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.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Our Message For the May 15, 2015 City Hall Rally to Respond to de Blasio's Budget Underfunding the Libraries

Here is our message for the May 15, 2015 City Hall rally to Respond to de Blasio's currently proposed budget underfunding our New York City libraries.

What’s wrong with this picture?

A “progressive” mayor who didn’t restore or make up for the Bloomberg cuts is cutting funding to NYC libraries yet again!  This after everyone said a phony “budget dance” that needed to end was over?  Adding to this injury, de Blasio is projecting future capital fund expenditures on libraries at an insultingly low level for the next ten years!

That’s the same mayor who says that “income inequality . .growing, rampant income inequality” is the “crisis of our times” because we have “an economy that is basically supporting the 1%.”

Libraries, the tiniest fraction of the city’s budget (less than 1%), cost little to fund in the overall scheme of things, particularly given their benefit.. .

 . . . Yet de Blasio’s underfunding follows one of the best ever, most publicized campaigns to restore funding with the New York Times opining that NYC’s “utterly essential libraries” need money and the cuts restored, noting that in de Blasio’s New York, while libraries were starved, money flowed copiously to the “seldom neglected . . . corporate and entertainment infrastructure.”

The only problem with this campaign for funding?: It never mentioned that failure to replenish these gutted funds will be cited as a reason to sell off and shrink libraries like the Tillary Clinton Library in Brooklyn Heights, the 34th Street Science, Industry and Business Library, the Red Hook Library, the Pacific Branch and others.  Remember Donnell!

Bear in mind: Cuts in funding to the libraries commenced when plans were originated to cite such underfunding as a rationale to sell and shrink libraries throughout New York.

And as Mr. de Balsio said when he was running for mayor (July 12, 2013):
    “It’s public land and public facilities and public land under threat. . . and once again we see, lurking right behind the curtain, real estate developers who are very anxious to get their hands on these valuable properties”
Sign our petition on the web: Citizens Defending Libraries