Iwen Chu

Originally published in Brooklyn Magazine on .
Brooklyn Public Library

The money will go toward creating new space for teens and expanding the Adult Learning Center

The Brooklyn Public Library is getting $3.5 million to continue its multiyear renovation project, which comes at a time when the library is seeing an uptick in popularity. 

This week, State Senator Iwen Chu announced that Brooklyn’s library is getting the second-biggest chunk of the $34 million going to libraries across New York for construction and renovation projects.

“The Brooklyn Public Library is a valued institution that serves people of all ages in the borough of Brooklyn,” she said in a statement. “With this funding, BPL will continue to be a vital resource for communities into the future.”

A BPL spokesperson told Brooklyn Magazine that the money will be used to fund the second phase of its renovation, which includes a new Adult Learning Center that will double in size, a new teen space and refurbished collections that will “restore and renovate” the library’s collection areas. A completion date wasn’t announced.

Linda E. Johnson, BPL President and CEO, thanked Chu in a statement. “With her support, we are able to continue restoring and modernizing Central Library while ensuring branches across the borough will have the books, programs and technology patrons rely on every day,” she added.

It’s been quite the summer for the Central Library. An installation celebrating rapper Jay-Z attracted tons of visitors and the library’s specially themed Jay-Z cards sparked a surge in signup.

BPL officials previously said that attendance at its Grand Army Plaza location was five times higher than average and it has garnered at least 4,000 new signups for cards. Roughly 40,000 people attended the first week of the exhibit.