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.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Citizens Defending Libraries, et al, File Second Lawsuit Against “Hastily Prepared”& 'Bureaucratic Rubber-Stamping' NYPL Environmental Review For Central Library Plan

New York Times quotes from our complaint about the hasty rubber-stamping: "no better than a hastily prepared book report that a group of fourth-grade boys might have rushed to complete after an extended game of kickball during recess."
On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Citizens Defending Libraries and other plaintiff parties filed their second lawsuit against the NYPL's ill-conceived and vastly expensive Central Library Plan to drastically shrink library space, sell off libraries and eliminate books.  Together with two other pending lawsuits against the plan (one filed by another set of plaintiffs) this became the third lawsuit against the plan.

The lawsuit challenges the NYPL's environmental impact statement for the project as a rubber-stamping joke.

The New York Times article about the new lawsuit quotes this from our complaint:    Rather than a "hard look" analysis at the potential environmental impact of the library's plans, the petition said, the administration's determination on the plan "is no better than a hastily prepared book report that a group of fourth-grade boys might have rushed to complete after an extended game of kickball during recess." 

Here are links to the coverage:
•    Wall Street Journal: Lawsuit Questions NYPL Overhaul Filing Criticizes 'Bureaucratic Rubber-Stamping' on NYPL Project's Environmental Review, by Jennifer Maloney, April 16, 2014 
Michael Hiller, an attorney representing the scholars, called the city's determination on the environmental review "bureaucratic rubber-stamping" and said Mr. Bloomberg and his staff "abdicated their responsibility to conduct an environmental review." The city's decision, he added, used paragraphs lifted verbatim from the library's submission.

The suit asks the court to annul the city's declaration and refer the matter to the City Council or another agency.
 •    New York Times: Lawsuit Aims to Derail New York Library Plan, By Robin Pogrebin,  April 17, 2014

•     Courthouse News Service:  Dogfight Over NYC Central Library Plan, by Iulia Filip,  April 22, 2014

•    Law 360: Scholars Sue NYC To Stop Library Renovation,  by Daniel Siegal, April 18, 2014
The case is Citizens Defending Libraries et al. v. The Office of the Mayor of the City of New York et al., case number 153760/2014 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.   

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