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.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Physical Books vs. Digital Books

[Back To Main Page] In addition to the main resource page, here are some extra useful links about physical vs.digital books.  This page will be updated.

This page is just about physical, printed books vs. digital books.  The links on this page were (and most still are) part of another Citizens Defending Libraries page about libraries in general (Extra Useful Links About Libraries In General), but it finally got to the point that, with more and more updates, the links on the subject of the benefits of physical books vs. digital books got to be so numerous it was time to put up a page just for the purposes of linking to articles on this subject alone.

Let us say at the outset, that Citizens Defending Libraries is not against digital books.  It is just that we think that physical books (for many of the reasons you see in the articles linked to below) still need to be found in, and a primary focus of our libraries. . . . Instead, in New York City library and city administration officials have been denigrating the value of physical books as they have moved forward to remove them from the city's libraries . . . Why?  We think it is clear that the answer is because physical books take up real estate and developers are clamoring to have that real estate transferred to them notwithstanding that library usage is way up.

Here are the links to those articles.

      •    Scientific American: The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: Why Paper Still Beats Screens (Why the Brain Prefers Paper), by Ferris Jabr, November 2013.
IN BRIEF: Studies in the past two decades indicate that people often understand and remember text on paper better than on a screen. Screens may inhibit comprehension by preventing people from intuitively navigating and mentally mapping long texts.

* * *

Preliminary research suggests that even so-called digital natives are more likely to recall the gist of a story when they read it on paper because enhanced e-books and e-readers themselves are too distracting. Paper’s greatest strength may be its simplicity.
 

* * *

. . reading a then popular electric console book . . . prevented the three-year-olds from understanding even the gist of the stories, but all the children followed the stories in paper books just fine. 
       •    New York Times: Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?, by Douglas Quenqua, October 11, 2014.
 . . .  new studies suggest that reading to a child from an electronic device undercuts the dynamic that drives language development.

“There’s a lot of interaction when you’re reading a book with your child,” Dr. High said. “You’re turning pages, pointing at pictures, talking about the story. Those things are lost somewhat when you’re using an e-book.”
       •    New York Times: Parenting-Traditional Toys May Beat Gadgets in Language Development, By Pam Belluck, December 23, 2015.
. . .  in the midst of the holiday season, a new study raises questions about whether . . .electronic playthings [Baby laptops, baby cellphones, talking farms - “whirring, whiz-bang toys of the moment, many of them marketed as tools to encourage babies' language skills”] make it less likely that babies will engage in the verbal give-and-take with their parents that is so crucial to cognitive development.

The study, published Wednesday in JAMA Pediatrics. . .  builds on a growing body of research suggesting that electronic toys and e-books can make parents less likely to have the most meaningful kinds of verbal exchanges with their children.

“When you put the gadgets and gizmos in, the parents stop talking,” said Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University who was not involved in the new study, but who has found similar effects with e-books and electronic shape-sorters
 
   •    The Gothamist: Park Slope Parents Say Library Has Too Much Technology, by Lauren Evans, March 26, 2013.
Josh Skaller, father to a 12-year-old and a 3-year-old, told DNAinfo that while he appreciates the resources offered by the library's Park Slope branch, he worries that his children may not be able to locate books under the heaps and heaps of gleaming technology. (Which, for the record, no longer includes iPads, which were taken off the floor after one of the library's four was stolen promptly after the branch reopened in September.)
“It’s not so easy to peruse the stacks because the tables with the computers are right there," Skaller said. “There's not a lot space away from those screens... For the 3-year-old, there's an immense opportunity to discover new things to read, and anything that's pulling her away from that gets in the way of the purpose of the trip to the library.”
      •    The Huffington Post: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better, by Maddie Crum, February 27, 2015. 
. . A slew of recent studies shows that print books are still popular, even among millennials. What's more: further research suggests that this trend may save demonstrably successful learning habits from certain death. Take comfort in these 9 studies that show that print books have a promising future:

* * *

Students are more likely to buy physical textbooks.
A study conducted by Student Monitor and featured in The Washington Post shows that 87 percent of textbook spending for the fall 2014 semester was on print books. Of course, this could be due to professors assigning less ebooks. Which is why it's fascinating that...

Students opt for physical copies of humanities books, even when digital versions are available for free. . . .
     •    The Washington Post: Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right, by Michael S. Rosenwald, February 22, 2015.
Textbook makers, bookstore owners and college student surveys all say millennials still strongly prefer print for pleasure and learning, a bias that surprises reading experts given the same group's proclivity to consume most other content digitally.

* * * 

Earlier this month, Baron published "Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World," a book (hardcover and electronic) that examines university students' preferences for print and explains the science of why dead-tree versions are often superior to digital. Readers tend to skim on screens, distraction is inevitable and comprehension suffers.

. . . Pew studies show the highest print readership rates are among those ages 18 to 29, and the same age group is still using public libraries in large numbers.

* * *

most important . .  is "building a physical map in my mind of where things are." Researchers say readers remember the location of information simply by page and text layout - that, say, the key piece of dialogue was on that page early in the book with that one long paragraph and a smudge on the corner. Researchers think this plays a key role in comprehension.

* * *

. . . there has been "pedagogical reboot" where faculty and textbook makers are increasingly pushing their students to digital to help defray costs "with little thought for educational consequences.". . .

"We need to think more carefully about students' mounting rejection of long-form reading," . .
      •    Wall Street Journal: The Reader on the Prowl- Even the smartphone-toting, text-messaging generation prefers to study using real books. It makes things easier to remember, by Steven Poole, February 19, 2015. 
. . .   it turns out that the smartphone-toting, instant-messaging young generation still prefers to study at university using printed material if it can. What is driving the adoption of electronic textbooks is not any preference of students or teachers but simply the fact that they are cheaper. . .

Students forced to study using e-texts complain about eyestrain, distractibility and poorer recall of material.

* * *

. . . Amazon's latest Kindle, the Voyage, has a high-resolution e-paper screen but still a tiny collection of ugly typefaces, while paragraphs are forcibly "justified" by a brute algorithm (so that the right-hand edge of a paragraph is straight). Compare this with a beautifully typeset physical book: I'd wager that the typographical difference is more impoverishing to the reading experience than the difference between screen and paper itself.
    •    School Library Journal: Pew Study: Teens Still Love Print Media, ‘Traditional’ Library Services, by Karyn M. Peterson, June 25, 2013.
Tech-savvy American young adults are more likely than older adults to have read printed books in the past year, are more likely to appreciate reading in libraries, and are just as strong supporters of traditional library services as older adults, a new national report from the Pew Research Center shows.  According to the survey of Americans ages 16–29, a majority of young adults believe it is “very important” for libraries to have librarians and books for borrowing, while relatively few think that libraries should automate most library services or move most services online.

* * *
“Younger Americans’ reading habits and library use are still anchored by the printed page,” says Kathryn Zickuhr, research analyst at Pew’s nonprofit Internet & American Life Project and a co-author of the report.

* * *

85 percent of 16–17 year-olds read at least one print book in the past year, making them significantly more likely to have read a book in this format than any other age group.
     •    Toronto Star: Kids, teens still prefer books to digital readers, by Michael Oliveira, November 22, 2013.
Based on the results of online surveys conducted for Booknet Canada, a non-profit industry organization that tracks sales and trends, it appears parents and children aren’t eager to give up on the time-honoured tradition of flipping through paper books in favour of clicking around in digital content.

* * *

. . . few indicated they actually prefer digital books or could see themselves eschewing paperbacks for good.

Only one per cent of the parents polled said their kids aged 13 and under were at the point of reading more ebooks than print books.

* * *

Only about one in four parents said they read ebooks with their kids. And only four per cent of parents said they preferred that their children read ebooks, while 63 per cent favoured old-fashioned books.

Among teenagers, 29 per cent said they preferred reading ebooks, 37 per cent chose print . . . The surveys suggest teens aren’t rushing to embrace ebooks.
     •    Economist: The future of the book, October 11, 2014.
Books are not just "tree flakes encased in dead cow", as a scholar once wryly put it. They are a technology in their own right, one developed and used for the refinement and advancement of thought. And this technology is a powerful, long-lived and adaptable one.

    * * *

What is the future of the book? It is much brighter than people think.

Even the most gloomy predictors of the book's demise have softened their forecasts.
   
 . . . The much ballyhooed decline of the physical book has been far from fatal.. ..  The growth rate of e-books has recently slowed in many markets, including America and Britain. Publishers now expect most of their sales to remain in print books for decades to come-some say for ever.

There are a number of reasons. One is that, as Russell Grandinetti, who oversees Amazon's Kindle business, puts it, the print book is "a really competitive technology": it is portable, hard to break, has high-resolution pages and a "long battery life". . . Sales of e-readers, the most popular of which is the Kindle, are in decline. "In a few years' time," a recent report by Enders Analysis, a research firm, predicts, "we will look back at e-readers and remember them as one of the shortest-lived of all consumer media devices."
Cynthia Pyle’s erudite letter to the editor in amplifying response: Letters to the editor- Scholars like books.

     •    NPR: Pew Study: Many Technophiles Also Love Libraries, by Lynn Neary, March 13, 2014. 
You might think that in a world of Google and Wikipedia, people who love technology wouldn't care much about the musty old local public library. But, according to , you'd be wrong.

* * *

In its latest study, Pew set out to determine what types of people use and value public libraries. It compared highly engaged, "library lovers" and "information omnivores" to those who have never used a library . .

Not surprisingly, library lovers . . tend to be better educated, have higher incomes and are more involved in social and cultural activities than people with little or no engagement with libraries.

. . the Pew study finds that the most highly engaged library users are also big technology users.

Report:

. . . . 90% of Americans ages 16 and older say that the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community..
.  Deeper connections with public libraries are often associated with key life moments such as having a child, seeking a job, being a student, and going through a situation in which research and data can help inform a decision. .
. . Members of these high engagement groups also tend to be active in other parts of their communities. They tend to know their neighbors, they are more likely to visit museums and attend sporting events, and they are more likely to socialize with families and friends.. . .
. .those who have used a library in the past year, adults living in lower-income households are more likely to say various library services are very important to them and their families than those living in higher-income households..
. . Many of those who are less engaged with public libraries tend to have lower levels of technology use, fewer ties to their neighbors, lower feelings of personal efficacy, and less engagement with other cultural activities. 
     •    The Guardian: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming, speech by Neil Gaiman, October 15, 2013.
I do not believe that all books will or should migrate onto screens: as Douglas Adams once pointed out to me, more than 20 years before the Kindle turned up, a physical book is like a shark. Sharks are old: there were sharks in the ocean before the dinosaurs. And the reason there are still sharks around is that sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is. Physical books are tough, hard to destroy, bath-resistant, solar-operated, feel good in your hand: they are good at being books, and there will always be a place for them.
     •    Noticing New York: The Library of the Future Envisioned- "The 21st Century Library". . . And Beyond- Questions Floating In Science Fiction's Crystal Ball, by Michael D. D. White, January 26, 2015. 
 Monday,
In 1989 Isaac Asimov, speaking to the American Booksellers Association:
    made a passionate defense of the survival of the book when he asked his audience to imagine a device that "can go anywhere, is totally portable. . . . Something that can be started and stopped at will [and] requires no electric energy to operate." This dream device is, of course, the book. "It will never be surpassed because it represents the minimum technology with the maximum interaction you can have."
   •      Melville House: Citizens Defending Libraries calls the Central Library Plan “a real estate grab” and “contrary to the public interest”, by Claire Kelley, February 19, 2014.
Are you concerned that libraries are moving towards privatization and that there is a move to replace physical books with digital resources?

. . . Libraries are an essential public commons, and should continue as such.

The issue of ownership is a good segue into the second part of your question. There is much evolving right now with respect to digital rights that hasn't been resolved:  Copyrights are being extended and made stricter; so-called "orphan works" are in serious jeopardy; content providers are consolidating into monopolies that raise prices while much of what is available digitally is made available through time-limited subscriptions that have a potential ephemerality that never applied to books on the shelves.  Technology busily shifts too: The New York Times had a sentence in a tech section article recently, "If you own a Nook, the fate of your books may now be up in the air."

We favor, and we are not against, adding digital resources, but right now we think that the benefits of digitization, partly fad, and partly, to an extent, legitimate future, are being seized upon and exaggerated to excuse a rush to get rid of physical books because books take up real estate and the focus of too many people running the libraries is selling real estate.  The public, all of its generations, like physical books.  For the most part the public hasn't switched away from physical books.  Scientific American just did an interesting review of the science literature indicating that the human brain may be hard-wired to learn and retain information better with physical books.  Many books aren't available digitally.  Making them available would be a massive undertaking at which it is easy to fail.  Nicholson Baker's "Doublefold" and his tales of the unutterable destruction that occurred at San Francisco's library provide serious cautionary tales.  It doesn't serve to banish books in a precipitous experiment undertaken by people with questionable motives who lack library credentials.  Working for a hedge fund doesn't qualify you to curate mankind's store of knowledge.

NYPL President Tony Marx reads a physical copy of the New York Times, so do I, and that`s the way I read many books.  Physical media shouldn't be the exclusive preserve of a lucky privileged few.
    •    The Washington Post: Where are the books? Libraries under fire as they shift from print to digital,  By Michael S. Rosenwald, July 7, 2015.
"Some of the clashes have been heated. In New York, protesters outside the city's main branch have shouted: "Save the stacks! Save the stacks!"

* * * *

librarians are steering tight acquisition budgets to e-books, which are more expensive than print. . E-book spending has grown from 1 percent of library budgets to 7 percent, according to a Library Journal survey.

* * * *

library purists. . say the futurists are pushing budget-busting e-books when large swaths of society still want print, particularly as research emerges showing print provides a more immersive, less distracting reading experience.

They also cite sales data showing that e-reader and e-book sales have leveled off and argue that the next generation of library patrons still strongly prefers print."
    •    N+1 (N Plus One Magazine): Lions in Winter, (Parts One and Two), by Charles Petersen, March 7, 2012.
Until Congress acts, if it ever does, the best that Google will legally be able to provide when users request orphan books is “snippet view,”* the annoying feature that lets you search through a book and see a line or two whenever a particular word occurs, but nothing else . .  “Snippet view” is . . . . of little use to researchers without access to the book itself.   (*Even “Snippet View” is currently being challenged by the Authors Guild in court.. . . )

* * * *

But even if Congress were to act tomorrow. . . the availability of digitized books to the point where one could be confident of finding what one needed, in the way one can still be confident upon arriving at the New York Public Library, is still some years away. . . . probably closer to twenty.

* * * *

. . . . While the administration at the New York Public Library likes to pretend the renovation will not affect researchers, when pressed they insist the main building must be “democratized.” . . . .

More than anything, this rhetoric reveals the fundamentally anti-democratic worldview that has taken hold at the library. It is of a piece with what the new Masters of the Universe have accomplished in the public schools, where hedge funders have provided the lion’s share of the backing for privatization, and in the so-called reforms to our financial system, where technocrats meet behind closed doors to decide what will be best for the rest of us.. .
   •      New York Times: The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead, by  Alexandra Alter, September 22, 2015
"It's a very simple thing; only books that are on the shelves can be sold," Mr. Dohle [Markus Dohle, the chief executive of Penguin Random House] said.

[Citizens Defending Libraries comment: We would add that only books on the shelves of a library can be borrowed by visiting patrons.  That is obviously becoming more of a challenge.]
    •      Noticing New York: Internet Guru Clay Shirky Speaking At Brooklyn Heights Association Annual Meeting Says We Need Libraries Because Of Holes In The Internet, by Michael D. D. White, March 5, 2014. 
. . .Tim Wu and Lewis Hyde, two names . .  that Mr. Shirky would have to know, who both write about the impoverishment of the public sphere, Wu writing about how it occurs when media industries inevitably trend toward monopoly and Hyde talking about the disappearance of the public commons through increasingly privatizated ownership of the ideas and information we consume. . .
    •      Citizens Defending Libraries: Testimony By Citizens Defending Libraries At June 27, 2013 State Assembly Committee Hearing On Selling New York City Libraries, June 27, 2013, (see also similar testimony before the New York City Council September 30, 2013 and March 11, 2014
Dear Committee:
         
While many of us are well aware that these proposed library sell-offs represent real estate deals that privatize publicly-owned assets there is another associated concern about privatization that should not be overlooked.  Library officials talking about getting rid of books are at the same time discussing digitizing and relying on digital content sometime in the future even if their plans are not yet ready for prime time).

But we must be wary that there are many who see the digitized future in terms of an increasingly privatized future where corporations pushing for various plans expect to make a lot of money
by controlling digitized information, in many cases, by charging the public for what's already owned by the public in public collections that are being put out of reach.

Many consider that this was the principal motivation behind the sickening 1995 hollowing-out of the San Francisco Public Library collections, which was underwritten with big-ticket contributions from telecoms and Silicon Valley.

Digital activist Aaron Swartz warned about this disturbing trend:

    The world’s entire scientific ... heritage ... is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations....The Open Access Movement has fought valiantly to ensure that scientists do not sign their copyrights away but instead ensure their work is published on the Internet, under terms that allow anyone to access it.
In the future we may expect that after the libraries have contracted out to privatize content we will be charged exorbitantly high fees for what was once publicly owned.  The further irony in all of this is that much of the transcription and other work to create digitally available content may have been crowd sourced so that the public will be charged for what it once freely owned and for the result of its own freely contributed work product and intensive labor creating privatized content.

Sincerely,

Citizens Defending Libraries
   •      Library Journal: ALA vs NSA: Reflecting on Libraries and Social Media, by Woody Evans, June 14, 2013
. . . Edward Snowden is drawing lots of attention at the moment. . . .  but here I'd like to consider something that happened way back in the last decade. Forget Snowden for a minute.

Remember with me a time when librarians were freshly militant and radical. Remember January 2002, when, just a few months after the attacks we suffered, the ALA proposed this response to the USA PATRIOT Act.
[Includes "RESOLVED, That the American Library Association urges librarians everywhere to defend and support user privacy and free and open access to knowledge and information."] A year later, the proposed resolution would be adopted by the ALA Council, and library staff have been since emboldened to take such "radical" steps as to fail to keep patron book checkout records.

Edward Snowden remembered, like the militant librarians defending privacy and the 4th Amendment that came before him, that the government is for the people. But PRISM represents the kind of program that reminds us: government is not by the people any longer.  . . .

 . . . we could start by finding something to praise in Edward Snowden's decision. . . .  he, like us librarians, took a stand for patron privacy-for citizen privacy. Snowden's action give us a moment to ask some overdue questions.

If a citizen's data really is hers, shouldn't she get to say who sees it?  . . 


No matter how "radical" a librarian you may or may not have become over the last 12 years, you know the answer by now.

A comment posted on the article:

A few weeks ago, I attempted to use my county library's online book reservation system to reserve the latest Percy Jackson book for my daughter, and was more than a little horrified to see this:

"The feature you have selected is associated with personal data in your patron account. Such data may be accessed by law enforcement personnel without your consent. Do you wish to continue?" 
   •      BuzzFeedNews: Publishers Know You Didn't Finish "The Goldfinch" - Here's What That Means For The Future Of Books- The publishing industry's uneasy embrace of Netflix-style analytics, by Joseph Bernstein, January. 21, 2015.
How did [Book publisher] Kobo know this? Like every e-reader and reading-app maker today, the company, a subsidiary of the Japanese e-commerce titan Rakuten, has access to a comprehensive suite of data about the reading behavior of its users. In a white paper titled "Publishing in the Era of Big Data" and released this fall, the company announced that "with the onset of digital reading . it is now possible to know how a customer engages with the book itself - what books were left unopened, which were read to the very last word and how quickly." In other words, if you read books digitally, the people who serve you those books more than likely know just what kind of reader you are, and just how little effort you made with Infinite Jest.

* * *

Amazon and Apple - that know the most about how you read are ferociously silent about that knowledge. Both Apple and Amazon declined to comment for this piece.
    •      The Guardian: Big e-reader is watching you, by Alison Flood, July 4, 2012. 
. . . Would Orwell have been amused or disturbed by the development that Big Brother now knows exactly how long it takes readers to finish his novel, which parts they might have highlighted, and what they went on to pick up next?

Because your ebook, as a recent article in the Wall Street Journal put it, is now reading you right back.
* * * *
Back to Orwell. Nineteen Eighty-Four, says Amazon, is the 608th most-highlighted book it sells. "'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past'" has been marked by 349 Kindle users, while "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever" has been highlighted by 195. What would George have said?
        •      Center For An Urban Future: Report -Branches of Opportunity, January 2013 (emphasis supplied).
. . .  libraries could learn a lot from the Apple Store or, indeed, from many other private sector retailers and service providers. . . .Library websites attract millions of visitors a month. If they could perfect an online browsing environment with recommendations and interactive capabilities, libraries could sell advertisements and user data like any other digital media company. Knowing how a user landed on a particular book, for example, could be extremely valuable to publishers.
   •      New York Times: Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle, by Brad StoneJuly 17, 2009
In George Orwell's "1984," government censors erase all traces of news articles embarrassing to Big Brother by sending them down an incineration chute called the "memory hole."

On Friday, it was "1984" and another Orwell book, "Animal Farm," that were dropped down the memory hole - by Amazon.com.

In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of the books from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them.

* * * *

Of all the books to recall," said Charles Slater, an executive with a sheet-music retailer in Philadelphia . . . "I never imagined that Amazon actually had the right, the authority or even the ability to delete something that I had already purchased."

* * * *

Amazon appears to have deleted other purchased e-books from Kindles recently. Customers commenting on Web forums reported the disappearance of digital editions of the Harry Potter books and the novels of Ayn Rand . .
     •      New York Times: How to Survive the Next Wave of Technology Extinction, by Farhad Manjoo, February 12, 2014
If you own a Nook, the fate of your books may now be up in the air. Sorry, you bet on the wrong horse.

The Nook's fate isn't unusual these days. Technologies have always gone belly up, but tech extinctions may become even more common over the next few years.
     •      On The Media: A Wish List for Obama, December 23, 2016
BOB GARFIELD:  What are you most worried is going to disappear in a Trump administration?

Frankly, we have no idea
[what “is going to disappear in a Trump administration”] This upcoming administration is very aware of the power of the Internet and how it can be manipulated, how you can go and push things out in the middle of the night and use the journalist system in ways that are really pretty blatant. So let's at least keep a record of it.

* * *
The history of libraries is a history of loss. Libraries are burned. That's what happened in the Library of Alexandria. It will be what happens to us. I just don't know when. So let's design for it. Let's go and make copies in other places. Let's make sure people want universal access to all knowledge, that they want education based on facts. Let's go and make sure that there is an environment that supports libraries. That's the only way that, in the long term, we're going to survive, and the copies that are maybe now unique at the Internet Archive will survive 
[Audio used in our CDL YouTube video]
     •      National Notice: Snowden Revelations Considered: Is Your Library, Once Intended To Be A Protected Haven of Privacy, Spying on You?, By Michael D. D. White, March 8, 2015
During the McCarthy era there was also concern about what books were available in the libraries, how readily available certain books were and concern about the political leanings of librarians working in the libraries.

* * *

. . .  the surveillance state is interested in something else: The surveillance state wants to know what you think and for that reason the surveillance state believes that libraries should tell the government what you read.

Librarians in Connecticut were the first to successfully challenge the PATRIOT Act when the FBI, along with an accompanying perpetual gag order to keep its actions secret, demanded broadly that the Connecticut librarians turn over to the bureau library records concerning what their patrons were reading and their computer use.

* * *

Now consider this: Changes are being implemented at libraries, and the changes are particularly apparent in New York City, that would make the heroism of these librarians wanting to protect their patrons' privacy virtually meaningless except for its symbolism.
     •      Noticing New York: Snowden, Booz and the Dismantling of Libraries As We Know Them: Why Was A Private Government Spy Agency Hired to Take Apart New York's Most Important Libraries And Turn Them Into Something Else?, By Michael D. D. White, October 30, 2016.
“Booz Allen Hamilton is really an arm of the intelligence community.”. . . . with as Bloomberg Businessweek said, the "federal government as practically its sole client."  The government's surveillance work is now carried out predominantly through `private' spy organizations like Booz . .

. . .  the New York Public Library hired Booz Allen Hamilton to advise and help oversee a "radical overhaul at the NYPL . . “
 * * * *
If librarians were the first to successfully stand up and oppose the intelligence overreaching and if Booz Allen Hamilton "is really an arm of the intelligence community" involved with the federal government's "most controversial federal surveillance programs in recent years" then why was Booz Allen Hamilton hired to help reorganize the New York Public Library's most important libraries?

* * * *

Why was a top U.S. intelligence spy agency engaged for radical overhaul of libraries as we have traditionally known them?
For more about the related issue of surveillance infringing on libraries as zones of privacy and freedom of thought see our other Citizens Defending Libraries page:

     •      Citizens Defending Libraries: Articles About Library Privacy and Surveillance In Libraries

CONTACT: To contact Citizens Defending Libraries email Backpack362 (at) aol.com.You may also leave a comment with information in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

The first petition (gathered over 20,000 signatures, most of them online- available at signon.org with a background statement and can still be signed).   On June 16, Citizens Defending libraries issued a new updated petition that you can sign now:
Mayor de Blasio: Rescue Our Libraries from Developer Destruction
You can also paste the following url into your browser.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/mayor-de-blasio-rescue-2?source=s.tw&r_by=5895137

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