Controversies

Brooklyn Girl Scouts: ‘Save Our Library!’

“Save our library!”

That’s what one boisterous group of local Brooklyn girl scouts shouts in a new video issued in protest of the Brooklyn Public Library’s plans to sell the Pacific Library in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn to a developer.

GSCOUTS“The Brooklyn Public Library has some pretty shocking plans,” says the unidentified, hard-nosed reporter in the video.

Plans call for the 110-year-old building – as well as that which houses the Brooklyn Heights branch on Cadman Plaza – at 25 Fourth Avenue, near Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, to be sold to a developer and moved to the new Brooklyn Cultural District.

Girl Scout Troop #2657, which joined in on the fight against the proposal last month, isn’t having it.

“I feel horrible.  I’m really sad and I’m kind of mad,” says one Girl Scout.

“Why would anybody want to tear down a library so old as this one?” asks another.

They have the support of at least one local politician.

“The community has identified what we would like to see and that is a preservation of the building and the services,” Councilman Steve Levin (D–Boerum Hill), told The Brooklyn Paper in March. “It fits the criteria of what we ought to be preserving, particularly in a neighborhood that is overrun by development.”

But eighteen of the library’s 60 branch buildings were donated by tycoon Andrew Carnegie more than a century ago and are in need of hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs, the library has argued.

“By doing these projects we can continue to make sure that these communities receive cutting edge 21st century library service while allowing us to better use our city capitol allocations to address critical structure needs system wide,” BPL’s Josh Nachowitz told the New York Daily News in January, after the plans were announced.

The neighborhood library takes up about 13,000 square feet of the building’s 60,000 square feet.  The new branch will be at least 2,000 square feet larger and the library has said that it’s committed to having a replacement branch in place before the Pacific branch closes.

View the video in full:

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