Hey Park Slope, need a book? Your library reopens today

Hey Park Slope, need a book? Your library reopens today
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

A long-shuttered library in Park Slope is closing the book on years of renovation delays — and opening the doors to fancy new technology and more public meeting space.

The Brooklyn Public Library’s branch at Sixth Avenue and Ninth Street will reopen today after three years of construction, three opening date push-backs, and dozens of complaints about the boarded-up eyesore.

The library will now boast a refurbished interior — complete with a large “multi-purpose room” — along with free wireless internet and iPads just for kids.

“Expect to walk into a beautiful new library,” said spokeswoman Emma Wood.

The upgraded lit house will also feature more than 20,000 new books, self check-out machines, and new wheelchair ramps.

The library when it was closed…
Photo by Tom Callan

The city first announced renovations in 2009, saying a revamp was required to make the century-old building handicapped-accessible. But the budget soon ballooned from 2 to $2.7 million — and the city then extended the project to include an air conditioning system and new lighting before pushing back the new opening date to fall 2011.

Then last summer the city once again delayed the project’s completion, noting the main floor and its support structure were “more deteriorated than expected.”

But neighbors sick of trekking to the nearest library on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights called it a lame excuse for poor planning — and were only slightly less irked when the city pushed back the library’s planned Labor Day 2012 opening date last month.

Residents and parents now hope the building’s new facelift revives the literary haunt as a meet-up point in the heart of Park Slope.

“It’s a great space for people to come together,” said Susan Fox of Park Slope Parents. “We’ve been missing it.”

Lit lovers Alienor and Aurelia Manteau are jazzed.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at [email protected] or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.