The bustling Rugby Library branch on Utica Avenue re-opened on Monday with a brand, new look.
In a message to her constituents, Council Member Farah N. Louis, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, said the branch was closed in March 2017 and underwent a US$10.2 million renovation.
Louis, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, said the branch is complete with 22,000 books and items, new shelving, seating and service areas, and an entire area for kids and teens.
The venerable building, which dates to 1957 and is located two blocks from the childhood home of Jackie Robinson, has been restored and refurbished into “a bright, modern space for reading, learning and personal and professional development.”
“My office was instrumental in finding and fighting for funds for this renovation, which was initially planned for 2005 and supposed to only take a year, but faced numerous delays and setbacks including the COVID-19 pandemic,” Louis said.
She said the building now features a “First Five Years” section for young readers complete with child-size furniture and shelves, according to the Brooklyn Public Library.
The branch also includes new workspaces and meetings rooms for public use, as well as roughly a dozen computers for various age groups.
Louis said the upgrade features smaller touches, too: new HVAC units, LED lighting, free WiFi and ADA-upgraded bathrooms and a mural created by Brooklyn artist JMikal Davis.
“Simply put, this is the library East Flatbush has long needed and deserves,” she said. “It embodies our community’s aspirations, as well as the larger mission of the Brooklyn Public Library.
“It is a public place accessible to New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds,” she added. “It is also a place to read and dream, to wonder and wander, to expand minds and engage civically.
“The Rugby Library is incredibly important to the entire District 45 community,” Louis continued. “I want to thank our partners at the Brooklyn Library for their tireless work and dedication to make this project a reality.”
The Rugby Library is located at 1000 Utica Ave., Brooklyn.
For more information, visit the Brooklyn Public Library website or call 718-566-0053.