Cooking the books

Oh by the way: The Brooklyn Public Library posted this notice in mid July, telling residents the air-conditioning would be back soon.
Community News Group / Max Jaeger

Sunset Park bookworms will have to sweat it out for a few more days before cooler air returns to the local library.

The air conditioner at the Sunset Park Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library went kaput on July 7, leaving literature lovers in a hot spot for the last month.

“That’s a long time,” said resident Margaret Murphy, who braved the heat on July 25 because her daughter wanted to go to the library. “I don’t know how they could operate like this.”

The library tried to fix the ferkockte Freon fans but failed, so it had to order “four large capacity portable units” as a stopgap measure. But those weren’t scheduled to arrive until Aug. 1, after press time, and won’t be operational until Aug. 5, a library spokeswoman said. The temporary fix took nearly a month because such portable air conditioners are in demand this time of year, she said. The library could not say when a permanent solution would be in place.

Meanwhile, library users are slogging through, despite the sultry conditions.

“People have stuff they’ve got to do,” said Franc Pohole, a blogger who has been publicizing the issue on sunset-park.com. “I’m in here almost every day.”

The heat has been so bad that the library closed early three times this month — on July 14, 15, and 23 — totalling 5.5 lost hours of operation, the spokeswoman said.

Temperatures soared close to 90 degrees those days, but the biblioteca’s beloved tomes were safe, since paper ignites at 451 degrees Fahrenheit.

Library-goers said they are looking forward to chilling out with a good book once the climate controls are fixed.

“Any time you come to the library when it’s hot, it just sucks,” said Sunset Park homeowner Monte Amon.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Sweating it out: Margaret Murphy and daughter Nora Petitgrand said the key to surviving a sweltering library is drinking plenty of water.
Community News Group / Max Jaeger

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