Why Is New York City Planning to Sell and Shrink Its Libraries?

Defend our libraries, don't defund them. . . . . fund 'em, don't plunder 'em

Mayor Bloomberg defunded New York libraries at a time of increasing public use, population growth and increased city wealth, shrinking our library system to create real estate deals for wealthy real estate developers at a time of cutbacks in education and escalating disparities in opportunity. It’s an unjust and shortsighted plan that will ultimately hurt New York City’s economy and competitiveness.

It should NOT be adopted by those we have now elected to pursue better policies.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013 Open Letter from CDL To Brooklyn Public Library Trustees Delivered At Trustees Meeting

April 16, 2013

Brooklyn Public Library Board of Trustees

Re:    Selling Libraries, Shrinking The Library System, Participating In An Excuse That Involves Deliberately Underfunding New York City’s Libraries

To The Trustees:

This letter is written to you with the hope and based on the premise that there are those among you who, when you assumed you position as trustee, looked forward to abiding by your conscience and intending to do good in your position and that you further feel free to do so irrespective of any marching orders or suggestions that you may receive to the contrary.

The issue I address is perhaps the biggest that has been faced by the trustees in many decades.  It is likely to be a subject of much historical discussion for decades hence.  It will, I am sure, receive the scrutiny it deserves.   The tales of who did what will, I am sure, be told to your grandchildren.  We may all hope that when that is done the hearers of those tales will relish the fact that individuals among you were heroes.

The question: Should the Brooklyn Public Library trustees, following in the path of the disreputable trail blazed by the secretively planned and executed sale for shrinkage of the Donnell Library in Manhattan, be voting to sell libraries, shrink the library system of Brooklyn, and participate in endorsing the kabuki theater dance that involves the deliberate underfunding of the libraries as an excuse to do so?  Should you preside, without question, over the very questionable deals intended to convert public assets into private benefit?

These are not grey moral areas.  Don’t participate in the pretense that they are.


Michael D. D. White
Citizens Defending Libraries

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