Brooklynites can learn more about creativity in their community thanks to three Macon Library librarians.

From left to right are Peter Enzinna, Riann Roca, and Krishna Paul


by Lauren Peacock |

Although some people think a library is just an archive of reading and writing, three librarians at Macon Library in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy) are showing Brooklyn that it is so much more. 

It is safe to say that Riann Roca, Peter Enzinna, and Krishna Paul have mastered the world of books. But once they witnessed the vessel that their workplace was for conversation, connection, culture, and community, they could not keep it to themselves. They came together to create the podcast Bed-Stuy Tea, a safe space to spotlight locals and give them the credit they deserve. 

“There’s a really vibrant creative life that’s making use of the library and that’s taking place around the library,” said Enzinna. “I think we just wanted to tap into that and kind of have more conversations and get those conversations out there with the people in our neighborhood who are making art, making food, making life in the community a little more vibrant every day.”

The hosts on Bed-Stuy Tea interview Bed-Stuy residents to talk about their favorite books, creative projects, careers, etc. The podcast aims to show that everyone has a story, or stories, depending on what stage of life they are in. Bed-Stuy Tea allows locals to learn new things about their community and listen to interesting and true stories. 

“Bed-Stuy is such a mixing pot of different cultures, people, and history … .We learn so many different things every day just sitting at the desk and speaking to the community,” said Krishna Paul. “So it was just a way to introduce Bed-Stuy to the rest of New York and the rest of Brooklyn and give them a little taste of what we have every day.”

The podcast has put out seven episodes since April, interviewing young adult Author Ashley Woodfolk, Senior Digital Editor at PBS NewsHour Aaron Foley, Owner-Operator of Wadadli Jerk Edwin-Hughes, and more. The podcast hosts meet their guests at Macon Library, whether they stop by to check out a book, say hello, attend a workshop, use its digital and interactive resources, etc. 

“Since we are located in Bed-Stuy we are already part of a very vibrant and artistic community, so that had a huge influence on us starting the podcast,” said Roca. “We would meet people on the desks who were artists, authors, chefs, etc…Having the podcast we’re able to have a deeper conversation with them to see who they are in the community and share their art, their writing, etc. with the community.”

Bed-Stuy Tea is part of Brooklyn Community Audio, a network of Brooklyn Public Library staff and patrons. It is produced by Brooklyn Public Library’s Senior Audio Producer Virgina Marshall. Brooklyn Public Library has other podcasts, including an award-winning flagship podcast called Borrowed. Borrowed and Marshall was a huge inspiration to the hosts in creating Bed-Stuy Tea

When the idea to create a podcast hit, Roca, Enzinna, and Paul taught themselves the skills they needed to know when it comes to podcasting. 

“They just found something interesting and they taught themselves basically how to interview, how to write scripts, how to record, how to edit audio, etc. with some help from our professional producer on the staff,” said Fritzi Bodenheimer, Brooklyn Public Library Press Officer. 

The three librarians used the gear that they had on hand at the library including recorders, microphones, editing software, etc. These resources and more including two recording studios are available to anyone with a library card, which is completely free. 

“The library is like a platform of platforms. It connects people to resources and programs and capabilities that they might not know they have but that are all out there for public use as long as you have a card,” said Enzinna. 

In Bed-Stuy Tea’s upcoming season, the hosts will interview local restaurant owners in a segment titled “Á La Carte”, including Chef Amadeus Broger-Hetzner of La Antagonista located in the heart of Bed-Stuy. The hosts say they enjoyed interviewing Broger-Hetzner because he was humble, gracious, and they learned a lot about him as he talked about his stories, influences, and experiences. 

The hosts are also working on a new segment for March about Women’s History Month and will continue to discuss the library’s significance in bringing people and new ideas together.

Fill the Form for Events, Advertisement or Business Listing