Friends Of The Brooklyn Heights Branch Library Are Featured In Online News Video

CUNY NYCity News Service correspondent Orie Givens recently filed a video report on the battle to save the current Brooklyn Heights library building and branch. Prominently featured are members of Friends of the Brooklyn Heights Branch Library Inc., led by Deborah Hallen.

More Brooklyn Heights Library related videos may be found on the Brooklyn Bugle YouTube page.

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  • sue

    Deborah Hallen is a tool of the Brooklyn Public Library. She has been told if she does not go along she will be fired from her volunteer position. Her organization has no more than 200 members. Forget her. She is in line with the BHA and the developers.

  • sue

    Linda Johnson is from Philadelphia and a tool of rich men (we can get more specific) what does she know about the system… go back to Phiily

  • lori

    That building is a disaster, like so many built at the time – putting money into it is like throwing your money away. There are plenty of “storefronts” where the library could be temporarily housed – how about the old Starbuck’s place on Montague Street – there are many more available. We just have to make sure we eventually get a good place.

  • marsha rimler

    When I heard Ms. Gorman’s comments I recall my mother .the daughter of an immigrant grocer telling me about how she loved her time in the East Broadway Library. I guess that too will eventually be put on the chopping block but then again power may not want to take on Speaker Silver even through the library on the Lower East Side is in a gentrified area. Several people I discussed this with have pointed out that the Nazis destroyed the libraries. While I think it is a bit over the top it is something to think about.

    Public Libraries belong in Public Buildings. Deborah you should be ashamed of yourself for focusing on bookmobiles when so much bigger issues are at stake.

    The new Pope gets it.. Leaders are with the people not above them

  • HenryLoL

    Let’s move on… We are going to have a great new library that will better serve the community and a new condo that will help Cadman Plaza West feel more like part of the hood. Bring it on!

  • marshasrimler

    Gee.. the city rebuilt the old red cross building (which was in worse shape then the library )and created a state of the art OEM building with a most modern communication system. .. the city rebuilt the old Family Court Building on Adams st. and created a lovely new school. Where there is a will there is a way. Here there is no will because of Greed.. the public be dammed..The library should be rebuilt and expanded as part of the Brooklyn Tourist District. The Brooklyn Public Library has become an arm of the mayors office with cronies and developers dominating and doing his bidding.

  • carlotta

    >lori – how is the building a disaster – disaster?? Yes, the air conditioning needs repairing. Would you destroy your home if the air conditioner didn’t work? What exactly are the other structural problems that would cost $9 million? That’s a number that keeps going up as the developers start their plans for yet another high end condo. And, Henrylol why must Cadman Plaza West ‘feel more like part of the hood’? The Brooklyn Heights ‘hood’? Many people in BH like the scale of the area. That’s one reason they live here. Another high rise certainly is not what Brooklyn Heights ever needed or needs now. I hope Deborah Hallen can overcome her fear of being discharged from her volunteer position so that she can see just what is going on with all the libraries in NYC.

  • Heights_Neighbor

    Hmm, it seems purchasing a new site & building a new library will cost a lot more than $9 million, the cost to fix he current library. The idea of renting out the old “leaky” Starbucks for, what $10-20,000/month doesn’t sound like a good idea at all. The relationship between developers and politicians needs to be exposed. Between this, LICH & BBP, it’s out of control. All but the elite few suffer. Who is looking out for the common folk?

  • Michael D D White

    The first interview in this video is with a Citizens Defending Libraries member. Why the video doesn’t mention the Citizens Defending Libraries petition to stop the sale of libraries (including this one) to shrink the system with a concomitant underfunding of libraries confuses me. (That’s what that interview was actually all about.) Despite confusion the video’s reporting may cause, Citizens Defending Libraries is not in anyway allied with the much smaller set of individuals now calling themselves “Friends” of the library, nor can Citizens Defending Libraries ally with them in any way since the current purpose of the “Friends” has now become to support the private profit of a scheme to turn this library into a real estate deal despite the fact that they are abusing their 501(c)(3) status as “charitable” organization to do so. “Friends”? Their limited goal is to do better than a bookmobile library replacement during the better part of a decade there might be no library? Please! SIGN THE CDL PETETION and save this and the other libraries now under attack with deals fashioned in the mode of the famously reviled Donnell Library closing.

  • Reggie

    If the project goes forward as planned by BPL, I doubt it will take “the better part of a decade” to demolish the existing structure, construct a new building, and outfit a replacement library.

    And speaking of the latter, Heights_Neighbor, BPL would not need to acquire a new site under the proposed scenario. It would be given title to space inside the new building, which it would develop using the proceeds from the property sale.

    None of this may be advisable, but objective facts are often a good place to start.

  • Jonathan

    Reggie, let’s all be a little more skeptical of the dubious promises and schedules floated by the pro-development crowd and the deliberately underfunded library system held hostage to its demands. BHB readers should recall the “objective facts” concerning Manhattan’s much beloved Donnell Library Center—with its largest-in-system collections of media and books for teens and foreign language speakers, plus its large renovated auditorium and famous collection of Winnie-the-Pooh dolls. In 2007, NYPL announced plans to demolish Donnell and replace it with a new (read “smaller”) facility housed inside an 11-story Orient-Express luxury hotel. The library closed in 2008, with no alternate facilities provided. In 2009, Orient-Express bailed on its agreement with NYPL. Two years later, they sold the vacant building (since demolished) to another developer who is now (finally) building a 50-story hotel-condo complex, The Baccarat Hotel and Residence, with a new (smaller) library inside. The library is “contractually to open by June 30, 2014″ — seven years after the demo/replacement plan was announced. That certainly qualifies as “the better part of a decade”. Whither the Brooklyn Heights library and BPL’s plans for its “temporary” replacement? Don’t worry, the community always comes first. Doesn’t it?

  • Reggie

    As they say in investing, “Past performance does not predict similar outcomes.” The Donnell debacle is a cautionary tale that everyone will wise to learn from if BPL continues down this path.

  • LisaV

    I am appalled about this negative comment about Deborah Hallen. Deborah has devoted her life to the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood as a teacher, a community volunteer and as a true friend of the public library. She had opened the Brooklyn Heights Friends to increased transparency and encouraged participation from neighbors who had been discouraged for years. At the present she is fighting for the people who most need the library. In no way does the make her a “tool” of the present administration.

  • Jonathan

    Given that developer interests almost always trump the public interest (see Atlantic Yards, Greenpoint Willamsburg rezoning, downtown Brooklyn rezoning, Coney Island, Ikea and the Red Hook graving dock, Admiral’s Row in the Navy Yard, etc. etc. etc.) what confidence can we have in the “wisdom” and capacity for learning of BPL officials beholden to developers? Are you sure they actually stand for the best interests of the library? Or are they already contemplating their next jobs at corporations standing to benefit from this systematic privatization/asset-stripping scheme?