The Brooklyn Library has reaffirmed its commitment to keep open its popular and historic Pacific branch library following a story in Brooklyn Brief Wednesday that claimed the building, Brooklyn’s first Carnegie library, seemed fated to be torn down for private development despite library officials’ denials. To recap the convoluted story: Last year, the library planned to move the Pacific branch at 25 4th Avenue into new digs in Two Trees’ forthcoming BAM South development, then sell the building to pay for the new space. But a public outcry and pressure from elected officials caused the library to reconsider. The current plan is to open a new branch at BAM South and keep the existing Pacific library branch as well.
Last month, community group Citizens Defending Libraries started a new petition calling on the Mayor and other elected officials to abandon plans to sell off any New York City libraries to developers. Then 4th Avenue event space Brooklyn Lyceum put up a Facebook post saying “Looks like the Pacific Street Library is up for sale again.” This, in turn, prompted the story in Brooklyn Brief. Library officials told the blog the Pacific branch building is not for sale, but a statement on the library’s website said it could be in the future and that the library planned to “move its services” from the Pacific branch to BAM South when it is built.
The headline of the story is “Pacific Street Library: Not For Sale (for Now), But a Grim Fate Awaits.” The story says:
The managers of a Park Slope community space are worried the timeless Pacific Street branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is for sale and will ultimately be demolished, and have even directed concerned residents to an online petition to thwart the effort. Officials deny the allegation, but admit a new branch is ultimately in the works at a nearby construction site, with a plan to transfer the Pacific Street site’s activities, leaving the fate of the property unclear.
After we reached out to a library spokeswoman yesterday to find out the date of the library’s online document, the library changed its statement. It now reads:
While BPL initially planned to replace Pacific with a new library at South Site it has become clear that the neighborhood highly values this historic building and the services the library provides. BPL is committed to working with elected officials and community stakeholders to develop an appropriate plan to maintain the Pacific Street building and address the library’s $10 million capital need. BPL is committed to maintaining library service at the current Pacific Street building. BPL has no plans to sell Pacific Library.