NEW YORK (CBS 2) — After more than six years of having no library at all, P.S. 9 in Prospect Heights has a beautiful, brand new one. They call it the “book hive” and it officially opened on Friday. As CBS 2HD’s Kathryn Brown reports, all it’s missing is a librarian.
“I’m very excited because it’s a new experience and there’s lots more books to choose from,” said 8-year-old Ava Henry.
The library will eventually hold 15,000 texts and give up to 800 students access to three dozen laptops, printers, flatscreen TVs and cutting-edge technology workstations.
Parents spearheaded the effort to fund and build the half-million-dollar project, but because of budget cuts, the Department of Education said it can’t afford to hire anyone to staff the new space.
So for now, the book hive is off limits.
“It’s tragic that the schools can put this much effort into something thats clearly endorsed by the City and still not have the funds to open it up to the students properly,” said parent Rebecca Schulman Herz.
Parents said they’ve worked too hard to let this book hive go unused. The school’s principal was trying to find the money for a part-time librarian and then volunteers would round out the edges.
“I have a little plan. That’s all I can do, get a little action plan in place and try to get someone in for our youngsters,” said principal Sandra D’Avilar.
Until then, the book hive is a bare hive.
The Department of Education had planned to hire a librarian when the school first began building the new library, but have since implemented a hiring freeze. The DOE said they should fill the position soon because enrollment at P.S. 9 will increase this year, allowing them a larger budget.