Lydia Davis: Central Library Plan “Would Take the Very Heart Out of One of NYC’s Finest Institutions”


Strong words of support from prize-winning author and MacArthur Fellow Lydia Davis:

I couldn’t feel more strongly about the importance of keeping the 42nd Street research library intact, restoring the books to its stacks, and protecting the ongoing separate existence of the Mid-Manhattan and SIBL branches.  Instead of misguidedly “consolidating” libraries, closing branches, exiling books from the city, we should be doing just the opposite: investing in our wonderful local branches, adding to their shelves, their staff, and their hours, and making our central research library at 42nd street the best-stocked, most accessible repository it can be.

Libraries remain uniquely democratic institutions, offering a way into learning and thinking for anyone who walks in.   And books are the heart of a library.  The Central Library Plan, so obviously an irresponsible real estate deal that places pure greed for profit over the advancement of learning and enlightenment, would take the very heart out of one of New York City’s finest institutions.  I have, up to now, been deeply proud of our magnificent 42nd street library–I don’t want to see it ravaged.   I fervently hope that Mayor de Blasio has the foresight and integrity to recognize the importance of preventing this devastation.

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