In the good books! Heights residents love temporary library in church

Bookworms: Residents flocked to the interim Brooklyn Heights Library inside Our Lady of Lebanon Church on Wednesday morning, which will stay open for three-and-a-half years.
Brooklyn Paper
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Grab your library card and check this out!

The Brooklyn Public Library opened its temporary Brooklyn Heights branch on Wednesday morning, impressing early visitors who say they’d much rather peruse the shelves in the bright, cool interim space than the drab old branch, where they had to endure a broken air-conditioning system.

“I think it’s amazing, it’s so much better than the older one,” said 12-year-old Clara Vickery, who visits the Heights library twice a week. “I like that it’s a lot more neat and it’s air conditioned.”

The library is operating out of a social hall at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral on Remsen and Henry streets for the next three-and-a-half years, while a developer tears down the regular book repository on Cadman Plaza West and builds a 36-story luxury housing tower with a new branch at the bottom.

There are 17,000 books in the space, compared to the 70,000 in the regular branch, though bookworms have the option to order titles for next-day delivery from the rest of the network, according to Brooklyn Public Library spokesman David Woloch.

The stand-in bibliotheca seats 70 people, and includes 34 computers, a room for programs, and a children’s play area.

Not all book-lovers in the community are thrilled with the devout new digs — local activists who are still trying to stop the sale and redevelopment of the regular branch have raised concerns that the Catholic church’s leaders will censor the books stocked under their steeple.

The local Bishop said he would “accommodate” the library’s collection as long as it didn’t include anything “outrageous,” according to a News 12 report.

But Woloch claimed those comments were taken out of context, and stressed that developer Hudson Companies is renting out the space from Our Lady of Lebanon, and the church has no say over the books that line its shelves.

Work on the Cadman Plaza branch is scheduled to begin this fall.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Library User of Longstanding from Brooklyn Heights says:
Let's see....a book collection cut down to 1/4 of its size (that is before the BPL took away all the business books so the number is closer to 1/16th its size), a room that is 1/20 th the size of the former library and is 3 x further away from transit...seems like this writer has never used a library before. If she had she would be appalled, and not "amazed" by the cheek of the BPL to consider this an adequate replacement to a library. Censorship is a serious thing, too, and in that no one should blithely sing this replacement's praises. Shame on the BPL for selling off our libraries. Shame on the Bklyn Paper for not seeing this wolf in sheep's clothing.
Aug. 6, 2016, 4:13 am
marilyn Berkon from brooklyn heights says:
Do any one of these people loving the interim library consider the irony in their praise? The air conditioning in our original library was intentionally left unrepaired as an excuse to give the public for ripping down the building! They pretended that the BPL and the city had no funds for repair and general maintenance, and that therefore they had to go partners with a private developer. Of course, we know they have funds, both the BPL and the city. The whole idea is to give rich developers here and throughout the city an opportunity to put up their high-rise luxury condos. Mayor de Blasio is behind the corrupt Brooklyn Heights deal, just as he is involved in the LICH scam, Pier 1 monster blocking the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Pier 6 condos going up in the Park. But he and the developers will be exposed for what they are. These people are stealing from the public--libraries, hospitals, parks.

And, by the way, there is no one-day delivery on books at the interim library. It is no quicker than it was at the original library, (it took weeks)where the books were systematically removed from the shelves going back to 2013 after the decision was made to sell the library and tear it down. What we have in this interim library is of little value beyond the working air conditioner. There are only a few worthwhile books on the shelves. The young adult section consists of graphic novels. While some may be interesting, I can't imagine that shelves upon shelves of these books, resembling the comics, are what we want for their inspiration. What a deprivation for them! And they get little more of value by turning to the adult shelves in this arid library.

And we can see that the developer has scrimped on expenses here. The handicapped entrance is full of bumps and deep depressions, potholes, and loose gravel. It also doubles as a car park for authorized personnel, so one has to worry about cars coming in or out. The other entrance up a few steps is dangerous, too. There is no bannister, and the heavy door is difficult to open if one is carrying a child or even a package. Also, if a person is exiting while another is entering, the person trying to gain entry can easily be knocked backward off the steps. Typical of a thoughtless developer interested only in giving the very least he can get away with in preparation for the billions he will earn on that luxury condo 36 stories high.
Aug. 7, 2016, 1:26 am
Justine Swartz from Brooklyn Heights says:
      In addition to this interim library only
permitting a 77 occupancy it is woefully
inadequate for the needs of our Brooklyn Heights Community and beyond.       Especially beyond!!!
Cadman Plaza Library was the second most attended library in NYC. Thousands of African American school children went after hours every week for a safe haven and tutelage. These unfortunate children, who have no one to speak for them, will be thrown on to the streets, prey for gangbangers who recruit the youth in the projects.  Oh, sure the lily-white Brooklyn Heights patrons/and or Black nannies and their adorable Caucasian charges at Our Lady of Lebanon Church are very pleased and LOVE their private library. Where is the economic future for our Black American children but in the gutter for the next four years. The Tony White segregated community of Brooklyn Heights will have once more prevailed.  Where are our Black Leaders when they are needed? What are their
priorities? Certainly not the future of thousands of African American children. It is not a eye catching issue.
     Oh yeah Great Library - Bah!
The Brooklyn Public Library Officials have
millions in their treasury to repair the air conditioning and heating system of the Old Cadman Plaza Library. Our library should not be destroyed along with the
futures of our children!
Aug. 7, 2016, 2:05 am
MPIERCE from Brooklyn Heights says:
Now on Facebook. Appeal has been
Per article and photo the "residents",
less than a dozen are easily impressed
with new vs old. The 2 interviewees,
one 12 yrs. old and one young adult are
"amazed". Is it the books? Per BPL
65% of the interim on shelf books are
for children and young adults.
If Mr. Woloch is a spokesperson
for the BPL he needs to be fired.
One day delivery is a myth or a
fluke. If this is a preview of a
21st century library let's return to
the 20th.
Then patrons could browse multiple
titles and borrow them the same day.
Are we now training our children to
accept less as more? Paint, lighting,
air conditioning and no books! Patrons
wanting to browse bookshelves only
need to walk down Court St. to
Barnes and Noble. Lots of books to
browse. Just don't forget to pay for
them as you exit the building.
The only one taking the Bishop's
statement out of context is
Mr. Woloch. The Bishop was video
taped making that exact statement
by New12.
This interim was a rush job as is this
L.G. you're no Lois Lane!
Aug. 7, 2016, 5:13 pm

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