“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 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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“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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“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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“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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“I’m the guy eating chicken in the viral photo of the New York Public Library. I’m a library nerd. But all nerds need a library” (via theguardian.com)
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“The writing’s on the library. Protestors will gather in front of the New York Public Library’s 42nd Street branch Wednesday night to rally against a controversial plan that would see seven floors of the beloved bibliotheca’s stacks demolished – and have chosen to illuminate their cause, quite literally. Library Lovers League blasted several images on the landmarked Fifth Ave. Stephen A. Schwarzman building, blaring out messages like, “Save Our Stacks!” “Not For Sale,” and another imploring Mayor Bill de Blasio to help save the public library.” (via New York Daily News)
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“The New York Public Library (NYPL) is reopening its Washington Heights branch on March 3 following an extensive renovation of the 100-year-old Carnegie library – offering users a branch that features expanded public space, modern amenities and better accessibility for patrons with a new ADA elevator, LULA lift and exterior ramp. The completion of the renovation nearly coincides with the Library’s centennial anniversary on February 26. The 17,000 square foot branch at 1000 St. Nicholas Avenue will officially open with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 3 with community leaders and library staff. Residents and students from nearby schools are also invited to participate in the day-long festivities, which include programs throughout the day for all ages and a birthday cake to celebrate the Library’s 100th birthday the week before.” (via The New York Public Library)
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“As a candidate last summer, Bill de Blasio told Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg that New York City should stop financing the ambitious renovation of the Fifth Avenue flagship of the New York Public Library until someone figured out how much it was all going to cost. Now that Mr. de Blasio is mayor, he holds that very power, and people on both sides of the question are weighing in on how he should wield it as the city budgeting process begins.” (via NYTimes.com)
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“Angry bookworms say they were duped into signing a petition asking Mayor de Blasio to support the New York Public Library’s controversial central-library plan. The top of the NYPL’s online pledge, launched Jan. 16, asks the mayor and City Council to generally support the library, praising the good it does for the city. But farther down, the letter calls for “a renovated central branch library” — with no mention that two branches, including the Mid-Manhattan Library, would be sold off to create it” (via New York Post)
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