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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Hundreds From Inwood Community Resoundingly Oppose Plans For Library Sale and Rezoning- Here’s The News Coverage

Manhattan Times:  Opposition to rezoning resounds/Resuena oposición a la rezonificación
Six hundred residents from the Inwood Community came out before the Manhattan Community Board 12 to `resoundingly” oppose the proposed sale of the Inwood Library for redevelopment and upzoning of the Inwood community to which real estate interests working with city and library officials have wedded that sale.  We understand that, in addition to the 600 residents who got into the meeting, not all of whom could testify, there were probably another 200 members fo the community who were turned away, unable to even get in to the meeting.

Here is recent coverage of what is happening in Inwood.
•    Manhattan Times:  Opposition to rezoning resounds/Resuena oposición a la rezonificación, by Sherry Mazzocchi, February 28, 2018.  (Note: We find it fascinating that the Manhattan Times, important for its political influence and when it supports local politicians, is published by Luis A. Miranda, Jr. Who is in turn the father of a very famous resident of Inwood, Lin-Manuel Miranda so well known for the Broadway musical “Hamilton.”
•    City Limits600 People Pack Board’s Inwood Rezoning Hearing, By Abigail Savitch-Lew, February 23, 2018.

•    City Limits:  Ahead of Rezoning Hearing, Inwood Groups Release Merged Platform, By Abigail Savitch-Lew, February 22, 2018

•    Congressmember Adriano Espaillat Press Release: Inwood Library Plan a Trojan Horse for Uptown, March 6, 2018.
Interestingly, plans for the Inwood Library were just released, but they were released too late for community residents to comment on them at the hearing.  Interesting tactic on timing.
•    Curbed: Inwood Library redevelopment will create 175 affordable apartments- The apartments will be part of a 14-story building with a new three-story library at the base of the structure, by Tanay Warerkar, March 7, 2018.
Here is the testimony that Citizens Defending Libraries delivered to the community board:
•    Testimony Respecting Proposed Sale of Inwood Library for Redevelopment and Upzoning of the Inwood Community, February 20, 2018
The community's message in chalk outside the library vs. that of elected officials creating "done deals" without public knowledge or participation: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer standing next to City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez in blue suit as he promotes 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. The man with the lowered head is a PR official from the NYPL.

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