Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn Public Library to expand hours of service across borough

September 8, 2014 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
For Brooklyn libraries, the 2020 executive budget calls for $105.9 million, down from the $106.4 million proposed in the Fiscal 2019 Adopted Budget. Eagle file photo

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) announced on Monday that it would implement a significant expansion of hours of service across the borough beginning in October. Two-thirds of BPL’s 60 branches will now offer six- or seven-day service, including Saturday service and extended evening hours at the majority of locations. This expansion is made possible by $2.8M in new funding from the Mayor and City Council, as well as through BPL-implemented efficiencies. 

Beginning Oct. 4, the number of branches offering six- or seven- day service will increase from 25 to 41. The number of branches offering Saturday service will increase from 39 to 47, and additional evening hours will be added at many locations. Under the new expansion, branches will be open for more than 200 extra hours each week, for an average of 45 hours per week. 

To support the added hours, BPL is undergoing the most extensive staff hiring and training since 2008. The Library is hiring new librarians, public safety officers and custodians; investing in clerical staff with new promotional opportunities and professional development; and introducing a new Technology Training team to facilitate instruction, interaction and experimentation with digital tools.

This expansion of hours is made possible by $2.8M in new funding from the Mayor and City Council, as well as through BPL’s efforts to more effectively deploy existing staff. The Library’s efficiency steps include consolidating book purchasing and sorting functions into a central location, the deployment of self-check technology in nearly every branch, online card registration, cashless payments and automated computer reservations. Together, these improvements have allowed BPL to keep its doors open longer and enabled library staff to better assist patrons. 

BPL will continue to work with New York Public Library and Queens Library, the Administration and the City Council in 2015 to secure the additional funding needed to adequately serve the entire borough, including six day service in all locations, expanded seven day service beyond the two current locations, increased evening hours, a more robust collection, and expansion of the Library’s many successful programs including adult literacy classes, services for older adults and first five years programs.

“We hope Brooklynites will take advantage of our extraordinary programs and materials, from storytimes for children and English for Speakers of Other Languages classes, to books and technology. We look forward to continuing to work with the City Council and Administration so that one day soon we can achieve our ultimate goal of providing 7-day service at branches throughout the borough,” said Linda E. Johnson, president & CEO of Brooklyn Public Library.

“From immigrant services to high-speed Internet access and literature programs for our children, our libraries serve New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The extended hours of service at Brooklyn Public Libraries across the borough will help increase access to these services for so many families, and I am proud that my Administration and our City Council made this significant investment in our City’s public libraries.”

“[Libraries] are safe havens, study centers and social gathering hubs, where patrons experience everything from children’s books to chess, crochet to cultural exchange. Brooklynites will benefit from enjoying more of these services, and our local economy will benefit from the additional staff hired to support these additions,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. 

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Details on new hours of service can be found at http://www.bklynlibrary.org/Expanded-Hours-of-Service.

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