October 5, 2005


After undergoing a spectacular $2.9 million renovation, Brooklyn Public Library’s one-hundred-year-old Bedford Library welcomes the community to enjoy free educational programs for all ages, new facilities and new technology within a handsome, fully-restored Carnegie Library.

Brooklyn, NY, October 5, 2005 — Brooklyn Public Library’s Bedford Library, located on 496 Franklin Avenue near Hancock Street in Brooklyn, NY will reopen for public service on Thursday, October 6, 2005 at 1 PM.

To celebrate this event, BPL will host a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration for the community on Monday, November 14, 2005 at 2 PM.

The Renovation

The renovation of the 16,780-square-foot Bedford Library was designed by Sen Architects of New York, NY and includes the following enhancements:

The renovation of the 16,780-square-foot Bedford Library was designed by Sen Architects of New York, NY and includes the following enhancements:

•New Technology:
•An electrical and telecommunications upgrade featuring Wireless Internet service.
•New electronic equipment, including 16 public computers, one Access Brooklyn Card (ABC) Kiosk and two Express Check Machines for use with BPL’s multifunction ABC library card.

•New Spaces:
•First Five Years Reading Area – a colorful area for children five-years-old and younger featuring low shelving, foam furniture, learning tools, board books and two pre-school computers equipped with age-specialized software.
•Teen Area on the mezzanine, which includes a separate quiet study room.
•Auditorium for library programs and community meetings.
•Learning Center with four classrooms and a Welcome Lobby for students participating in adult literacy classes.

•All New Interior Improvements:
•A heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC).
•Lighting, carpeting, and paint throughout.
•Complete compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, including new entry doors, bathrooms and a elevator.
•New shelving and furniture.

•Exterior Enhancements include a repaved yard with garden seating and improved lighting.

History of Bedford Library

Built with funds donated by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, BPL’s Bedford Library on 496 Franklin Avenue officially opened on February 4, 1905. The design for this library was recognized as an excellent example of library planning and design by Library Journal (March 1903). The original configuration included a central control desk and a radially arranged book stack area and mezzanine.

The Bedford Library has initiated many innovative programs over the years. In 1949, Bedford Youth Library opened in the spacious basement. A well-selected book collection, cultural programs featuring writers and musicians attracted the youthful public. Bedford Library's noted Learning Centers opened in the 1980s to provide adult learners with a broad range of free literacy and technology programs.


Bedford Library’s programming has expanded to include more adult literacy classes, like “Pre-GED” classes, which prepare students to excel in General Education Development testing. With the new First Five Years Area, Bedford Library will now host early literacy programs for babies and preschoolers, like “Preschool Storycraft” in which librarians introduce preschoolers to the world of books through picture books, puppets, songs and rhymes.

Bedford Library’s collection has also expanded to over 42,000 books, 1,500 videos, 300 CDs, 300 DVDs and over 570 Audio books. Additionally, with wireless Internet service, Bedford Library’s users can now log on to Brooklyn Public Library’s website,, to download up to 15 free digital audio and e-books on to their personal laptops.

Bedford Library also serves as an exhibition space for local artists. The quilts of artist Edward Bostick, who sews brilliant arrays of colors and exquisite patterns to relate the cultural legacy of southern African American quilt makers, will be on display at Bedford Library from October 6, 2005 throughout late November, 2005.


The renovated Bedford Library hours of service are as follows:
Monday 10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday 1 PM – 6 PM
Wednesday 1 PM – 8 PM
Thursday 1 PM – 6 PM
Friday 10 AM – 6 PM
Saturday 11 AM – 3 PM

The renovated Bedford Learning Center hours of service are as follows:
Monday 1 PM – 8 PM
Tuesday 10 AM – 3 PM
Wednesday 1 PM – 8 PM
Thursday 10 AM - 3 PM
Saturday 11 AM – 3 PM

Funding for the Bedford Library renovation was generously allocated by the New York City Council and the Brooklyn Borough President.

To arrange for a tour of BPL’s new Bedford Library, please contact Ruth A. Wagner, Publicist: 718.230.2211;

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