Closures Are A Disappointment To New Yorkers Trying To Stay Cool

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In an attempt to beat the heat many New Yorkers are rushing to local libraries, but the severe heat has actually shut down several in Brooklyn.

The library closures have been a big disappointment for anybody who showed up looking to stay cool.

“It’s closed because there’s no air conditioning,” a person named “Luna” told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu.

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Luna had been planning to return a pile of books to the library in Brooklyn Heights, but it was closed on Wednesday because air conditioners that were in need of repair could not keep the building cool enough.

In all, four libraries throughout Brooklyn were shut down for the same reason.

“Our ongoing capital funding crisis means that there are branches that have to close altogether in heat emergencies because we simply cannot afford the upgrades needed to keep them comfortable,” the Brooklyn Public Library announced in a statement on Wednesday.

Locals said the air conditioning at the Brooklyn Heights branch has been a problem for nearly 20 years.

“It was a problem in 1994, and it never got fixed and then it would sort of be fixed and then a summer would happen and it wouldn’t break down and then last summer was really the worst,” Deborah Hallen of Friends of the Brooklyn Heights Branch Library said.

The branch was shut down 31 times in 2012. There is a sign on the door that told visitors that the air conditioning could not be repaired and that it would cost more than $3 million to replace.

Lillian Schrag, 5, an aspiring author and book lover, told CBS 2 that she would return when the library reopens.

“I’m going to tell them that I’m sorry to hear that it’s closing and my friends and I will come next time,” she said.

Lillian is hoping that next time is very soon. A spokesman told CBS 2 that the library should reopen sometime next week.

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