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DDC, Brooklyn Public Library Celebrate Re-Opening of East Flatbush Library

DDC: Ian Michaels, 646-939-6514,

(Brooklyn, NY – June 6, 2023) Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) celebrated the re-opening of East Flatbush Library with a ribbon-cutting ceremony following a comprehensive renovation. Sitting amid a busy commercial street, the Library has been an integral part of the neighborhood for 70 years.

inside the new library

East Flatbush Library features an inviting new design that utilizes numerous skylights to bring natural lighting deep into the building (Photo Credit: Gregg Richards)

“For over 70 years, BPL has had a library here on Church Avenue. Today, we are thrilled to welcome patrons to a modern light-filled space which is sure to serve as inspiration for our neighbors in East Flatbush and the entire borough for generations to come,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO, Brooklyn Public Library. “I extend my thanks to LevenBetts architectural studio and our partners at DDC; and to Council Member Charles Barron and Inez Barron for their ongoing support of libraries across the borough.”

Visitors to the library will immediately notice the new façade, with floor to ceiling windows, which streams light into the building. Multiple skylights installed on the new roof make the space significantly brighter and more welcoming. New York City’s Department of Design and Construction managed the renovation of East Flatbush Library which also boasts a larger main floor space for patrons to enjoy as mechanical equipment was moved to the roof and the basement.

“Libraries are centers of learning as well as hubs of community activity, and with new meeting rooms as well as dedicated learning areas for various age groups, East Flatbush Library is now better able to accommodate both,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Thomas Foley. “DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence Program engages some of the country’s leading design firms for City building projects; we now need procurement and contracting reform so we can build those designs faster and more efficiently, helping all three of the City’s library systems invest in their future.”

An officer stands at the entrance to the library

East Flatbush Library at 9612 Church Avenue prepares for its opening

Architecture firm LevenBetts designed the building. “For over 125 years, public libraries have been among the most democratic spaces in the borough, welcoming the community through its doors often seven days a week. We are delighted to have the opportunity to modernize and uplift the East Flatbush Library, transforming the building into a light-filled space to inspire the next generation,” said David Leven.

Additional features include a new fire safety system and a new building management system which will keep the library cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The revised layout includes separate spaces for adult, teens, and toddlers, including a dedicated storytime room. Patrons can also take advantage of three meeting rooms and a large multipurpose room.

The new library also has updated lighting, furniture, and technology including a laptop loan locker and self-serve kiosks. The building has achieved LEED Silver.

Upcoming programs include Storytime, Ask A Tech, Teen Gaming, and Kids Create.

The city provided $11.2 million dollar in capital funding for the project, including $750,000 from former Council Member Inez Barron. National Grid generously provided a Neighborhood Investment Program grant through their Project C initiative for the new Library.

This expansion is part of the largest spate of library redevelopment since the Carnegie era. Brooklyn Public Library has invested in narrowing a capital needs gap, enhancing branch library design, and updating aging infrastructure system wide in order to provide inspiring spaces across the borough for all New Yorkers. However, without a full restoration of proposed City budget cuts, this new branch — and all of BPL’s branches — will face a reduction in hours and services on which our patrons have come to rely.

“Our public libraries provide essential services that go beyond free access to literature, and we have to nurture these spaces, updating them so they’re welcoming, modern, and comfortable for everyone,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso whose office will host constituent office hours inside the East Flatbush Library the last Monday of every month. “My office is looking forward to enjoying the new changes to the East Flatbush Public Library branch and spending time with the community during our monthly Constituent Services table.”

"As Councilmembers who represent this branch, we are pleased, ecstatic, and proud, to have played a part in bringing this renovation to completion. Historically, dating as far back as the great African libraries in Alexandria, civilization has recognized the importance of having a repository for the books and volumes of humankind's knowledge, experiences, and appreciation for the arts. Today, with the expansion of technology, our libraries have expanded beyond just a collection of books. This reopening of the library embodies all that we realize can serve as a reference to past experiences, as well as a meeting place to generate new ideas," said Councilmember Charles Barron and former Councilmember Inez Barron.

“The reopening of the East Flatbush branch is a triumph for the Brooklyn Public Library system and an immense benefit to the neighborhood,” said Council Member Chi Ossé, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations. “The improved space will be a sanctuary for Brooklynites seeking books, programming, and even an escape from hot summer days. It lives up to the gold standard our borough deserves and I commend all individuals whose hard work made this possible.”

"I applaud the New York City Council, the offices of the Mayor and the Brooklyn Borough President, and National Grid for providing capital for the most significant community resource for learning. The Public Library system is undergoing substantial renovations, including the Brooklyn Public Library, with modern amenities for every generation. The updated mechanical and building management systems, dedicated Story Time rooms, and self-serve kiosks will entice patrons to visit the library frequently. Our libraries are also the least expensive form of recreation for families.  The community welcomes these continued investments in our libraries. I look forward to partnering with the library to expand its outreach to constituents in Senate District 19 and beyond," said Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, SD 19.

“I want to thank Linda Johnson, National Grid team, and the elected officials who made this project possible.Technological advances have changed how we use libraries. Still, they will not change the sanctuary libraries provide for the many New Yorkers who enjoy the feel of books and the spaces libraries provide. Equally as important is it meets the needs of people without computers and the internet services which as we know are so critical in today’s world.The Brooklyn Public Library’s leadership has demonstrated its commitment to meeting the needs of the East Flatbush community, and we are grateful,” said Assemblywoman Monique Chandler-Waterman.

“This momentous occasion marks not only the rebirth of a community library and residents returning to a place of learning, creative exploration, and adventure, but it also serves as a testament to our shared commitment to a greener future.Thanks to the vision of the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and National Grid’s Project C community commitment support, this East Flatbush branch stands as a beacon of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship,” said Renee McClure, Director of Community and Customer Engagement.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor Adams’ long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit

About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.7 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 60,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. And we give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.