Brooklyn Public Library is in the midst of our most significant era of rebuilding in history, with one third of the Library’s system being rebuilt or renovated in the next five years. Across the borough, BPL is rehabilitating its vital neighborhood libraries with projects ranging from small restorations to full-scale renovations.

Walt Whitman Library is receiving a comprehensive renovation. Inside, the library's outdated systems will be upgraded, including its heating and cooling system and IT networks. Each of the branch’s three levels will be reconfigured to expanded spaces for patrons and create a more welcoming environment. Outside, changes to the grounds of the library will include friendly landscaping and a new outdoor program space. ADA upgrades will happen both inside and outside the library.

The first step in this renovation is hearing from you! Throughout Spring 2022 there will be chances for the Fort Greene community and Walt Whitman Library patrons to share their thoughts on how Walt Whitman Library can better serve the neighborhood. 

7/25/2022 Update: View the presentation from the 7/21 virtual community workshop held by Hester Street in partnership with Belmont Freeman Architects and Brooklyn Public Library. 

Walt Whitman Library’s renovation will begin with community outreach. Look for ways to contribute your thoughts to the renovation throughout Spring 2022. In Summer 2022, BPL will share back what we’ve learned. Right now, the construction schedule is only an estimate: we expect construction to start in Winter 2023 and to reopen in Summer 2025. After the design of the renovation is complete, we will share more accurate construction timelines.

Walt Whitman Library will temporarily close for this comprehensive renovation. During the construction, library staff will maintain a presence in the community through local partnerships, including hosting library programs around the neighborhood.

Brooklyn Public Library has secured $8.6 million to fund this project. Sources include the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the New York City Council, the City of New York, and proceeds from the redevelopment of Brooklyn Heights Library.

Yes. A community engagement process will be conducted by Hester Street in coordination with BPL and the chosen architect and will involve community members and library stakeholders. This spring, look for opportunities to participate in community workshops, surveys and focus groups. We will report back what we learned to the community.