Libraries shut by Sandy poised to reopen

July 26, 2013 Editorial Staff
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Two southern Brooklyn communities affected by Hurricane Sandy will soon be welcoming back their libraries after the buildings suffered $1.1 million in damage.

The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) was awarded $550,000 in grants from both the American International Group (AIG) Disaster Relief Fund and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to help defray the cost of the necessary work.

“Brooklyn Public Library is deeply grateful to AIG and the Mayor’s Fund for their support of our restoration efforts as we continue to get all of Brooklyn’s communities back on their feet and back into their beloved neighborhood libraries,” said BPL President and CEO Linda Johnson.

Of the six branches that were affected by the storm, four — Gravesend, Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Red Hook — have already reopened. The grants are expected to aid the Gerritsen Beach and Coney Island branches which still remain closed.

The Gerritsen Beach location (2808 Gerritsen Avenue) is expected to reopen in September with the Coney Island branch (1901 Mermaid Avenue) following in October.

After the storm, BPL branches opened up as warming centers and collection centers, delivering items to areas that were hit the hardest.

Megan Sheekey, president of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, said, “We are grateful to the Brooklyn Public Library for its dedication to keeping library doors open and serving impacted communities in the wake of Sandy.”

In addition to these two grants, the library has received donations from individuals as well as $30,000 from the Helping Hands Relief Foundation and $6,000 from the New York Library Association to help get BPL back on its feet.

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