Today’s news:

Park Slope Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library reopens on Sept. 13

Hey Park Slope, need a book? Your library reopens today

The Brooklyn Paper

A long-shuttered library in Park Slope is closing the book on years of renovation delays — and opening the doors to fancy new technology and more public meeting space.

The Brooklyn Public Library’s branch at Sixth Avenue and Ninth Street will reopen today after three years of construction, three opening date push-backs, and dozens of complaints about the boarded-up eyesore.

The library will now boast a refurbished interior — complete with a large “multi-purpose room” — along with free wireless internet and iPads just for kids.

“Expect to walk into a beautiful new library,” said spokeswoman Emma Wood.

The upgraded lit house will also feature more than 20,000 new books, self check-out machines, and new wheelchair ramps.

The city first announced renovations in 2009, saying a revamp was required to make the century-old building handicapped-accessible. But the budget soon ballooned from 2 to $2.7 million — and the city then extended the project to include an air conditioning system and new lighting before pushing back the new opening date to fall 2011.

Then last summer the city once again delayed the project’s completion, noting the main floor and its support structure were “more deteriorated than expected.”

But neighbors sick of trekking to the nearest library on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights called it a lame excuse for poor planning — and were only slightly less irked when the city pushed back the library’s planned Labor Day 2012 opening date last month.

Residents and parents now hope the building’s new facelift revives the literary haunt as a meet-up point in the heart of Park Slope.

“It’s a great space for people to come together,” said Susan Fox of Park Slope Parents. “We’ve been missing it.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Pardon me, but I just don't see the need for a "before and after" comparison in the photographs that accompany this article. I see that the whites are whiter (most likely due to a fresh coat of paint) and that instead of a plywood front, there is now a working door. It just seems like what some might refer to as "overkill". Now, that's just my opinion, of course.
Sept. 13, 2012, 12:51 pm
scott from park slope says:
The contractor employed to renovate the library milked that job like nobody's business. 4 years to put in a wheelchair ramp and slap a coat of paint on? With that price tag and duration I'd expect the ramp to be paved with priceless pottery shards that they prised from the soil of Anatolia with a toothbrush.

They built Barclays Center in less time.
Sept. 14, 2012, 8:22 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
Took the kids there this morning. The $2.7 million wheelchair ramp is too narrow for two strollers to pass each other (and presumably two wheelchairs). The automatic door doesn't work. There is no standard square button to open it. The heavy interior doors have no automatic function, either, so if the exterior door were fixed you'd only be able to get into the foyer before you're blocked. The interior of the building is the same, except with a fresher coat of paint. There are far fewer books on the shelves. 1/3 of the books we tried to check out in the self-checkout kiosks were not on record.

Maybe after being closed for 4 years they felt too rushed to get ready to re-open?

A couple hundred thousand dollars and a couple months' closure and this would be OK. But 4 years and $2.7 million? The contractor and president of the BPL get a D- on this one.
Sept. 14, 2012, 1:28 pm
Peter from Park Slope says:
I'm always amazed at the depth of knowledge of our armchair experts! Did you also examine the new heating/AC system? The completely redone electrical and plumbing system? The totally new wiring?

Maybe there are things that need to be completed, in which case constructive input is great. But don't just sound stupid.
Sept. 16, 2012, 3:37 pm

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