I received a distressing email from reader Rory this morning about the struggling CH library on Washington Ave: Any idea what's been happening lately with my beloved little Clinton Hill Library? The last few days, I've trekked up there, only to find the lights off, the gate locked and a sad print-out sign saying that the temperature inside had reached 83* at so-and-so a time (roughly early-afternoon) and they had closed early. It's pretty clear to anybody who even walks by the operating budget is pretty meager, and certainly no one likes a sweaty librarian - but at the same time, they're already open so few hours a week (especially for anyone who works a regular 9-5 job!) and to be closed for most of their one weekend slot and then again the following Monday night (the only late-night hours), well, it's a bit disheartening to see their community access so limited. My guess is that their air conditioning must be broken, but I fear that with the BPL's budgets, it could be ages before it's fixed and they return to regular operating hours. Maybe we could we start a community donation fund, to help them get it back up-'n-running soon?
As the son of a librarian and a regular patron of the CH Library (with several books behind held hostage behind the locked gate!), I'm keen to not see the nabe's literacy compromised until the temps drop in October... So I'm hoping you might know something, or could post a message on the CHB to galvanize the troops? (I think the gal who was starting the Friends of the CH Library is imminently moving back to Ohio, so not sure where that all stands?)
Yes, the Prez of the Friends of Clinton Hill Library is moving to Ohio, but there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer this summer and fall. Right now, they're seeking gardening volunteers, and they tell me exciting things are coming this fall (info to come). For now, contact the outgoing president at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm not sure what the answer is regarding finding for the library, but I'm sure something could be done. A bake sale, an art sale, a collection, or maybe a sponsor. Perhaps the vendors/staff at the Brooklyn Flea could be convinced to donate 10% of revenue on one particular day to the library fund. Maybe we can do a CH Restaurant Week where proceeds go to the library fund.
If you have ideas, bring them to the Friends group. It would be awfully nice to have extended hours!
If you haven't checked out the library before, definitely stop in (if you can catch it open). I know they even have some fun programming, like Scrabble night. Fun!