Yesterday was a big day down on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Ninth Street, as the Park Slope Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library re-opened after an extensive restoration and renovation. And I gotta tell you, they did a hell of a good job.
The doors opened shortly after noon, and the changes were readily apparent. There's new reading spaces, a new multi-purpose room, 24 new computers, free wifi, 2 new self-service check out machines, 20,000 new books and magazines, and, of course, four new iPads in the children's room. The ample woodwork has been restored, along with the Grueby Faience tile around the main fireplace. And on the second floor mezzanine, the floor has been replaced by opaque glass.
"For the best, sometimes you have to wait, and this wait was worth it," Borough President Marty Markowitz told the gathered crowd. "What a difference three years makes," Councilman Brad Lander added. "Libraries are a true civic treasure."
Later that evening famed writer and journalist (and Park Slope native) Pete Hamill took to the podium, where he read the passage from his memoir A Drinking Life in which he describes his discovery of the library as a child, followed by a short story from his upcoming collection, The Christmas Kid.
For those looking to get involved, the first meeting of the "Friends Group" will be held next Wednesday at 6:30 PM.