Brooklyn's first “green” library is located at 4211 18th Avenue in Kensington.
What makes the new $16 million branch different from others in the library system is that it features new technological advances in energy efficiency.
The library has an emphasis on natural lighting throughout the building; the wall facing the street is made almost entirely of glass. Even the paint and sealant are environmentally friendly and the lumber used to build the library was obtained by sustainable-managed forests and materials made with recalled content.
“This represents a step into the future of Brooklyn Public library,” said Linda Johnson, Brooklyn Public Library president. “A green, innovative, technology-rich and flexible space tailored to the needs of the community and to the needs of the 21st century library user.
The new branch has a focus on the youth of Brooklyn. It will be home to a public space that includes a reading room designed for children called “First Five Years.” Along with the open space, eight computer and three iPads will be available only to children.
Overall, the library will feature 24 new computers, Wifi access on all floors and four self-checkout machines. Johnson said that the self-check ut machines were put into the new library with the idea that librarians would be able to help patrons and not have to focus on administrative tasks.
Although the library has only been open a short time, Francine Walker said that she is already impressed with the staff. “They're very helpful here,” she said. “They're just very polite.”
Walker works in the neighborhood, but lives in the Bronx. With a four-hour break everyday, she said that having a library in the area is perfect for her.
“It's the best place to be,” she said, “you can read, watch a movie and a it's a good way to pass time.”