Sunset Park will lose library for ‘a few weeks’ before redevelopment • Brooklyn Paper

Sunset Park will lose library for ‘a few weeks’ before redevelopment

They read their history.

The Sunset Park library will shut for a few weeks when officials move books to a temporary lending site next summer. The system moved its Brooklyn Heights operation to a Heights church earlier this year with only one day of down time — because librarians kept the branch open as they moved — but service wasn’t very good, and officials would rather shelf Sunset Park book lending for a few weeks this time around, a spokesman said.

“We moved the staff from the old [Heights] library to work on setting up the new library, and the service for those last few weeks was really inadequate,” said Brooklyn Public Library spokesman David Woloch. “I think the best thing for us to focus on is to make that [Sunset Park] transition run as smooth as possible so we have good library service up until the last day. There’s going to have to be some closure, but we’ll really try to keep it to a minimum, and that’s just something we’ll have to live with.”

The city plans to sell the Sunset Park library to developer The Fifth Avenue Committee, which will raze and rebuild the atheneum with 49 low-income apartments on top. During construction, the library system will run a temporary branch in the landmarked courthouse that is home to Community Board 7. Locals will still be able to take advantage of children’s programming, language classes, and Internet access at the temporary branch, and developers will not break ground on the housing development until the temporary branch opens, officials said. They may send bookmobiles to the neighborhood during the down time before the temporary branch opens, Woloch said.

The sale and redevelopment is still under public review, and Council has to approve the project. If it gets the green light, the Fifth Avenue Committee hopes to break ground next summer and move the library into the redeveloped space in summer 2019.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.

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