Monthly Archives: July 2013

In recent weeks there have been so many developments in the effort to stop the Central Library Plan, it’s been hard to keep up! So here is a re-cap, as well as ways you can get involved.

BILL DE BLASIO TAKES OUR SIDE!
Last Friday New York City Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio announced his opposition to the Central Library Plan (CLP). He held a press conference in front of the main library at 42nd Street, expressing concern that the removal of the stacks from the 42nd Street Library and the sale of branch libraries will significantly reduce services and limit public accessibility. In a letter to Mayor Bloomberg, de Blasio called for an independent audit of the costs associated with the CLP. For more information, click here:
http://pubadvocate.nyc.gov/libraries

LEGAL ACTION HALTS STACKS REMOVAL – FOR NOW:
Two lawsuits have recently been filed against the CLP. One requests all work be stopped until all proper permits were filed. The other claims that the removal of the stacks is a violation of a 1978 agreement between the NYPL and the State of New York. The lawsuits have been covered widely in the press. Follow these links for press releases and press coverage on each suit:

Opponents Sue to Block New York Public Library Renovation Plan
New York Times
By PATRICIA COHEN
Published: July 4, 2013
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/opponents-sue-to-block-new-york-public-library-renovation-plan/

New York Public Library is Sued Over Book Plan
New York Times
By ROBIN POGREBIN
Published: July 10, 2013
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/10/new-york-public-library-is-sued-over-book-plan/

INDEPENDENT REVIEW PROMISED FOLLOWING PUBLIC HEARING CALLED BY ASSEMBLYMEMBER MICAH KELLNER!
Following the New York State Assembly’s Committee on Libraries and Education Technology hearing on June 27, at which over 50 people testified in opposition to the CLP, NYPL president Anthony Marx promised to commission an independent review of the cost of the CLP and to release an analysis of the costs of rehabilitating the Mid-Manhattan, and branch libraries across the city. This is a huge victory, and has long been one of our demands; the NYPL’s agreement to engage in such a review is an important step forward. We are confidant that facts and clear analysis will defeat this destructive plan. The headline of the New York Times’ excellent article about the hearing sums up the situation: “Critics Prompt New Review of Library Plan.” This is happening because of the work that all of you have done to oppose the Central Library Plan. For more information about the hearing, see these articles:

Critics Prompt New Review of Library Plan
New York Times
By ROBIN POGREBIN
Published: June 27, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/28/arts/design/critics-prompt-new-review-of-library-plan.html?_r=1&

CSNYPL Website:
NYPL Agrees to Independent Review of Central Library Plan!
Posted on July 1, 2013
http://savenypl.org/nypl-agrees-to-independent-review-of-central-library-plan/

Video of the hearing can be accessed here:
http://nystateassembly.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=684

Take Action!

Please send an email or letter to Commissioner Rose Harvey at the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, to let her know you don’t want the New York Public Library to remove the stacks from the 42nd Street Library. Urge her to draw a line in the sand with respect to this National Historic Landmark, which deserves the highest level of consideration and sensitivity. Urge her to require that alternatives to drastically altering the building be investigated.

Mailing Address:
Commissioner Rose Harvey
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation
Albany, NY 12238

Website Contact Form:
http://nysparks.com/about/contact-us.aspx

Please email or call Bill de Blasio’s office and thank him for speaking out against the CLP. Contact America Canas, Director of Constituent Services, at [email protected], or call 212 669 7250.

Please email or call Micah Kellner’s office and thank him for calling the State Assembly committee public hearing on the sell-off of New York City’s public libraries on June 27. Contact Assemblyman Kellner at [email protected], or call 212 860 4906.

Please Donate! The Committee to Save the New York Public Library is a volunteer-run organization but every little bit helps! Thank you everyone who has supported our efforts. Together we can stop this plan! All donations are fully tax-deductable; please visit the Donate page on our website at: http://savenypl.org/donate/

The Committee to Save the New York Public Library is joining Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio at a press conference TOMORROW, July 12, where he will announce his opposition to the Central Library Plan and the sale of New York City public libraries for private development.

What:   Press Conference with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio
When:  Friday, July 12, 10:30 AM
Where: The Steps of the 42nd Street Library

Please attend this very important event!  We must show our support for public officials who take a stand against the Central Library Plan and the sale of our libraries!  Only through a big turn-out can we demonstrate to our public officials and candidates for public office the impact of the proposed library sales and shrinkage of the library system on the average New Yorker.  This is an election year.  Let Mr. de Blasio, and and other politicians, know we want to hear what they have to say!

Citizens Defending Libraries is also rallying its members to attend this press conference to show their opposition to the sale and shrinkage of branch libraries in Brooklyn and across the city.

It’s short notice, but the more people we have the more powerful our message!  Please be there and bring friends!

 

Thursday’s State Assembly hearing on the Central Library Plan and the New York Public Library’s plans to sell off branch libraries was a tremendous success!  The room was jammed to capacity with over 125 people who shared our concerns; more than 50 spoke eloquently and passionately in favor of saving the 42nd Street Library, the Mid-Manhattan, and branch libraries across the city.

Under pressure from Assemblymember Micah Kellner, who chaired the hearing, NYPL President Anthony Marx promised to commission an independent review of the cost of the Central Library Plan, and to release an analysis of the costs of rehabilitating the Mid-Manhattan library on its existing site.

This is a big victory. An independent review of both the cost of the Central Library Plan and the cost of alternatives such as renovating the Mid-Manhattan has long been one of our demands; the NYPL’s agreement to engage in such a review is an important step forward. We are confidant that facts and clear analysis will defeat this destructive plan.

The headline of the New York Times’ excellent article about the hearing sums up the situation: “Critics Prompt New Review of Library Plan.”  This is happening because of the work that all of you have done to oppose the Central Library Plan.  For more information about the hearing, please see the NY Times article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/28/arts/design/critics-prompt-new-review-of-library-plan.html?_r=1&

The devil, of course, is in the details.  We must keep up the pressure in order to ensure that the review is thorough, accurate, and genuinely independent. Assemblymember Kellner has promised additional hearings, and we will work hard to hold the NYPL to its promises.

Our campaign needs your help. Securing experts, organizing rallies, increasing our online presence, and all the other things we are doing to raise awareness of this critical issue cost money. Any assistance you can give is immensely appreciated and will help us get all our voices heard.  If you can, please make a tax-deductible donation of any size (using credit card, paypal, or check) by going to:

http://savenypl.org/donate

Forward!