Vol. 12, No. 20 Oct.  21 - Nov. 3, 1999


Deal Near on Temporary Library Space


In response to mounting complaints from the Norwood and Bedford Park communities over the temporary closing of the Mosholu Library, officials of the New York Public Library (NYPL) said last week that they are close to identifying an alternative facility to use during the branch's eight-month renovation period, which began with little notice on Sept. 20.

At first, the NYPL had planned to offer only bus service to the Fordham Library, on Bainbridge Avenue near Fordham Road, three days a week as compensation for the closing. But residents and community leaders, including members of Community Board 7 and the Bedford Mosholu Community Association, insisted that temporary space be found.

Library officials said they opted for the bus solution because of a lack of funding for a temporary space and because they initially did not anticipate that the renovations would take so long.

Although bus service between the Mosholu and Fordham branches has been regularly utilized by senior citizens, branch librarian Ann Alexander said children have largely stayed away.

Funds will now be made available for the temporary site, said Mary Elizabeth Wendt, a Bronx NYPL official. Why the change of heart? "We had a lot of phone calls and letters," Wendt said. "The library tries to be responsive to the community."

Councilwoman June Eisland has been pushing for temporary space and is currently participating in property negotiations. "I've been working closely with the New York Public Library to find a suitable temporary space near the existing Mosholu Library," she said in a written statement. "There's a handshake agreement for a rental space at this time and I'm hopeful the deal will be signed and sealed shortly."

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