A big thanks to everyone who braved the elements to attend our Valentine’s Day rally outside the 42nd Street library yesterday! It was great to see so many dedicated individuals show their support for the defense of public libraries. Although it was bitterly cold, Rev. Billy warmed our hearts with his fiery oratory.
Framed by Edward Potter’s Patience and Fortitude, library advocates delivered impassioned speeches decrying the actions of out-of-touch trustees and demanding the books be returned to the stacks. Chanting “Bring back the books!” and “Open the Rose Reading Room!” we raised awareness about the imperiled research library to the countless pedestrians along Fifth Avenue. The rally ended with a solemn procession up the monumental library steps to lay roses at the entrance in honor of our beloved Rose reading room and the empty stacks that truly serve as the heart of this great building.
Yesterday’s demonstration was only a small part of our ongoing efforts to bring greater accountability to the New York Public Library. We will not rest until library officials acknowledge the need for more transparency and public input when planning for the library’s future.
Photographs courtesy of Zack Winestine.