Volume 73, Number 54 | May 12 - 18, 2004

Photos by Dan Pollard

Seward Park Library Branch reopens

On May 7, local politicians P.S. 137 kindergarteners and library officials celebrated the opening of the renovated Seward Park Library Branch at E. Broadway and Jefferson St. At left, Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, third from left, and State Senator Martin Connor, second from left, helped school kids and library officials cut the ribbon. At right, left to right, Councilmember Alan Gerson, former Councilmember Kathryn Freed and Councilmember Margarita Lopez, far right, with Etta Veder, 95, who used the branch when she was a child; Veder said the library offered an escape from her family’s crowded tenement apartment. Similarly, many of the library’s users today are first- or second-generation Chinese immigrants living in crowded apartments, who also find refuge at the library. “We find that people today are using the library for very similar reasons to those who used it throughout the its entire history,” said Herb Scher, library spokesperson. “They are taking advantage of a wide range of resources to help them adapt to their situation and move onwards and upwards.” The renovation includes a new grand entrance facing Seward Park created from one of the library’s large windows. The project also included 30 new public-access computers with high-speed Internet connections, new air-conditioning and a new elevator. The library is part of the Adopt-a-Branch program, which combines private and public funding; public funds were combined with funding from the Starr Foundation for the renovation.

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