Brooklyn Public Library Receives $550,000 in Grants to Repair Branches Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

July 17, 2013

Brooklyn Public Library Receives $550,000 in Grants to Repair Branches Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

Funds from AIG and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City Will Go Towards Repairing Neighborhood Libraries and Restoring Collections

Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) announced today that it has received $550,000 in grants from the American International Group (AIG) Disaster Relief Fund and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.  The grants, amounted at $300,000 and $250,000, respectively, will be used to repair library damages caused by Hurricane Sandy and to replace lost collections and circulation materials.

Six of Brooklyn Public Library’s branch libraries were affected by the storm.  Gravesend, Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, and most recently Red Hook have reopened after repairing flood damage.  The Gerritsen Beach and Coney Island branch libraries remain closed for significant restorations. The Gerritsen Beach branch is expected to reopen in September and the Coney Island Library in October. BPL is working to replace collection losses that total nearly $1.1 million.

“Brooklyn Public Library is deeply grateful to AIG and the Mayor’s Fund for their support of our restoration efforts as we continue to get all of Brooklyn’s communities back on their feet and back into their beloved neighborhood libraries,” said Brooklyn Public Library President & CEO Linda E. Johnson.  “With the help of these grants and other generous supporters of the Library, we look forward to being able to reopen our doors to the Gerritsen Beach and Coney Island communities this fall.”

“Our public libraries provide vital resources, especially for New Yorkers impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said Megan Sheekey, President of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. “We are grateful to the Brooklyn Public Library and its leadership for its dedication to keeping library doors open and serving impacted communities in the wake of Sandy.”

Brooklyn Public Library provided public services and aid to Brooklyn communities in the aftermath of the storm.  Branch libraries opened as Warming Centers, collected storm relief supplies and children’s books to deliver to hard-hit communities, and provided charging centers for mobile devices.  BPL’s Kidsmobile visited shelters and students of displaced schools to hold story times and distribute children’s books, and the Library worked with The Uni Project to set up a temporary reading area in Red Hook.

AIG established the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) to assist victims of natural and manmade disasters around the world.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it donated over $1 million to affected local organizations.   The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is a non-profit organization that promotes City partnerships with the private sectors in order to improve the lives of New Yorkers.  The Mayor’s Fund provided for immediate needs after Sandy hit and continues to support long-term restoration.

In addition to the grants from AIG and the Mayor’s Fund, BPL has received over $65,000 from other generous supporters, including $30,000 from the Helping Hands Relief Foundation and $6,000 from the New York Library Association, as well as hundreds of donations from library users and other individual donors.

About Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website: www.bklynpubliclibrary.org.

About AIG

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading international insurance organization serving customers in more than 130 countries. AIG companies serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers through one of the most extensive worldwide property-casualty networks of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance and retirement services in the United States.

About The Mayor’s Fund

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative public-private partnerships throughout NYC’s five boroughs. One hundred percent of donations in response to Hurricane Sandy are being dispersed to relief efforts and organizations. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, contributions helped to support the supply and transport of emergency needs including hot food, toiletries, baby supplies, cleaning materials, warm clothing and medications for New Yorkers. The Mayor's Fund is now focused on longer-term rebuilding and restoration efforts, including sponsoring a network of housing counselors and legal service providers to help residents, mold awareness trainings and treatment in homes, loans and grants for affected nonprofit organizations and local businesses, as well as support for New York’s other impacted library systems: Queens Library and the New York Public Library’s branches in Staten Island. For more information go to www.nyc.gov/fund and follow the Fund on Twitter @NYCMayorsFund.

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Brooklyn Public Library
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Brooklyn Public Library is an independent New York City library system serving the borough of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest in the United States. Its Central Library, Business Library, and 58 neighborhood libraries offer free information, programs and computer access to people of all ages. You can reach the Library's resources of over 70 reference databases, catalog information and news 24 hours a day at www.bklynpubliclibrary.org