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NYC libraries plagued by leaky roofs, mold, report says

A report released by the three city library

A report released by the three city library systems shows some of the worst conditions at branches, such as West Farms in the Bronx, where computers are covered because of a leaky roof. Photo Credit: New York Public Library West Farms Branch

Flooding, power outages, mold and other infrastructure problems are too common in city libraries, a report released by three of the city's library systems says.

The findings of the report show that chronic flooding at the Rosedale Queens library has caused severe mold issues in a number of its rooms, and electrical systems at the Countee Cullen Library in Harlem are so old that the 76-year-old building frequently experiences power outages.

And despite a $300 million capital infusion from the recent budget, several branches in the New York, Brooklyn and Queens public libraries are still suffering, according to the 15-page report called “Time to Renew."

The three library systems are requesting $150 million in next year’s city budget to address the issues.

“Buildings plagued by failing HVAC systems, cramped spaces, and overloaded electrical panels simply cannot adequately host the high-quality services that New Yorkers of all ages deserve,” the report says.

The overall capital budget for libraries is currently set at $1 billion to be distributed over the next ten years with an additional $100 million commitment for each system for the next five years, according to a spokesman for the mayor's office.

“The Mayor and City Council have already significantly expanded library service hours through the baselining of six-day service at library branches citywide and made a historic multiyear systemwide capital commitment,” the spokesman said in a statement.


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