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.