School’s out for summer — and so is the library.
Starting on June 4, the Greenpoint branch of the Brooklyn Public Library will close for three months as workers replace a leaky roof, fix an ailing façade, replace ceiling tiles, and install new interior lighting.
The closure of the six-day-per-week branch will force bookworms to visit the Leonard Branch on Devoe Street, 12 blocks away. As an alternative, the library will provide bookmobile service in front of the shuttered branch on Tuesdays from June 8 to Aug. 31, 11 am to 4 pm.
Still, the temporary closure has bummed out Greenpoint library goers, who call the branch a “cornerstone” for neighborhood children who use it after school for learning and, yes, the air conditioning.
Seana Whittaker, a local nanny, said that the branch is convenient because it is “close to McCarren Park” and that other branches would be “inconvenient” to get to without a stroller.
Residents also worried that the Leonard Branch will get overwhelmed by the additional traffic of book lovers.
“They do a big volume here in Greenpoint,” said Ken Lyons. “It’s going to be a flood of people at Leonard, which is actually a smaller library.”
Not every parent thinks the change is bad. Alan Hill praised the Brooklyn Public Library for investing in the branch’s infrastructure and for timing the closure during the summer, when many families are on vacation.
“Given the proposed budget cuts to the library, I actually take this renovation as a good sign,” he said. “The city is investing in the future of the library.”
Maybe yes, maybe no. The Brooklyn Public Library is facing a $26-million budget cut this year, and librarians recently told Community Board 1 that if the Draconian budget is passed, 16 libraries would close, possibly one in North Brooklyn.
— with Ben Kochman
Tuesday Bookmobile service will begin on June 8 at the Greenpoint branch [107 Norman Ave. at Leonard Street, (718) 349-8504].
©2010 Community News Group
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