Diminutive DUMBO library, first new Brooklyn branch in 36 years, in the works

April 17, 2019 Mary Frost
The Adams Street Library in DUMBO, the first new branch to open in Brooklyn in 36 years, is in the works in the building shown in the photo above to the left. Eagle photo by Mary Frost
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The first new Brooklyn Public Library branch in more than a generation is going up in DUMBO.

Dubbed the Adams Street Library, the branch was negotiated by Councilmember Stephen Levin as one of several sweeteners in the deal to sell the Brooklyn Heights branch for development. The library is slated to open towards the end of 2020.

[Got input? Take the library’s survey.] 

The last Brooklyn branch opened in 1983. A redeveloped Sunset Park branch is also under construction, as is a new Brooklyn Heights branch.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

The new DUMBO branch will be located in a leased space on the ground floor of a former factory building at 135 Plymouth St. under the Manhattan Bridge, with an entrance on Adams Street. It fronts on Brooklyn Bridge Park, with iconic bridge and river views.


Share your ideas for the new library branch at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Earth Day celebrations on Saturday, April 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit the bookmobile on Adams Street between John and Plymouth Streets, enjoy Earth Day Storytime at the Environmental Education Center, 135 Plymouth St. at 11:30 a.m., and explore nature with a library craft at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Main Street Terrace, from noon to 3 p.m.


Smallest in Brooklyn

The library will take the over title as the smallest in Brooklyn, with 6,565 square feet of raw space. Currently, Brower Park Library in North Crown Heights, which measures 7,000 square feet, is the smallest.

By comparison, the Carroll Gardens branch is roughly 14,000 square feet, and the Sunset Park branch will be 21,000 square feet. The soon-to-be-built Brooklyn Heights Library, which will be the largest branch in the borough, will measure 26,600 square feet.

It may be small, but it will serve the ever-growing populations of DUMBO, Vinegar Hill and Farragut, as well as the kids who go to schools in those neighborhoods.

The new DUMBO branch will offer books and media, meeting rooms, facilities and programming space. The architecture firm WorkAC, which redesigned the BAM Cultural District Master Plan, has been hired to design the new branch.

Community input wanted

Urban planning and design firms Hester Street and Grain Collective have been hired to involve the community in the design of the new library. The firm has designed a survey for library users to list their preferences for the future space and programming, plus ideas and concerns big and small.

The two companies previously worked together to get feedback from the community concerning the Sunset Park library.

The library will be BPL’s 60th branch. The last new branch opened in 1983.

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