City Council passes Brooklyn Heights Library project

Councilmen Steve Levin.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The full New York City Council has approved the plan to build a new Brooklyn Heights Library.

“The City Council’s approval of the Brooklyn Heights Library project is a victory for the thousands of Brooklyn residents who rely on their public libraries for essential programs, services and resources,” said Linda E. Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Brooklyn Public Library (BPL).

The Brooklyn Heights community will now have the largest branch library in the borough, with robust programming, extended hours, enhanced business and technology services, and a new library in the neighborhoods of DUMBO / Vinegar Hill / Farragut,” she added.

Johnson said the benefits extend to communities throughout the borough, “as BPL will now be able to deliver much-needed funding for other branches in disrepair.

“We are grateful for the leadership of Council Member Steve Levin and the support of the entire City Council, and we look forward to bringing this important development to fruition,” she added.

Johnson said the new Brooklyn Heights library will be 26,620 feet, expanded 24 percent from 21,500 square feet.

The library, which will be open seven days per week, will be one of the largest in Brooklyn, providing more usable space for the neighborhood than the existing branch, she said.

She said a brand new 5,000 square foot library will be created to serve the DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, and Farragut Houses communities, representing the first expansion of the Brooklyn Public Library system since the Cortelyou branch was added in 1983.

Johnson said an interim library will be built out at 95 Remsen St. just five blocks from the existing branch.

Designed by renowned architecture firm Leven Betts, the library will include robust programming and regular hours to ensure that Brooklyn Heights experiences uninterrupted library service in a facility that meets its needs, Johnson She disclosed that 9,000 square feet in the new building at Cadman Plaza West will be set aside for dedicated STEM education labs administered by the NYC Department of Education and serving students in Community School District Additionally, Johnson said 3,000 square feet in the new Brooklyn Heights library will be reserved for a new “Technology and Business Services Center,” which Brooklyn Public Library will partner with local businesses and entrepreneurship groups to run.

Johnson said BPL is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn.

She said it is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough.

Johnson said BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers.

BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at its website:, she said.

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