Tag Archives: NYPL

Q&A: Library President on Failed Renovation Plan

“When it was announced last week that the New York Public Library was suddenly scrapping its ambitious and embattled plan to gut-renovate its iconic central branch and move many of its books to New Jersey, we had a lot of questions. Did the reversal have anything to do with the turnover at City Hall from development-happy Bloomberg to de Blasio, who’d protested the so-called Central Library Plan as public advocate? If ballooning cost estimates were the culprit, as library president Tony Marx conceded, how much had they risen from the projected $300 million, and why did it take an independent survey to discover that? What would eventually be done with the library stacks, which remain intact but unusable? Marx, who’s made the renovation a keystone of his tenure at the library, agreed to our Q&A, but only by email, and only after the questions were severely pared down. In the intervening week, he’s kept most interviews off the record and limited extensive comment to an essay in the Library Journal — a smooth blend of calm explication and revisionist history that, like the planning itself, falls a little short of real transparency.” (via NYMag)

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The Huxtable New York Public Library

“It’s fair to say that the New York Public Library’s announcement last week that it is scrapping its controversial renovation plan probably never would have happened but for the efforts of Ada Louise Huxtable, the Journal’s late architecture critic. In 2008, the library announced a plan of consolidation and renovation that called for selling the Mid-Manhattan circulating library and the Science, Industry and Business branch, their functions to be absorbed into the Stephen A. Schwarzman building on Fifth Avenue, the library’s flagship facility and principal research arm. To make room, seven floors of stacks under its Rose Main Reading Room would be demolished, the books divided between existing storage in New Jersey and new storage under Bryant Park. The projected cost was $300 million, with slightly more than half coming from the city of New York.” (via WSJ.com)

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Public Library Is Abandoning Disputed Plan for Landmark

In a striking about-face, the New York Public Library has abandoned its much-disputed renovation plan to turn part of its research flagship on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street into a circulating library and instead will refurbish the nearby Mid-Manhattan Library, several library trustees said. “When the facts change, the only right thing to do as a public-serving institution is to take a look with fresh eyes and see if there is a way to improve the plans and to stay on budget,” Anthony W. Marx, the library’s president, said on Wednesday.” (via NYTimes.com)

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N.Y. Public Library Plans Face-to-Face ‘Classes’ for MOOC Students

“In a pilot program with Coursera, the New York Public Library plans to organize meet-ups at which people taking massive open online courses can gather and discuss the courses with help from “trained facilitators.” The partnership is part the MOOC company’s effort to build an infrastructure for in-person learning around its free online courses. Research has suggested that MOOC students who receive offline help earn higher scores on their assessments.” (via The Chronicle of Higher Education)

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Lawsuit Questions NYPL Overhaul

“A group of scholars has filed a third lawsuit aiming to block the New York Public Library’s controversial renovation, this time alleging that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg mishandled the city’s environmental review of the project. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, criticizes Mr. Bloomberg for issuing a decision on the project’s environmental impact on Dec. 17—the same day the library submitted the final draft of its application.” (via WSJ.com)

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Mayor de Blasio’s allies call for shelving $150 million allotted for Fifth Ave. library renovations

“Some of Mayor de Blasio’s closest allies — including Susan Sarandon and the Rev. Al Sharpton — are asking City Hall to kill $150 million in capital funding for renovations on the New York Public Library’s Fifth Ave. main branch. The advocates want de Blasio to reallocate that money toward struggling branch libraries.

“Taking money away from branch libraries to subsidize NYPL’s real estate plans will hurt students, seniors, immigrants (and) job seekers,” the coalition wrote in a letter to de Blasio.” (via NY Daily News)

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The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Acquires Collections of George Avakian and Anahid Ajemian

“The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts has acquired the archives of George Avakian and Anahid Ajemian, the husband and wife whose remarkable careers each helped shape the music industry, as well as produce and record some of its greatest stars. The Avakian Collection will provide the most complete documentation of the work of a 20th century recording executive, whose career with Columbia Records and other labels encompasses a golden age of recorded jazz, popular and classical music. The Ajemian Collection offers access to one of the foremost violin and piano duos of its time, which commissioned, premiered and recorded works by some of the most prominent classical composers of the 20th century. Together, their collections form an extraordinary resource for the study of jazz, popular and modern classical music, the recording industry, and more.” (via The New York Public Library)

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Junot Diaz, Jonathan Lethem, Art Spiegelman join protest against New York Public Library renovation

“New York literary heavyweights are joining the opposition to the City’s plans to renovate the New York Public Library’s central branch. Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman contributed a cartoon to the Library Lovers League, the organization coordinating the protest to the plan. In the image, a vicious, dollar sign-spotted leopard rips books dripping in blood out of the body of the iconic lion statue in front of the 42nd street branch. The caption is simple: “Don’t Gut Our Lions.” To date, seven Pulitzer Prize winners, including “This Is How You Lose Her” author Junot Diaz, have weighed in to protest the NYPL Central plan, which would demolish the 42nd Street Library’s seven story stacks and replace them with a circulating library, pushing 1.5 million volumes to a holding center in central New Jersey.” (via NY Daily News)

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Open Access Maps at NYPL

“The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division is very proud to announce the release of more than 20,000 cartographic works as high resolution downloads. We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions.* To the extent that some jurisdictions grant NYPL an additional copyright in the digital reproductions of these maps, NYPL is distributing these images under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. The maps can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page, and downloaded (!), through the Map Warper” (via The New York Public Library)

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Books You Might Like! The New York Public Library Launches Recommendations by Bookish in Online Catalog

“The New York Public Library NYPL launched today a state-of-the-art book recommendation tool in its online catalog, BiblioCommons, to help Library users discover new books based on their reading preferences. Powered by Bookish Recommends from New York startup Zola Books, the online program connects people to a broader selection of the library’s vast collection by offering relevant book suggestions.“Discovering a new book is essential to further a love of reading.  Working with Bookish, the Library is able to offer our users with a unique resource that supports their interests and fosters the joy of discovery,” said Mary Lee Kennedy, NYPL’s Chief Library Officer.” (via The New York Public Library)

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