Brooklyn, NY—An innovative new library and environmental education center is coming to Greenpoint, Brooklyn Public Library leadership announced today.
Funded in part by the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, the new Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center will promote environmental awareness, education and advocacy while providing a needed forum for community members to learn about the history of the neighborhood as well as its unique and ongoing environmental challenges. The branch will offer space for community groups dedicated to addressing environmental issues to hold meetings and host public programming and workshops,.
“We are thrilled to begin construction of the Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center, which at twice the size of the current branch will have ample room for special collections and exhibitions documenting the history and resiliency of the neighborhood,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “In addition to providing the books, programs and traditional library services that patrons enjoy and rely upon, we envision the center as Brooklyn’s new home for environmental stewardship and activism, with resources for the people and organizations working to preserve Greenpoint’s past and contribute to its future.”
Greenpoint Library is one of BPL’s busiest branches, known for its Polish-language collections and its diverse cultural and early literacy programs. The new library will provide significantly more space—indoor and outdoor—to house expanded programs and activities. The project was made possible by a $5 million grant from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, and over $10 million from the library.
The features of the Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center include:
• Close to double the amount of public space
• A public plaza and accessible green roof spaces with native plant landscaping
• Green building design features to reduce energy use and storm water runoff, exceeding LEED Silver Green Building Certification
• Flexible meeting and event spaces available for community use
• Free resources and programs in partnership with local environmental organizations and educational groups
“As a member of this community, I am so excited for the new Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “New Yorkers, especially Brooklynites, know it is vitally important to preserve and protect our environment. Having a space where the community can come together to learn and collaborate with environmental organizations and educational groups will continue to foster that knowledge. I look forward to seeing the innovative ideas that come out of this partnership with Brooklyn Public Library.”
“While environmental degradation rarely has positives, the new Greenpoint Library will be a shining star. The new library will provide the community, both young and old, with boundless knowledge. The library’s focus on environmental education is also crucial in these times where our world is changing so rapidly. I commend Brooklyn Public Library and the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund for making the new Greenpoint Library a reality. I look forward to visiting the library when it is complete,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol.
New renderings are available on the website of Marble Fairbanks, the architecture firm that worked alongside BPL and the Greenpoint community to design the project.
Brooklyn Public Library will close the Greenpoint branch at the close of business on Friday, June 30. Book holds will be available for pickup at the nearby Leonard Library, located at 81 Devoe Street, starting Saturday, July 1. Other nearby libraries include the Williamsburgh branch at 240 Division Avenue and the Bushwick branch at 340 Bushwick Avenue. Bookmobile services will be provided at the site of Greenpoint Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the duration of the construction process, beginning July 6.
About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website: www.bklynlibrary.org.
About the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund
The Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund (GCEF) is a joint program of the New York State Office of the Attorney General and Department of Environmental Conservation. The GCEF program is a $19.5 million grant program created by the State of New York with monies obtained through a settlement with ExxonMobil over its Greenpoint oil spill.