The 2636 East 14th Street branch is the first BPL location shuttered by the floodwaters to reopen. When we stopped by yesterday, there was already a short line for computers, and a handful of patrons buzzing about.
“We’re excited – we’re very, very excited – to be back,” said the branch manager Svetlana Negrimovskaya.
Patrons, though, will notice a smaller collection for the first few weeks. That’s because five feet of water inundated the building’s below-street-level nonfiction and reference department, wiping out more than 2,100 books on 80 shelves. The library will be restocked, but they’re waiting to replace a handful of shelving units.
Repairs to the facility carried a $1 million price tag, according to a BPL spokesperson. That includes the water damage to partitions, floor finishes, shelves, collections and equipment.
Besides the library’s three computers for the public, the library also needed to replace brand new self-checkout machines that had been installed only two weeks before Sandy.
The Brighton Beach and Coney Island branches are still closed, requiring more repairs before they can reopen. Brighton Beach is expected to open next.
Here in Sheepshead Bay, though, Negrimovskaya said she’s happy to see her neighbors coming back, and noted that they’ve already continued their events programming. The schedule can be found here. Additionally, the BPL is asking for donations to restore the collection. A monetary donation can be made here.