Brooklyn Public Library CEO Linda Johnson is taking opponents to task by promising that a potential replacement branch for Brooklyn Heights’ ailing Cadman Plaza Library will be “a light-filled facility full of patron-pleasing technology.”
The New York Daily News reported last week that the proposed smaller facility—with 15,000sf, about half the size of the current branch—would be “better appointed and more conducive to the kind of learning we’re doing today,” according to Johnson. “We hope people’s objections are going to disappear when they have a better experience” in the new library.
The smaller branch is part of a plan announced in February to sell the city-owned building to a private developer who will demolish the 50-year-old facility and construct an apartment tower with a library branch inside. Nearly 8,000 opponents have signed petitions objecting to the library’s fate put into the hands of a private developer.
Its sale is expected to raise as much as $100 million for Brooklyn Public Library, which faces $230 million in repairs throughout its 60-library system. The new Brooklyn Heights branch would be built in about four years, pending City Council approval and a public bidding process to sell the property. The building, constructed in 1962, was last renovated 20 years ago.
A new Heights library will be an open space with few walls, Johnson says, with “space that’s flexible to accommodate new technology we don’t even know about. It will have space for community gatherings, spots where patrons can work together—and room for the branch’s book, DVD and film collections.” Serving neighborhood kids and seniors will also be a top priority.