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Library hours get oversized

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Brooklyn Public Library is expanding hours at locations across the borough thanks to money set aside by the city and freed up by cuts inside the organization.

Mayor DeBlasio said the move is a win for bookworms and all those who rely on library services, such as internet access and kids reading programs.

“The extended hours of service at Brooklyn public libraries across the borough will help increase access to these services for so many families, and I am proud that my administration and our City Council made this significant investment in our city’s public libraries,” he said.

The expanded hours bring evening and weekend service to several branches. Currently only two locations, the Central Library and the Kings Highway branch, offer seven-day service. The longer hours will mean two thirds of the borough’s 60 libraries will be open on weekends, including the Sunset Park and Red Hook branches. The new funding will also go toward hiring 25 librarians, custodians, and security guards, the biggest staffing increase since 2008, according to a library spokeswoman.

The expansion was made possible by a $2.8 million city allocation and money saved by streamlining systems inside the library, a library statement said.

A library spokeswoman said the belt-tightening measures did not result in any staff layoffs.

The service change comes as the library is claiming $300 million in capital needs to justify privatization measures at the Red Hook and Brooklyn Heights libraries, giving over a third of the former branch to a real estate group to rent out for dance studios, and selling the latter to be replaced by a luxury apartment tower with a library space inside.

For information on new branch hours, visit www.bklynlibraries.org.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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