Library users embrace BPL expanded hours

The Bay Ridge, Fort Hamilton, McKinley, New Utrecht and Sunset Park libraries are now open a few hours more per week, and library patrons are thrilled and hopeful for even more improvements.

“I think this is great,” exclaimed Jovita Vergara Sosa, who regularly visits the Sunset Park Library at 5108 Fourth Avenue with her three young sons. “I walk by and see people waiting for it to open at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is a huge need in Sunset Park for recreational and educational space.”

Catherine O. agreed as she sat on the steps at the Fort Hamilton branch 20 minutes before it opened. “My computer died and I haven’t had a chance to replace it yet, so it’s been necessary to come here” for work, she explained. “I would honestly like to see more Sunday hours. I love it. I can use the computer, put on my headphones and be in the zone.”

“It would be a dream if another floor were added to the library,” Vergara Sosa added. “The children’s reading area is small and electrical system is outdated.”

The Sunset Park and New Utrecht branches are now open until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays for a total of six and nine additional hours, respectively, per week.

The Bay Ridge and Fort Hamilton branches are each gaining two hours on Wednesday evenings, and the McKinley branch is gaining two hours on Tuesday evenings.

The extended hours went into effect on Saturday, October 4, and are just one part of a $2.8 million effort at overall improvements in efficiency across the Brooklyn Public Library system.

In addition to six or seven-day service at 40 out of 60 library branches, the city funding will also enable the hiring and training of existing and new librarians, public safety officers and custodians.

“When I was a kid, I loved coming to the library. I need to get her a library card,” said Jennifer Tehan of Bensonhurst, referring to her two-year-old daughter. “I think she will love it as much as I did. You don’t see kids going in as much, so hopefully there will be more programs.”

Councilmember Vincent Gentile, former chair of the City Council Libraries Sub-Committee, called the changes “a win-win.”

“Whether it’s new Americans seeking foreign-language classes, teenagers looking to be stimulated after school, the unemployed who come to be coached by library staff on résumé-writing or seniors who come to learn how to set up an email account – our libraries are there,” he said.

BPL President and CEO Linda Johnson said in a statement that the library looks forward to working to “achieve our ultimate goal of providing seven-day service at branches.”

A full list of new library hours can be found at

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.