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, February 8, 2017

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s State of The Borough Address 2017: Ms. Brewer Summons “Activists” Offering “Get Involved” Instruction (Even As She Condones Selling Key Manhattan Libraries Out From Under The Public Using Them)!!

Manhattan Gale Brewer has a webpage up for her "activist" themed 2017 “State of the Borough” event.  It urges: “Get involved in the new era of activism!” That’s even while Ms. Brewer is assisting in the kind of Stephen Schwarzman library sale schemes that impoverish the public and make the wealthiest wealthier.
February 6, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer sent out invitations announcing the “activist” “get involved” theme of her upcoming Sunday, February 12th “State of the Borough” event (see text of email below).  This is at the very same time when Ms. Brewer is letting two key Manhattan libraries be sold by the NYPL with her blessing, SIBL- The 34th Street Science, Industry and Business Library at 34th street, and the very heavily used and recently renovated and expanded Inwood Library. These libraries are being sold in deals that are on their face calculated to benefit those at the other end of the real estate transactions, certainly not the patrons using these libraries.

SIBL is being sold for a suspiciously low price.  The central destination science library that is a part of SIBL is being done away with completely (part of an NYPL plan to stop collecting science books).  This is what’s being done in the age of Trump when the federal government has just eliminated from its web pages all the science about climate change and issued orders to muffle scientists working for the government to prevent them from communicating what they know.  More than a million books are disappearing from SIBL and its sale is part of an overall shrinkage that affects the Mid-Manhattan Library where “new designs” accompany another wholesale disappearance of books.

For more about the sale of SIBL (and who it is being sold to) see:
•    Noticing New York: As NYPL Senior Execs Present Pretty Pictures To City Council Of Expensive Mid-Manhattan Do-Over Renovation They Neglect To Mention One Thing: Rush To Immediately Sell SIBL (at a suspiciously low price?) To Very Interesting Buyer (Wednesday, January 11, 2017)
More about Ms. Brewer and the SIBL sale here:
•    Citizens Defending Libraries: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer Exchanges Correspondence With NYPL President Anthony W. Marx About Sale of SIBL, (And Emails Constituents About It DURING City Council Hearing) Wednesday, December 10, 2014
More about the breaking news concerning the proposed sale to turn the Inwood Library into a real estate deal (and Ms. Brewer showing up to say good things about it) here:
•    Citizens Defending Libraries: NYPL Announces It's Intention To Sell Inwood Library (Enlarged and renovated in 2001) For Redevelopment- Is This What Gets Called a "Robin Hood" Deal These Days?   
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer standing next to City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez in blue suit where he has come to even to promote the sale of the Inwood Library.  The man with the folded arms on Gale Brewer's other side is from de Blasio's HPD, also there to promote the sale of the Inwood Library.
Ditto on Gale Brewer dittoing library sales- same info as caption above.
Meanwhile, on the board of the NYPL pushing these kinds of deals we see Stephen Schwarzman.  Just the other day, when Trump announced that he would roll back all the regulation of Wall Street and the financial industry that was passed to deal with and prevent a repeat of the nation’s 2008 debacle and financial meltdown he sat with a round table of 1% mega-moguls.  The one sitting next to him was Schwarzman.  And Trump has appointed Shwarzman the head of a new council to advise him on economic policy.  The predicted advice: More and more privatization of public assets!

For more on this (and the connection of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Schwarzman to the worst NYPL library sale ever in Manhattan ever) see:
•    Citizens Defending Libraries: Who Is Jared Kushner (Trump's Son-in-law) In Relation To The Sale of Libraries And The Sell-Off Of Public Assets
•    Noticing New York: Donald Trump (Whose Son-In-Law Was In on Donnell Library Sale) Puts Library-Selling Stephen Schwarzman In Charge of Economic Policy
Why is Gale Brewer promoting the implementation of such schemes?  Giving away our public assets to benefit the plunderers only weaken us, sapping our strength in the long haul fight we are in and it stuffs the war chests of those who would plunder more.

And we don't need our true activists sidelined or co-opted by those in service to other agenda.

The library defending activists of Citizens Defending Libraries will be at Ms. Brewer’s activist-summoning event.  Come join us.  If you are a twitterer come to the Brewer event prepared to tweet.

Call and email Ms. Brewer and tell her it is time for her to start opposing library sale in the borough of Manhattan for which she is responsible.
Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
(212) 669-8300
1 Centre St 19th Floor
New York NY 10007
At the end of the Ms. Brewer's event we will meet in the lobby (or, if necessary, just outside).  From there we will look for a nearby venue for library defenders to meet and strategize.

Ms. Brewer has a webpage up for her activist speech event (where you can RSVP) and here is Ms. Brewer’s email.    
Dear Friend,

Please join me for my third "State of the Borough" event at 2:00 pm Sunday, February 12, at Manhattan Center, 311 West 34th Street (near 8th Ave.)

This year's theme to be discussed is a how-to: "Get involved in the New Era of Activism."

We'll have my remarks, a panel discussion (guests TBA), light refreshments, and a Manhattan Activist Fair- a wide range of social action groups that need your help.

Please RSVP online at SOTB-2017.eventbrite.com or, if you lack internet access, by phone at (212) 669-8300.

Hope to see you on the 12th!
Again, the date and time for this “State of the Borough” event is:
Sunday, February 12, 2017
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST

Manhattan Center
311 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001

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