artists and amateurs from around the world. Visitors can check out a particular volume, or ask the librarians to surprise them with a random pick.
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