Tag Archives: Brooklyn Public Library

EXCLUSIVE: Brooklyn Public Library deal reportedly falls short of market value, leaves NYC shortchanged

“The Brooklyn Public Library is getting shortchanged on a controversial development deal, a new report claims. Developer Hudson Companies is set to shell out $52 million for the site where the Brooklyn Heights branch is located. But the analysis finds that’s just 68% to 78% of the true market value — or $16 million to $26 million less than a fair price.” (NY Daily News)

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NY libraries shouldn’t be selling land — especially to build ‘affordable housing’

“Is de Blasio’s New York making life better for future generations — or worse? If the city lets the Brooklyn Heights library sell public land to raise money for repairs, it won’t be the end of the world. But it will be part of a steady erosion in safeguarding the civic trust we hold for our children. To make a long story short: We’ll be exchanging something that lasts forever for something that won’t.” (via NY Daily News)

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Community Board Approves Redevelopment Plan for Brooklyn Public Library Branch

“A controversial proposed redevelopment plan for the Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Heights branch, which includes the construction of affordable housing, received a community board’s approval, with provisions, at a heated meeting on Wednesday evening. The board, which met at St. Francis College, voted 25 to 14 in favor, with four members abstaining. The plan, which involves the sale of public land, next moves to the office of the borough president as it makes its way toward the City Planning Commission.” (Via NYT)

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Brooklyn Libraries, Development and Misdirected Fear

“One day this month, various politicians and officials convened outside the Sunset Park Library on Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn to announce an affordable housing initiative, the cornerstone of which would seem to be any progressive’s cotton candy and rainbow vision. To accommodate the neighborhood’s growing and largely immigrant population, the library would expand to nearly twice its current size as part of a project orchestrated by a nonprofit developer, the Fifth Avenue Committee, which would put 49 units of housing on top.” (via NYT)

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Library officials met with blunt questions, cautious support at Brooklyn Heights meeting

“Brooklyn Public Library officials and developers were upbeat at a Monday night meeting that provided some new details on the plan to sell and develop the Brooklyn Heights library branch. A number of local residents expressed scathing criticism of the plan, however, and urged the library and its Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to consider the impact of yet another residential tower on Brooklyn Heights’ already-overcrowded elementary school, P.S. 8.” (via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

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Plans for Brooklyn Branches Have Merit

“Two proposals to sell and develop local library sites are wending through the Brooklyn Public Library pipeline, and, predictably, opponents have manned the barricades, citing the usual arguments about selling off public land to rapacious developers. But for a change, the plans look promising. There is good and bad development, after all, and sometimes, with foresight and some help from City Hall, a community asset like a public library can anchor positive development.” (NYTimes.com)

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Brooklyn Public Library announces programs to provide immigrants greater access to free citizenship, legal services

“Brooklyn Public Library BPL on Wednesday announced two multi-year initiatives to provide immigrants in the borough greater access to free U.S. citizenship and legal services. The first, a program called Prepare for Citizenship, will provide ESOL learners with formal, 11-week citizenship courses at the Canarsie, Flatbush, Sunset Park and Kensington libraries. Operated in partnership with Catholic Migration Services CMS and through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the classes will prepare students for both the English and Civics portion of the Citizenship test and provide free legal assistance. Interested students should sign up to attend a registration session See bklynlibrary.org and catholicmigration.org.  BPL will simultaneously welcome two new Immigrant Justice Corps IJC Community Fellows to help provide critical legal assistance to low-income immigrants throughout the borough. BPL was one of five organizations across New York City to be awarded IJC Community Fellows this year; they will begin formally offering services later this month.” (via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

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A Brooklyn Librarian Will Now Make You a Personalized Reading List, and You Don’t Even Have to Put on Pants

“This has been, without a doubt, an excellent summer for New York’s libraries. In Manhattan, the Stephen A. Schwartzman branch set up a beautiful outdoor reading room that was open for the past two weeks before closing on the 22nd. A group of seafaring booklovers announced that they’ll launch a floating library aboard the Lilac Museum Steamship for a month come September. And now, in a less temporary and totally genius move, a group of hardworking librarians across the Brooklyn Public Library system will make you a personalized reading list. You don’t have to leave the house, dress yourself, or talk to another human being to put in a request for one. The future is here, and it is glorious.” (via Village Voice)

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Brooklyn’s central library branch needs $100 million in repairs for a wrecked roof, cracked windows, creaky elevators and faulty air conditioning

“When it comes to Brooklyn’s central library branch, the books tell a story of decay. The 60-branch system’s crown jewel needs a whopping $100 million in repairs and only has enough money on hand to cover $30 million, new records show. Among the most pressing needs: a wrecked roof, cracked windows, creaky elevators, faulty air conditioning and ancient fire alarms. Bad as they are, those problems pale in comparison to the disgraceful bathrooms, which subject patrons to busted toilets and sinks and — worse — inadequate ventilation.” (via NY Daily News)

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Brooklyn bibliophiles rejoice! All 60 public library branches now open after lengthy repairs

“From Coney Island on up to Clinton Hill, all 60 Brooklyn Public Library branches have reopened following a lengthy string of repairs that have stretched for nearly two years. The Clinton Hill branch — the last of about seven libraries to shutter during the past 21 months — reopened April 14 following a $900,000 overhaul that include the installation of a self-checkout station, air conditioning and heating, LEED lighting and a drawable wall in a children’s room. “We’re thrilled to have all 60 branches open, providing vital service to every corner of Brooklyn,” said BPL Executive Vice President for External Affairs David Woloch.” (via NY Daily News)

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