by: Reuvan Blau
|The Coney Island library branch was severely damaged by Sandy.|
“We were hurt,” said Brooklyn Public Library VP of strategic planning Jeanette Moy. “But we are leveraging every asset we have and every partnership that's possible to bring services back to the community.”
The repairs will cost an estimated $10 million in total, BPL officials said. That includes massive structural repairs and replacing 75,852 books, magazines and DVDs that were ruined by flood waters.
The most seriously affected branches are Gerritsen Beach and Coney Island, which will likely remain closed for months and need new electrical systems, doors, chairs, shelves, and computers.
|Not a pulp fiction! But a tragic reality and Hurricane Sandy destroyed 35,000 books, plus computers and DVDs at the Coney Island library.|
Both spots lost the majority of their book collections, with 35,177 books and DVDs destroyed at Gerritsen Beach branch on Gerristen Ave. on and 35,177 at Coney Island on Mermaid Ave.
Library officials were unable to predict when those sites will be reopened.
“We are aggressively trying to get the sites open,” Moy said.
The other sites still down include libraries in Gravesend, Red Hook and Sheepshead Bay - which are expected to open over the next few weeks, officials said
The storm damage puts a further strain on a library system already reeling from more than $250 million in badly-needed repairs to its branches, some of which are more than 100 years old.
The Bloomberg administration has typically only allocated $15 million a year for library repairs.
BPL officials are hoping to get additional money from the city for storm repairs as well from FEMA and insurance companies.
|Hurricane Sandy badly damaged five branches of the Brooklyn Public Library – doing at least $10 million worth of destruction.|
“The public library...is one of the central focal points in our community so the damage sustained by the building and the fact that it remains closed is clearly of concern,” he said.
Recchia, the Council's finance chair said he would do everrything in his power to “ensure that its inventory and services are fully restored.”
City Councilman Lew Fidler (D-Marine Park) said hard-hit residents in Gerritsen Beach who just got power back last week could use the library as a shelter if it was repaired soon.
“There are hundreds of people without homes,” he said. “Not to minimize the importance of the library, but right now it would be more useful as a shelter.”
But that's not the BPL's current plan.
In an effort to continue services, the BPL has dispatched four Bookmobiles equipped with charging stations and free books and activities for children. More than 1,4000 books have beenhanded out for free via that service.
from: NY Daily News