Courtesy of Svetlana Negrimovskaya,, the supervisor at the Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn Public Library (2636 East 14th Street), here are March’s events at the local branch. Personally, I can’t wait for Intellectual Club “What? Where? When?”
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Svetlana Negrimovskaya,, the supervisor at the Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn Public Library (2636 East 14th Street), asked us to start passing along the monthly calendar of events for the local branch. Lots of good stuff to do at our local libraries, especially if you’ve got kids!
Libraries play a huge role for Brooklyn residents, serving as both educational and cultural centers. Now they’re taking on an even larger role , as the Kings Highway library branch (2115 Ocean Avenue) has opened its expanded passport center, the second such center in the entire Brooklyn Public Library System.
While residents can still apply for passports at their local post office, the library passport center can avoid the long lines and get more personal service at the Kings Highway branch. It’s the first expansion of the passport program that began at the Central library on Eastern Parkway, which opened in May 2011 and has already processed 21,000 passport applications and 7,000 photos.
Linda Johnson, the president of the Brooklyn Public Library, hailed opening of the passport application center at Kings Highway library as a vital addition to the immigrant community.
“With the opening of our new Passport Application Acceptance Facility at Kings Highway Library, it is easier than ever before for South[ern] Brooklynites and new immigrants to obtain passports. Since more than 37 percent of Brooklyn’s residents are foreign born, there is incredible demand for this service. We are proud to provide this important resource to the community and look forward to helping thousands of people begin their travels,” Johnson said in the release.
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein pointed out that the addition of passport services at the Kings Highway library will be a boon for seniors.
“As a legislator representing a district with one of the largest concentrations of senior citizens, I want to thank the U.S. Department of State for recognizing the needs of both the elderly and people with disabilities. The choice of a site so central and convenient to the Southern Brooklyn community will save time and stress for the many, who before, had to endure great difficulty to secure this vital document. I thank the Department of State on behalf of my constituency,” Weinstein said.
The release broke down the hours of operation for the Passport Application Acceptance Facility and some of its key features:
Hours are temporarily set for 10 AM to 3 PM Monday through Friday and Sunday by appointment. Saturdays are currently closed until further notice. To make an appointment, call 718-230-2292 or 718-375-3037 ext. 128…
The new facility includes:
- Five agents with room for two seated applicants
- A paging system to allow those waiting to browse the Library
- Passport pictures
- Document copying
- Accessibility for people with disabilities.
The Gerritsen Beach library (2808 Gerritsen Avenue), which was devastated by Superstorm Sandy, is one step closer to reopening . In a press release, Councilman Lew Fidler and Assemblyman Alan Maisel announced that the library is set to open its doors in September.
Like many libraries in Southern Brooklyn, the Gerritsen Beach library was rocked hard by Sandy. Damage was inflicted to its electrical system, doors, chairs, shelves and computers. The Sheepshead Bay library was the first Sandy-damaged library to reopen in January after $1 million in repairs.
In April, we reported that a coalition of Turkish-American organizations donated $30,000 towards the repair of the Gerritsen Beach library.
On a whim, I hopped down to Coney Island to catch the fireworks on July 4 last year. It was hot and crowded with no good place to steal a glimpse of the fireworks show without cramming myself between a bunch of sweaty, drunk people. Luckily, for those like me looking for a better seat, you can fill up the Cyclones baseball stadium, MCU Park, for free to watch the fireworks on Independence Day this year.
The Cyclones baseball team will be out of town this year on July 4, but they are opening their doors at 4:30 p.m. to the public. Once inside, you’ll be able to scout out some choice seats, use the public bathrooms and buy food from the concession stands. That’s not all, though. The Cyclones have a litany of events all leading up to the fireworks show at 9 p.m.:
• A pig roast presented by Thomas Joseph Catering
• “Beers of New York” beer garden
• A special performance by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn
• Live music from oldies and Top 40 cover bands
• Family activities including the “Fastest Arm in Brooklyn Competition” on the Cyclones speed pitch
The events are a joint operation between the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Alliance for Coney Island, and while admission is free, guests are encouraged to donate on behalf of the Brooklyn Public Library and Coney Recovers, an initiative of local organizations working in partnership to assist with the recovery of the Coney Island community.
This actually all sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to loosen up the traffic on the boardwalk on one of Coney Island’s busiest days.
A coalition of Turkish-American organizations forked over $40,000 yesterday to the Gerritsen Beach library (2808 Gerritsen Avenue) and Gerritsen Beach Elementary School (P.S. 277), institutions that have suffered in the five months since Superstorm Sandy rocked the community.
The donation came from Turkish-American groups, non-profits and businesses, spearheaded by Helping Hands Relief Foundation, Kimse Yokmu, Council of Turkic American Associations, Turkish Cultural Center and the Brooklyn Amity School.
Of the $40,000 donated yesterday, $30,000 is going to the Brooklyn Public Library’s Gerritsen Beach branch, one of two branches in the system that has been unable to reopen due to extensive damage. The checks were handed over during a ceremony in front of the branch. Prior to the ceremony, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke toured the facility, which has been gutted down to bare walls, floors and rafters.
“We believe that Brooklyn Public Library and P.S. 277 are invaluable resources for the community, where people of all ages will benefit tremendously in many different ways,” said Nevzat Yilmaz, president of Helping Hands Relief Foundation. “This is dedicated to building a better future for the children and families of our community, and leaves a footprint for the next generations of Turkish-Americans to take care of community facilities that serve the people.”
Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda Johnson was on-hand to receive the check, delivered by a cadre of Amity School students. She said the library would use the funds in part to rebuild the library with green technology and infrastructure.
P.S. 277 Principal Jeanne Fish said the school would use the funds to install new smartboards and laptops in classrooms.
Elected officials and library administrators gathered at the Kings Bay branch of the Brooklyn Public Library last Friday to celebrate the launch of a new laptop loaner program.
The program kicked off in Brooklyn Public Library branches in Kings Bay (3650 Nostrand Avenue) and Kings Highway (2215 Ocean Avenue), where 18 brand new laptops and charging carts are now available thanks to $50,000 in funding allocated by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein.
“Whether you’re a student using the internet as a research aid or a senior citizen wanting to know your rights, this program will have a positive impact on all library patrons,” said Weinstein in a press release.
The laptops will help busy branches like Kings Bay by allowing people to use the laptops for two hours anywhere in the building – a departure from the policy for current desktop computers, which can only be used for 30 minutes.
Now… we’re on our way over to make sure every browser’s homepage is set to Sheepshead Bites.
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.
Five Brooklyn Public Library branches, four of which are in Southern Brooklyn, remain closed after taking severe damage during Superstorm Sandy, and library administrators say they need millions to get back online.
New York Daily News checked in with the library, noting that the Gerritsen Beach (2808 Gerritsen Avenue) and Coney Island (1901 Mermaid Avenue) branches took the worst damage, and will need new electrical systems, doors, chairs, shelves and computers. There is no word on when these branches will reopen.
The Gravesend (303 Avenue X), Sheepshead Bay (2636 East 14th Street) and Red Hook (7 Wolcott Street) branches also saw severe damage. Officials told the Daily News these will reopen in the next few weeks.
In all, the repairs will rack up a $10 million price tag, which includes structural repairs and the replacement of 75,852 books, magazines and DVDs ruined during the storm – piling on top of a $250 million list of backlogged repairs throughout the library system.
According to the News, the Brooklyn Public Library typically receives just $15 million a year from the Bloomberg administration for repairs.
“We were hurt,” said Brooklyn Public Library VP of strategic planning Jeanette Moy. “But we are leveraging every asset we have and every partnership that’s possible to bring services back to the community.”
The library is also requesting donations to help restore the library system. You can donate online.
UPDATE (11/06/2012): Due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, this sale has been cancelled. The Gerritsen Beach Library is closed until further notice. For more information contact Christine Dille at C.Dille (at) Brooklynpubliclibrary (dot) org.
Attention bibliophiles, booklovers and fans of the written word!
The Friends of Brooklyn Public Library-Gerritsen Beach Branch are inviting voracious, or even light readers to “Make Space in your Bookcase,” now until November 9. The group will be holding its annual book drive at the library,2808 Gerritsen Avenue between Gotham Avenue and Bartlett Place.
After the November 9 book drive, the Gerritsen Beach Library Friends Group will also be hosting its annual book sale, November 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and November 17 and 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You are encouraged to donate your new or gently used books.
For further information, call (718) 368-1435.