7-day service returning to Brooklyn Public Library after city rolls back budget cuts

brooklyn public library
Seven-day service is returning to seven Brooklyn Public Library locations starting on July 14.
File photo courtesy of Ajay Suresh/Wikimedia Commons

Seven-day service is coming back to the Brooklyn Public Library after Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council agreed to restore millions of dollars of funding for the city’s library systems.

Sunday service is returning to the Central Library and the Kings Highway branch on July 14, according to BPL, and to the Brooklyn Heights, Greenpoint, Macon, Midwood, and New Lots branches on Aug. 4.

eric adams library funding
Mayor Eric Adams celebrated restored funding for libraries on July 1. Photo courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

The Borough Park Library, which had also been open seven days a week before budget cuts, will remain open six days a week for the time being, said BPL spokesperson Fritzi Bodenheimer. During the closure, the library was closed on Saturdays and open on Sundays to accommodate the religious observances in the nabe — and while they’re still working on an exact date, Saturday service is expected to return to the branch sometime soon. 

BPL was forced to end seven-day service at the eight branches that offered it last fall, after Adams slashed funding for all city agencies by 5% — citing the high cost of caring for migrants in the city. 

That meant library programs were cut, and that branches typically used as cooling centers during heat waves would remain shuttered, even as temperatures soared. The library also reduced spending on materials, programs, and building maintenance and repairs. 

An additional $58.3 million budget cut for the city’s three library systems was planned for Fiscal Year 2025, which started on July 1. 

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New Yorkers rallied against library budget cuts last month. Photo courtesy of John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit

Library officials warned that such a dramatic cut — larger than the 5% slash instated in 2023 — would have forced at least half of BPL’s branches to cut back to five-day service and “indefinitely” delayed the reopening of branches closed for renovations, including the Red Hook Library

But the City Council fought to include more funding for libraries in the FY2025 budget, and won. The proposed $58.3 million cut was eliminated, and $42.6 million in library funding was locked in for next year.

“These crucial operating dollars will enable us to reinstate Sunday service and resume the programs and services the public depends on,” said BPL President and CEO Linda E. Johnson, in a statement. “With a major portion of the funds included as baseline funding, our institution can more effectively plan for the future, providing staff and patrons with continuity and a renewed sense of stability.”

As Sunday service returns to those seven locations, all the rest of BPL’s 62 branches will remain open six days a week, and libraries under construction will reopen on time, Bodenheimer said. 

Last year’s budget cuts also impacted BPL’s collections and its ability to buy new books, Bodenheimer said, forcing the library to place restrictions on digital and physical holds.

adams at brooklyn public library
Mayor Eric Adams browsed at the Brooklyn Public Library last year. Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

As the library replenishes its supply of books, it will re-examine and maybe loosen those restrictions. 

In a joint statement, the heads of BPL, the New York Public Library, and the Queens Public Library said the budget agreement was a “resounding victory.”

“We deeply appreciate Mayor Adams and his administration for restoring library funding in the FY25 budget,” the library leaders said. “We are profoundly grateful to City Council Speaker Adams and her leadership team for their unwavering commitment to libraries. Special thanks to Finance Chair Justin Brannan, Libraries Chair Carlina Rivera, the Budget Negotiating Team, and the entire City Council who prioritized library funding throughout the budget process. Without their support, this outcome would not have been possible.”