Educational Facilities – Library

A Library is a great facility for the community to gain knowledge and to get kids eyes open through books and artifacts. For some people of Farragut, there are no close access to computers or books in the area or at home, but to get connected to the world through the internet and have access to an array of information, it would help improve on the resources needed to help kids pass their classes. According to one of the Gates Foundation report, about 20% of the very poor people in the U.S doesn’t have access to own computer and are using computers at public libraries.

This is the map that shows the data of how Farragut housing area is ranked lower in education than the surrounding neighborhoods. Even A few block within Vinegar Hill has much more and Dumbo tops at 90% + in this area. The picture below is from Social Explorer-

Libraries will be a place where people will have books and computers with internet access to learn and study. This could also be a change for group of people hanging out on the streets around the blocks of Farragut Houses towards better conditioned place for community gathering and will likely to improve educational level of the whole community on average. This could also lead to a major change for some of the lives around the neighborhood because learning and reading books helps people think better, clearer and make better decision towards their daily lives. Having better education will let people have access to better job opportunities and more salary which leads to better living standard for the Farragut Houses Community. The following table is from social explorer website showing how having better education leads you towards better paid jobs.

There is no library in Vinegar Hills and around Farragut Housing. The closest library is about 10-15 minutes away from the housing facility located  at our college, New York City College of Technology and this is not a public library. There are many libraries in downtown Brooklyn as shown in the bottom right hand portion of the photo. The closest public library is the Brooklyn Public Library- Walt Whitman Branch which is really inconvenient for people at Vinegar Hills and Farragut Housing to travel really far to have access to information and resources.

So we are proposing to have a public library in Vinegar Hills near the Farragut Houses. Our first plan was to have it at a once-unused community center space within Farragut Houses which is now running by the group of people and called “the Farragut BCS Cornerstone Community Center”. They provide kids at Farragut Houses with special programs towards their learning. This will make it very convenient for people from the Farragut to have access to books, information and resources within the housing. But this plan will not work out as we thought it through because the place is too small to have both public library and community center under the same roof and as this is a public library,and we want to provide resources for all the residents in the Vinegar Hills and not just for residents at Farragut Houses. Farragut Houses has a lot of  broken things to be fixed and very under-maintained. It was recently reported to have trash and rats problem within the housing. Library needs to be clean and quiet place where people can focus on studying and learning and having it within the Farragut does not fit the bill. We are also planning to have the community center, that will provide help for the residents in the neighborhood with the resources they need for school and work related under the same roof. If we put a library inside the housing this will be more of a Farragut Housing residents’ library rather than public library which is intend to give resources to all the residents in Vinegar Hills.

Having a public library have positive effects for the neighborhood, its residents’ improved living standard and easier access to information and resources. A case study was done by NYSED on public libraries across Maryland and their research report is provided in citation section of this report.  A report from Pew Research Center shows that

  • 38% of African Americans who have used the library in the last 12 months have used the computers, the internet or Wi-Fi there
  • 32% of Hispanics have used library computers, the internet or WiFi
  • 31% of those living in homes whose annual incomes are $30,000 or less have used these online resources at the library.
  • 60% of the library technology users used library facilities to do research for school and work.

Libraries are known to have the effect of revitalizing the struggling and depressed neighborhoods and are the places that people come to know about themselves and their communities through the books and meeting people of the community. Having the public library in Vinegar Hills but outside of the Farragut Houses will also bring out the people from Farragut and those from other residents in Vinegar Hills and Dumbo closer and participate in  community events and work together to improve the community and each other.

Horrigan, John B. “Chapter 1: Who Uses Libraries and What They Do at Their Libraries.”Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. N.p., 15 Sept. 2015. Web. 22 May 2017.

Daidone, Gina, and Max Jaeger. “Massive Amounts of Trash Are Attracting Rats – and Ruining This Neighborhood.” New York Post. New York Post, 03 Apr. 2017. Web. 22 May 2017.

“Community Centered: 23 Reasons Why Your Library Is the Most Important Place in Town.”Public Libraries Online Community Centered 23 Reasons Why Your Library Is the Most Important Place in Town Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2017.