Temporary Brooklyn Public Library annex opening in DUMBO

October 21, 2019 Mary Frost
Brooklyn Public Library will be opening a temporary annex in DUMBO on the ground floor of the One John Street condo. Shown: The space BPL will be using was formerly occupied by the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, shown above. Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum
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The Brooklyn Public Library announced on Thursday that it will open a temporary annex in DUMBO while the neighborhood’s new library is being built. The permanent library is expected to open in late 2020.

The 1,600-square-foot outpost, which will be called BPL Annex, will be located at One John Street, a luxury condo, in a ground-floor space leased by Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park has committed to provide free educational and cultural programming to the community in the space, as part of a deal with the developers.

The site was most recently occupied by the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. The museum vacated John Street in August after a three-year run.

BPL says that once the Annex is fully operational, it will include programs, laptop loans, a “small collection of books” and a place for patrons to pick up items they have placed on hold.

The Annex will kick off story time and crafts for young children on Nov. 5. Homework help, gaming workshops and teen advisory council meetings for older children and teens will also begin in November. Books and other items for loan will be phased in over the following months. Beginning in the spring of 2020, the Annex will offer résumé and interview workshops, author talks and adult learning classes.

“We’re really excited to have another amazing Brooklyn institution partner with us in the park,” said Eric Landau, Brooklyn Bridge Park president. “Brooklyn Public Library will be providing a great range of educational and cultural programming for kids and adults.”

The developers of the John Street condo, Alloy Development and Monadnock Development, donated the ground-floor commercial space to the park through a five-year-lease that can be extended for a total of 25 years.

The park will issue a request for proposals later this year for another long-term tenant to provide free programming in the space after the Annex completes its run.

The permanent library, to be named the Adams Street Library, will be the first the first new library in Brooklyn in 36 years. At 6,565 square feet, it will also be the borough’s smallest library — but it will still contain separate sections for children, teens and adults, along with a meeting room and multipurpose space that can be rearranged for different purposes.

The Adams Street 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. The architecture firm WorkAC, which redesigned the BAM Cultural District Master Plan, has been hired to design the new branch.

The new library was negotiated by Councilmember Stephen Levin as one of several sweeteners in the deal to sell the Brooklyn Heights branch for development.

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