NYT – “The New York Public Library on Wednesday rekindled its ambitious $1 billion plan to overhaul its branches and renovate its Fifth Avenue flagship. The plan, which will now involve selling two of the system’s best-known libraries — the Mid-Manhattan branch and the Science, Industry and Business Library — was announced in 2008, when it was expected to be substantially completed by 2014. But the plan languished because of the economic downturn and changes in the library’s leadership.”
Press Release – “Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York, today announced a grant of $5 million to the three New York City public library systems: the New York Public Library, Queens Library and Brooklyn Public Library. The grant will enhance the libraries’ ability to serve the public in general and the city’s 1.1 million public school children in particular.”
WSJ – “One of the more incongruous aspects of the drunken-driving arrest of the New York Public Library’s president recently was his car: a library-owned Audi. For many New Yorkers, the discovery that the library had a German luxury car in its fleet didn’t quite jibe with its image as a city-funded nonprofit with the most democratic of missions. “Why an Audi?” said Kola Adeyemi, a 27-year-old accountant who was studying for an exam Thursday at the main branch on Fifth Avenue. “Why can’t it be a regular sedan? The public library? That just doesn’t jell.”
NYT – ““I’ve been reading up on the history of the place,” the composer and performer Ben Frost said. “It’s important to know your enemy.” Somehow he managed suppress even a hint of a grin. All right, then, take him at his word. As enemies go, this one is formidable. It is the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, the 100-year-old fortress with the big marble lions that keep watch by the steps. He was standing next to Patience, the lion on the downtown side, as he talked about performing at the library on Sunday — not on the steps between the lions, but in the Rose Main Reading Room.
WSJ – “A pilot program between the world’s largest circulating library and the nation’s biggest public school system is allowing New York City teachers to borrow books online and have them delivered directly to classrooms for the first time. The school system’s partnership with the New York Public Library—set to be announced Monday—lets teachers at more than 50 schools borrow up to 100 books at a time, including sets for an entire class, officials told The Wall Street Journal. The schools’ students also will get library cards. “What this offers students is access to a world of resources well beyond what their school library can stock,” said Gregg Betheil, the Department of Education’s executive director for school programs and partnerships.”
NY Daily News – “A performance space, a computer bar, a Blu-ray DVD player, a satellite TV. This is not your childhood library. But it is what lucky uptown kids will now have at the Hamilton Grange branch in Harlem, along with lots of books. The 4,400-square-foot, high-tech teen center opened this week, the first of its kind in northern Manhattan and the fifth teen center to be opened in the New York Public Library’s three boroughs.”
WSJ – “With e-books growing in popularity among library users, the New York Public Library is considering going a step further—and loaning out the e-readers themselves. According to Anthony Marx, the president of the New York Public Library, the system, which serves more than 2.2 million borrowers, is exploring making e-readers available for checkout, though no time frame has been set. The move, he said, would be a natural extension of the library’s mission to get people to “read more and think more.”
NYT – “Robert Cox walked into the public library on City Island in the Bronx the other day to read the daily papers and to grab a handful of cherry tomatoes from a bowl of fresh produce next to the checkout counter. “You better not spit them out – I grew them myself,” Gary Makufka, a library staff member, said as a rib. Mr. Makufka was not kidding about growing them himself. Services at libraries can be vast and varied these days, but try finding a library whose staff grows fruit and vegetables for the patrons in a garden out back.
CBS – “Advocates were at City Hall Friday urging against proposed budget cuts that would eliminate workers and reduce hours at New York City’s three library systems. The $90.3 million in potential cuts to library services at the New York Public Library, Queens Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library would also have a significant impact on public Internet access.”
Daily News – “Thursday at noon, New Yorkers, determined to defend their libraries, will descend on City Hall for a rally billed as Stand Up for Libraries.
The reasons to attend are plentiful. If Mayor Bloomberg’s budget is approved, the three city library systems – Queens, Brooklyn and New York (serving the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island) – will be decimated.
Already reeling from the economic slowdown, the skyrocketing cost of living and the threat of Draconian cuts to schools, the Fire Department, health clinics and parks, New Yorkers would suffer another blow to their diminishing quality of life.”