Bedford-Stuyvesant

Marcy Library reopens after renovation

February 7, 2018 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Robert Cornegy Jr. had fun at the reopening reading to a group of local school children. Photo by Fritzi Bodenheimer/Brooklyn Public Library

New computers, interactive activity wall among features

Book lovers in Bedford-Stuyvesant have their library back. After a major renovation project, the Marcy Library recently reopened to great fanfare on a day that included a ceremony enjoyed by Brooklyn Public Library officials, local lawmakers and a group of young school children. 

Under the renovation project, the library, located at 617 DeKalb Ave., got a fresh coat of paint, along with new computers, a modern children’s area with an interactive activity wall, new tables, chairs and shelving and enhanced lighting and signage. 

The major portion of the renovation project involved a $1.5-million replacement of the building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. The New York City Department of Design and Construction oversaw that part of the job.

In addition, the building’s fire alarm system was upgraded.

Councilmember Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant), who secured city funding for the renovation project, attended the reopening ceremony and had a special treat for kindergarten and first grade classes from PS 54. The lawmaker read a story to the kids.

“We are delighted to be back in Marcy Library and thank Councilman Cornegy for his support of this project. With a bright up-to-date interior and new HVAC system, we know patrons will enjoy this space for many years to come,” Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson said in a statement.

Cornegy also lauded the reopening of the library. “As centers of learning and community-building, libraries are an invaluable asset to our city. Marcy Library has been a great resource to the people of Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights for over 100 years, so it was important to me to ensure the funding necessary to make these upgrades was provided. I am extremely pleased to see it reopened today with improved facilities and even more tools to facilitate learning,” he stated.

The Marcy Library was established in 1899 under a different name: the Tompkins Park Free Library, according to information posted on the Brooklyn Public Library’s website. In 1901, the library was incorporated into the Brooklyn Public Library system. 

Ana Barrio, the acting commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, said the Marcy Library is an important part of the community because it provides “equitable access to educational tools for children and adults.” 

The improvements brought about by the renovation project “make the Marcy branch safer and more comfortable for patrons,” Barrio stated. 

The Marcy Library was closed for several months during the renovation project. To accommodate local residents, the Brooklyn Public Library parked a bookmobile outside the building.

The renovation is part of a larger plan by the Brooklyn Public Library to refurbish its branches, according to library officials, who said that a third of the library’s buildings will be renovated over the next decade.