Sunset Park is home to one of Brooklyn’s busiest libraries, with attendance and circulation that rank near the top of Brooklyn Public Library’s 60 branches. At 12,200 square feet, the current branch is too small and too outdated to meet the needs of the patrons who depend on its collection and services. Sunset Park Library requires more than $6 million in repairs. Its air conditioner is broken and has been replaced by loud portable chillers that do a poor job of cooling the branch on hot days. There are only 12 electrical outlets available to patrons, and too much of the library’s space is unavailable to the public.
At almost 21,000 square feet, the new Sunset Park branch will be nearly twice as large as the current one. The new library will be everything that the current one is not: bright and comfortable, with an open, flexible design and up-to-date technological infrastructure. Its essential components, including the HVAC system, will be brand-new. The public will contribute to the design of the new branch at workshops, at the current location, and online. And the building will be topped by 49 units of permanently affordable housing, including nine apartments reserved for survivors of domestic violence.
Our partner in the Sunset Park Library project, the Fifth Avenue Committee will pay for the core and shell of the new, expanded branch. BPL will be responsible for outfitting its interior, using proceeds from the redevelopment of Brooklyn Heights Library, along with Community Investment Funds from New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
Interim library service will be provided at 4201 Fourth Ave (at 43rd street), in space made available by the New York City Police Department. The interim Sunset Park Library will open Spring 2018.