Some of the historic Carnegie libraries in Brooklyn could be closing their doors for good, as the institution is facing $230 million in long overdue repairs. The Journal reports that the Brooklyn Public Library is considering "casting off" its older, rundown buildings, including some landmarked structures, to help pay for repairs needed throughout the system. The article doesn't specify if this means the buildings would be sold off, instead the Journal calls the plan a "real-estate shuffle" that "would allow the system to tap its 1 million square feet in property holdings."
The plan should not come as a surprised. Since Linda Johnson became the library president and CEO in 2011, she's been talking about selling buildings or at least their air rights. She would not comment on specific real estate negotiations, but she stressed that the library supports preservation and that the Carnegie buildings could be used for other purposes. The buildings in question are lesser used libraries that have suffered from low circulation. A report by the Center for an Urban Future points to branches in Fort Greene, Red Hook, and Brownsville that are located in hard-to-access areas.
The library is also unveiling an "Info Commons" computer space at the main branch, which is indicative of the new 21st century course charted for the institution. More digital research tools will be available, as well as resources for families, immigrants, and Brooklyn's ever-growing creative class.
· Library Eyes New Page [WSJ]
· New BPL Head Looking to Sell Library Air Rights to Raise Funds [Curbed]
· Brooklyn Public Library coverage [Curbed]
Photo by Structures:NYC/Curbed Flickr pool