Just a few days after news that several of Brooklyn's Public Libraries have closed altogether during the heat wave—the result of a cavernous $300 million gap in funding—and on the heels of a new report indicating that nearly half of funds donated toward Sandy Relief have yet to be spent, we actually have a real piece of good news relating to both.
According to a press release, The Brooklyn Public Library has received $550,000 in grants for branches damaged during Sandy, including branches in Gerritsen Beach and Coney Island that have remained closed since the storm. Both are expected to re-open in the fall, and the grants, which come courtesy of the American International Group Disaster Relief Fund and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, will go towards recouping collection losses (the storm causes about $1.1 million worth) and repairing lingering damage.
Which all seems good, if not immediately gratifying for anyone hoping to check out a book (or bask in the air conditioning) in an afflicted branch, or hoping to see the shameful, ongoing funding crisis put to a definitive end. Still, we'll take small victories where we can get them.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.