Library services continue despite closure by Brian Abbate – Red Hook Star-Revue

BRed Hook Library and Carroll Gardens Library are closed for an extended period of time for renovations. The closest public libraries to Red Hook are in Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights, but they’re not ideal for locals.

In the meantime, there are several options for those who don’t want to go to the library. The Bookmobile or Technology Mobile will be at Coffey Park on Tuesdays from 11pm to 4pm. In addition to the service in Red Hook, Technology Mobile will be held at Carroll Park on Monday, September 11th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on September 25th at the same time and location.

TechMobile is equipped with a computer with Internet access. Bookmobile acts as a small mobile library. When I stopped by Coffey Park on August 22nd, Gretchen Alexander and LaBrisha Gamble were both there. Once inside the car, there was plenty of space to read and use the internet.

In the hour I spent there, I didn’t see anyone using technology mobile. So I wondered how upset people were about the library actually closing, so I asked my neighbors for their thoughts.

“I’m not a library dependent person, but I know there are people who go to the library almost every day,” said Sara Gonzalez of Red Hook. “I wish it was open because for them, this is bad for them.”

Some, like Carroll Gardens resident John, weren’t worried about their local library being closed for a while. In the past, when not everyone had a laptop or an iPhone, I would have worried, but in 2023 I don’t think that’s a big deal. ”

About 20 people kindly gave their opinions, but about half were upset. We also asked those who were concerned about the closure whether they felt the need for renovations.

“I don’t spend a lot of time in libraries, but I thought it was okay for me,” said Mike Jones of Red Hook. “They’ll probably do better, but how long is it worth closing for? I don’t know.”

One of my personal concerns was that both libraries would be closed at the same time. At a meeting before Red Hook’s closing, one woman said it didn’t make sense for children to have to travel an hour to get to the library, and she said that while the Red Hook library was open, She doesn’t plan on relying on other libraries, she said. Closed.

I contacted Fritzi Bodenheimer, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn Public Library, and she provided the following comment:

“Over the past several years, the Brooklyn Public Library has invested in closing significant gaps in funding needs and updating aging infrastructure throughout the system. As a result of that effort, we are currently in the midst of an active rebuilding and is undergoing restoration to ensure our library will continue to serve the borough for generations to come.

“While work is underway, Bookmobile is providing services in Carroll Park and offering additional programs at St. Paul’s Church and Books are Magic.” – Serving at Coffey Park with Waterfront Artists Coalition programs. [BWAC.] Service points will also be added. Patrons have access to a wealth of resources online at any time and are welcome at any of his 60+ branches across the borough. ”

Programs include: Toddler Time at Red Hook Initiative (767 Hicks St.) on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and includes storytelling, songs, puppetry and more. family stories and crafts BWAC (481 Van Brunt St. door 7A) will be held on Saturday, September 23rd from 4 to 5 p.m. The event includes a series of family-friendly story times followed by craft sessions. All ages are welcome.

At Carroll Gardens, Storytime at Books are Magic (225 Smith St.) will be held on Friday, September 8th from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This event is for infants and toddlers under the age of 3. Toddler Time at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (199 Carroll St.) will be held every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. starting September 20th.

In addition to these events, Red Hook Civic Association leaders, including Imre Kovács and Mattias Calwill, are searching for a location for a temporary library. Red Hook Pentecostal Holiness Church, located at 110 Wolcott Street, could be that.

Kovacs was able to contact Joyce Kovacs, a librarian at the Red Hook branch who now works at the Park Slope Library. The current plan is for Kovacs to take more people from the library and nearby residents on a tour on the morning of Sept. 6.

The Civic Association has a draft one-pager, which summarizes the problem and the Civic Association’s plans to address it. This is not the final version as it has not yet been revised or approved by the Service Commission.

However, for now, it includes a section that says, “When the Brooklyn Heights Library closed for reconstruction, a temporary library was provided elsewhere in the community.” But this is Red Hook, isolated behind channels on three sides. Whatever the reason, lack of equal treatment is unacceptable. ”

The next section explains that the civic association “works in partnership with the Friends of the Red Hook Library and the Red Hook Business Association.” RHCA’s Public Service Committee secured space for a temporary library for Red Hook at the street level of a local church. We are asking Councilman Aviles to work with him to require the Brooklyn Public Library to locate there or in another temporary space in Red Hook. ”

The next civic association general meeting will be held at the Red Hook Recreation Center (155 Bay St.) on September 6th at 6:15 p.m.

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