Beginning Monday, October 19, Brooklyn Public Library branches borough-wide will increase their hours of operation, opening six days (versus five), with some branches also extending their weekend and evening hours.
The increase in hours was announced on Wednesday at the Coney Island Branch Library in Brooklyn and is made possible through a $12 million increase in funding by Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Council.
Nineteen branches will expand from five- to six-day service. Macon, Mapleton and New Lots libraries will join Kings Highway and Central in offering seven-day service. Every branch will now be open at least 48 hours per week.
“Parents across our city know libraries can help develop their child’s lifelong love of reading—and New Yorkers in every neighborhood know the importance of having a local library where they can borrow books, take classes, and bring their families,” de Blasio said. “That’s why our administration is investing big, with the largest increases in both operating and capital funding for libraries in our city’s history – including millions to ensure extended hours.”
BPL has hired 40 new librarians and additional staff to support the added hours. More than half of the new librarians will be children and young adult specialists, contributing to the library’s work on early literacy and school preparedness.
“When New Yorkers have improved access to valuable summer programs, after school, literacy, tutoring, cultural, job training and other programs offered by the city’s libraries, they have a better chance of improving their careers and their lives,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “By continuing to extend the operating hours of our libraries, we will enable working families to take full advantage of library services. The Council is a proud supporter of our libraries and we are thrilled to continue to help provide this invaluable service to the Brooklyn Library system.”
The city’s increased support of New York’s public libraries came after a months-long Invest in Libraries campaign by the three library systems.