BROOKLYN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Harvard Library in New York unveiled a new partnership today with the YMCA of Greater New York, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Chapman Family, and the Chapman Perelman Foundation to create a new youth library in a YMCA branch. The library, located at the Coney Island YMCA branch at 2980 W 29th Street, offers dedicated space for library programming for children and teenagers. The project was inspired by the Board of the Harvard Library of New York; the partnership is intended to instill in young people a love of reading. Library board members Dr. Anna Chapman and her father Richard Chapman have led the charge in driving the project forward, and privately funded construction of the site.
By repurposing space currently used as a children’s watch area, local children and teenagers now have an accessible library and reading room of nearly 600 square feet, with an adjacent multi-purpose room that can serve as overflow for the library during off-hours. The renovation includes the building of new bookshelves, the addition of child- and adult-sized seating space, and the procurement of books and other materials.
As part of the event, New York City Council Member Mark Treyger, YMCA of Greater New York President and CEO Sharon Greenberger, Coney Island YMCA Executive Director Sam Moore, and Richard Chapman addressed and welcomed attendees to the new facility before Anna Chapman and Sharon Greenberger participated in the ribbon cutting. Additionally, children’s book author Nina Crews read her updated interpretation of the classic Jack and the Beanstalk to 6 and 7 year old YMCA campers in attendance.
“We’re excited to partner with the YMCA of Greater New York and Brooklyn Public Library to fund and build this new library,” said Richard M. Chapman, President of the Board of Trustees of the Harvard Library. “This is a project near and dear to the heart of our alumni who were looking to better connect educational resources with the New York community and help children develop a love of learning. Our hope is that this project can serve as a model for developing library services in other parts of the city.”
The Harvard Library in New York carried out a multi-month selection process with partner organizations to execute a library project that delivers the greatest impact to young readers in an underserved community. As Coney Island is currently only served by a satellite branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, the addition of the library at the Coney Island YMCA will give countless families the resources and environment children need to learn and develop a love of reading without having to leave the neighborhood.
"We are always looking for ways to integrate books into community spaces," said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library, "so we were delighted to partner with the Chapman family and Chapman Perelman Foundation to bring a dynamic collection for teens and kids of all ages to the Coney Island YMCA."
“This project would never have been possible without the generous funding and expertise of the Harvard Library in New York” said Sam Moore, Executive Director of the Coney Island YMCA. “The Y is a focal point of the Coney Island neighborhood, and residents depend on us to provide their children with critical everyday programming such as summer camp tutoring and after-school activities. With the new youth library, we can’t wait to welcome our kids to a modern and safe learning space, and watch their curiosity grow.”
"I am proud to see more educational opportunities become available for Coney Island youngsters,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, 47th District. “As a former educator, I believe there is a strong connection between the development of inquisitive minds, building reading skills at an early age, and future academic success. Providing more ways for local children to get their hands on books or connect with educational programs is always A+ in my book."
About the Harvard Library in New York:
Since its founding, the Harvard Library in New York has remained true to its mission “to stimulate and maintain interest in good literature by raising, administering and expending funds for the establishment and maintenance of a library in the city of New York.” In addition to preserving and caring for all documents, memorabilia and literature relating to Harvard, the Library is home to a significant collection of rare books and artifacts. As a public benefit and a public service, the Library has made these documents available for research and scholarship to members of the Harvard community and to the broader community of scholars and researchers world-wide.
About The Chapman Perelman Foundation
The Chapman Perelman Foundation, led by Dr. Anna Chapman and Ronald O. Perelman, provides financial and strategic support to innovative, early-stage initiatives. The foundation focuses on mental health and medical research, education, and environmental causes.
About Brooklyn Public Library:
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day on their website: www.bklynlibrary.org.
About YMCA of Greater New York:
The YMCA of Greater New York is dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves New York City's health and well-being and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Visit ymcanyc.org.