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, May 24, 2016

Historic District’s Council Award to Library Defenders Including Citizens Defending Libraries

This page will be updated.

Leslie Kaufman od Library Lovers League, Charles Warren of Committee to Save the New York Public Library, Michael D. D. White and Carolyn McIntyre of Citizens Defending Libraries and Jeffery Kroessler the HDC presenter of the award.  Check out HDC's Faebook page for some of these good photos.
HDC Board member, professor and librarian Jeffery Kroessler delivering wonderful introduction to the library defnding award
Michael D. D. White of Citizens Defending Libraries and Leslie Kaufman of Library Lovers League

The award and program

HDC Executive Director Simeon Bankoff commencing the evening

Lynn Ellsworth of New Yorkers for a Human Scale City a coalition of which CDL is a part.  New Yorkers for a Human Scale City also got an award.

City Councilman Ben Kalos who also got an award: "Friend In High Places"
Just briefly-
    •    There was a lot of focus on the libraries at the Historic District Council awards evening event, particularly the Brooklyn Heights Library fight and new developments in regard thereto.
    •        There was much talk in the various addresses to the audiences about the Federal investigation re the Brooklyn Heights Library sale
    •        The introduction for the award to the library groups (by Jeffrey Kroessler)  was spot-on and astute in framing the issues and also had a nice focus on the way that BPL trustees in place at the BPL are largely antithetical to its mission.
    •    New Yorkers for a Human Scale New York also got an award which was a nice tie-in since it was only slightly more than two weeks ago we did the City hall steps press conference with them asking for the Preet investigation we just got word has now surfaced.
    •    Beverly Moss Spatt got a lifetime achievement award along with us and part of her introduction was the reading aloud to the audience of a letter she had published in the New York Times opposing the sale of the Brooklyn Heights Library (one we actually have up on our website.)
    •    Of course it was also important to tie this all in with the new NYPL Harlem Library sale, Pacific Street, Sunset Park, Central Library Plan, SIBL, Donnell, etc.-  Connect all the dots.
In short, it was a very valuable evening that will be significant in helping us continue the fight we need.  Also, without naming names of those who have remained anonymous in the generosity, we want to recognize with great thanks that there were angels at the event who have been important, financially and otherwise, in accomplishing some of the things we have needed to accomplish in some of our very critical fights, contributing significantly to our victories.
The event was Tuesday, May 24, 6pm - 8pm, at
Saint Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery
131 E 10th Street
New York, New York 10003
Here is the Press Release about the event
2016 Grassroots Awards and Preservation Party Press Release, by Historic Districts Council on Thursday, May 19, 2016
Here is what the press release says about the award for our library work- NOTE that it mentions our "Citizens Audit and Investigation into the library sales and shrinkages" that zeroed in early on the Brooklyn Heights Library sale, a precursor to the criminal investigation now unfolding:
The Committee to Save the New York Public Library (CSNYPL), Citizens Defending Libraries (CDL) and the Library Lovers League (LLL) each formed to fight recent development plans which threatened New York City's libraries. In 2011, the New York Public Library announced the Central Library Plan to sell the Mid-Manhattan and the Science, Industry and Business Libraries and demolish the historic research stacks in the 42nd Street Library. CSNYPL helped put faces and voices to the countless people who were staunchly against the plan, which was abandoned in 2014, thanks in large part to the group's advocacy efforts. In addition to opposing the Central Library Plan, the CDL has fought the proposed redevelopment and loss of many historic libraries around the city, including the Pacific, Red Hook and Sunset Park Branches in Brooklyn, through protests, outreach and petitions. CDL also launched a Citizens Audit and Investigation into the library sales and shrinkages to raise awareness and funds for the city's libraries. The LLL is a loose assemblage of longtime organizers, media experts and practitioners who have contributed to the successful campaigns to save the Pacific Branch Library in Brooklyn from demolition, and the NY Public Library's proposed Central Library Plan.
As noted, there was also be an award to New Yorkers for a Human-Scale City coalition that CDL is also a part of and that just recently was part of a press conference we and other community groups joined in on the steps of city hall calling for Preet Bharara to investigate de Blasio's "pay to play" operations (including specifically the library), which, with the new criminal investigation of the library sale is now actually underway.

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