FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2016
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND NYCHA ANNOUNCE NEW, LARGER SITE FOR MACOMB’S BRIDGE BRANCH
The Library is partnering with the New York City Housing Authority to offer a new space nearly five times the size of the current branch, the NYPL’s smallest location
NEW YORK–– Today, New York Public Library (NYPL) President and CEO Tony Marx and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye announced that the city’s smallest library branch will soon move into a much larger home. The 685-square-foot Macomb’s Bridge Library – located inside the New York City Housing Authority’s Harlem River Houses since 1944 – is expected to move by mid-2019 to a new space across the street at 2633 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard – also owned by the Housing Authority – that is nearly five times the size of the current branch.
The larger space could potentially increase annual visits to the branch by 40 percent and advances the Housing Authority’s goal of creating more connected public housing communities as part of its ten-year strategic plan, NextGeneration NYCHA. The current Macomb’s Bridge Library received 31,471 visits in Fiscal Year 2016 while offering only 12 seats – by comparison, an average subway car on the nearby 3 line has over 40 seats. This new, larger space will significantly expand availability of library resources for all New Yorkers, including NYCHA residents, by providing more space for classes, storytimes, computers, and seats.
The length of the 20-year lease (with a possible 10-year extension) for the new, much-needed 3,375-square-foot ground floor space was approved by the Executive Committee of The New York Public Library’s Board of Trustees last night. The Library is in the process of finalizing the lease and securing an architect to design and build-out the currently-vacant space.
The Library is launching a “Building for You” initiative around the project, surveying patrons both online and in the current branch on the programs that they would like to see in their expanded library. A series of meetings updating the public will also be held in the future.
The new library will be funded in part by $2.022 million in funding allocated by City Council Member Inez Dickens, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and State Assembly Member Herman D. Farrell, Jr. The three officials were at this morning’s announcement of the new branch, which comes after nearly a decade of searching for a viable location – and having several potential sites fall through.
“This community has been incredibly patient as we worked to find the right location for a bigger, better Macomb’s Bridge Library, and we are so happy to report that we – along with our partners at NYCHA – have indeed found that location,” said NYPL President Tony Marx. “The hard-working staff of Macomb’s has long made big things happen in a very small space. We can’t wait to see what they can do in the future.”
“Collaborations like this are crucial to creating more connected communities for public housing residents,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “With the opening of this new, larger library space, residents will have greater access to all the fantastic resources our city’s libraries offer––strengthening pathways to education and opportunity for all.”
“As a strong supporter for the Macombs Branch of The New York Public Library, I am proud to say this day has been long awaited,” said City Council Member Inez Dickens. “It is because of the concerted efforts and determination of residents in this community that future generations now have a place to expand their knowledge, test their limits and breakdown barriers to success. Together with Assemblyman Denny Farrell, we have secured the funding necessary to show our commitment to improving Harlem’s access to learning. Along with the support of Congressman Charles Rangel, today we can all say the Macombs Library will be bigger and better than ever, with more computers, smart screens and private rooms for teaching. With greater floor space, we will provide greater variety of resources to pique the interest of our youth with the technology necessary to do so. Harlem is back, baby!”
“Beautiful, modern libraries are a necessity for New Yorkers of all ages, in every neighborhood,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I’m thrilled that my office could support this project. This community has always deserved a full-size, fully-featured branch library of its own, and now it will have one.”
“I applaud the partnership between the New York Public Library and the New York City Housing Authority to expand the branch at Macomb’s Bridge,” said Congressman Charles Rangel. “In addition to providing invaluable resources, a library is a great place to discover stories of other people, cultures, and places. It is where imaginations of our youths can run wild and dreams are made. The expansion at Macomb’s branch will allow the intellectual curiosity of our community to grow and flourish.”
About New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA):
The New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. To that end, NYCHA administers a Conventional Public Housing Program as well as a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments, together serving more than 600,000 New Yorkers.