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.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Resolution Respecting the Brooklyn Heights Library Adopted by the Independent Neighborhood Democrats Executive Board

The following resolution was adopted by the Executive Board of the Independent Neighborhood Democrats February 5, 2015.
Resolution on the future of the Brooklyn Heights Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library
Whereas, the Independent Neighborhood Democrats (IND) recognizes the critical and expanding role that Brooklyn's public library system, especially the branch libraries, play in the lives of the city's residents, providing them with books, information, technology, meeting space and other resources and activities they rely upon to improve and enhance their intellectual, social and economic well being, and

Whereas, the increase in the number of people who live, go to school and work in the areas that serve the Brooklyn Heights branch, including the Business and Career Center, adds to the importance of having a modern, multi-use facility, designed with input from those who will use it, and

Whereas, despite increased usage by a diverse community of patrons, the Brooklyn Public Library has not put forth a responsible plan for guaranteeing necessary improvements such as infrastructure repairs, additional space, new services, enhanced technology and partnerships with other community resources at the Brooklyn Heights branch, and

Whereas, the directors of the Brooklyn Public Library, in lieu of a plan that upgrades the facility and re-envisions the ways in which the branch can serve the growing and varied community that uses it, agreed to a plan that calls for: selling the space that currently houses the Brooklyn Heights branch to private real estate developers; moving the Business and Career Center; demolishing the Brooklyn Heights branch building; and installing a smaller facility on the ground floor of a proposed luxury apartment house complex with a significant loss of floor area, therefore be it

Resolved, that the Independent Neighborhood Democrats opposes the proposed sale of an important public asset to private developers with little oversight and transparency, and

Resolved that the Independent Neighborhood opposes diminution of public areas or services in the Brooklyn Heights branch, including relocation of the Business and Career Center, and be it further

Resolved, that the Independent Neighborhood Democrats calls upon all our elected officials to reject the plan put forth by the Brooklyn Public Library for the Brooklyn Heights Branch and be it further

Resolved, that the Independent Neighborhood Democrats will work with elected officials, other organizations and campaigns to prevent the destruction of the branch while exploring flexible, responsible, transparent and fiscally sound ways to renovate, upgrade and enhance the existing facility over the coming years, and be it finally

Resolved that the Independent Neighborhood Democrats will work with others to fight for increased funding for the borough's public libraries so that they can continue to meet the many needs of their growing number of patrons and remain a valuable resource to this city.

Adopted February 5, 2015 by Executive Board

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