Tag Archives: New York City

New York City’s libraries badly in need of repairs: report

“After years of being shortchanged by the city, some of New York’s libraries look like something out of a Gothic novel — with spooky abandoned spaces, leaky ceilings and chilly rooms, a new report found. The problems are so profound that the libraries need a whopping $1.1 billion to cover routine maintenance costs, according to a joint report from the Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan libraries. At the Ulmer Park Library in Brooklyn, the leaks in the ceiling are so big that on rainy days, workers often put ripped-up garbage bags over the books to protect them.” (via NY Daily News)

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For sale: 1 million photos of NYC’s history

“Photographers from Brown Brothers hauled their cameras from Ellis Island to Broadway to Yankee Stadium to snap pictures of street urchins and socialites, hardhats and mobsters, athletes and entertainers, capturing nearly every aspect of New York City life in the first six decades of the 20th century. Now, the more than 1 million photographs and negatives the company compiled are up for sale.” (via The Washington Post)

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Floating library breathes new life into historic steamship

“How much new life can be breathed into an 81-year-old steamship? According to Beatrice Glow, plenty. Over the next four weeks, the Lilac Museum Steamship, berthed at Pier 25 on the Hudson River in lower Manhattan, is home to the “Floating Library” — a space for people to gather, read, discuss and create. The only rule on deck is to power off and stow your cell phone.” (via Metro.us)

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The Library Fight in Plain Sight

“New York City loves its libraries. People are passionate about them, they feel a connection to their libraries, and have a deep personal ownership over them. New Yorkers don’t like to have their libraries messed with. They want them to have more resources and be able to do more. New Yorkers love libraries and we are looking to our political leadership to support that love. There is, unfortunately, a Tale of Two Cities to be told about libraries in New York City. There are flagship libraries and there are branch libraries and the branch libraries are understaffed, underfunded and breaking down. The libraries themselves continue to do incredible work even in difficult circumstances and the staff are dedicated even when they are too few.” (via Huffington Post)

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Now Available on Ancestry.com: New York City Vital Records

“Did you hear the news out of New York? We have teamed up with the New York City Department of Records/Municipal Archives to bring indexes to more than 10 million New York City birth, marriage, and death records for the years 1866–1948. You can search the indexes free from a new landing page at www.Ancestry.com/NewYork, where you’ll find other new releases as well, including the 1855 and 1875 New York state censuses.” (via Ancestry.com)

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Is the End of the School Library Upon Us? Budget Cuts Hit Librarians Where it Hurts

“Paul McIntosh of Wadleigh Secondary School in Harlem has spent the past 10 years building what he calls “an environment where young people can explore all dimensions of the human experience.” He recruits big-name guests for his popular speaker series, publishes an annual poetry anthology, even acts as an unofficial guidance counselor to any student who reaches out to him for help. For those struggling with school, personal problems, even thoughts of suicide, the school library is one place they can go to find solace. Whether it’s a transgendered student being bullied or a shy writer trying to find his voice, McIntosh says kids have, for years, turned to him for support.” (via Alternet)

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City Librarians Push Back to Protect Jobs

“New York City school librarians are fighting back. A group of librarians and parents held a rally Wednesday morning to protest the city’s request for a waiver from state librarian staffing requirements. Standing on the steps of Tweed Courthouse, the Department’s downtown Manhattan headquarters, librarians said they couldn’t just be replaced by a computer in a classroom.” (via WSJ)

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City Schools Are Quietly Using Fewer Librarians

“A difficult new chapter is under way for librarians in New York City public schools. Officials estimate more than half of the city’s high schools are in violation of state regulations that require schools to employ either part-time or full-time librarians, depending on enrollment. Now, the Department of Education is preparing to ask the state to waive those requirements, arguing city schools can provide adequate library services even if there isn’t a librarian in every school. New York would be the first district in the state to receive such a waiver, state officials said.” (via WSJ)

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A Library Where the Hush Is Over Its Very Existence

“Nothing on the street outside says that it is there. First-time visitors must push through a revolving door of a court building in Lower Manhattan on faith, and hear their footsteps echo across a vast marble lobby before they finally glimpse a set of wooden double doors near a staircase leading down to a goblin-dark basement. This is the entrance to the City Hall Library, open to all yet known to relatively few and visible to just about no one. “I didn’t even know this was here. Is it open to the public?” Ydanis Rodriguez, a City Council member from Manhattan, asked as he recently entered it for the first time, even though it is a short walk from his offices.” (via NYTimes.com)

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City Hall Protestors Rally Against Sale of Libraries

“John C. Liu, the city comptroller and a Democratic candidate for mayor, on Thursday spoke out against selling public libraries into private hands.“Our city libraries are civic treasures, and they should be treated as such,” Mr. Liu said in a statement released after his appearance at a rally on the steps of City Hall. ”Selling our libraries to private corporations trades a small, short-term gain for a big, permanent loss.” (via NYTimes.com)

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