What do New York City and London have in common?
Both are eliminating their public libraries against the will of the public and replacing them with luxury housing, using secretive, deceptive tactics. Budget cuts resulting in extremely profitable deals for . . . . whom exactly?
Here are excerpts from the New York Review of Books Article called The Northwest London Blues by Zadie Smith
…”first heard of the council’s intention to demolish the library centre along with the bookshop and the nineteenth-century turrets … To be replaced with private luxury flats, a greatly reduced library, “retail space” and no bookshop.”
“offered a smaller library (for use by more patrons from other libraries Brent has closed), an ugly block of luxury flats— and told that this is “culture?” Yes. That’s all really happening. With minimal consultation, with bully-boy tactics, secrecy and a little outright deceit…Neglected libraries get neglected, and this cycle, in time, provides the excuse to close them.” See below article
Compare that to Michael D. D. White’s article on the sale of Donnell Library posted on Noticing New York
Here is a quote from his article
. . . “the building that housed Donnell has been sold to make way for a hotel and a much smaller public library. . (w)ith the proposed library having less than half the space for public services as the old Donnell . . . questions remain about the location of some of the collections. . . More importantly, the breakup of the collections diminishes the role of Donnell as a central library . . . The decisions . . . [were] communicated to staff (and in the case of Donnell, to the public) largely after the big decisions have been made.”
It is almost as if the authors of the London and NYC articles copied each other and substituted different libraries, one from London, the other from NYC.
2. In 2008 Bloomberg gets elected mayor of London and with arm twisting from Quinn, gets elected mayor of New York City by exceeding term limits.
3. In London and NYC extremely wealthy people are sometimes idolized to the point of that some assume they are smarter and more worthy than anyone else simply because they have a lot of wealth. It is a problem if their word counts for everything, the rest count for practically nothing.
We say everyone is worthy, no one is more worthy then anyone else. We recognize talent and respect it, at the same time having more or being smart does not entitle one to be able to take property or publicly owned assests from others.
Also from the London article, “British libraries received over 300 million visits last year. In North West London people are even willing to form human chains in front of them. People have taken to writing long pieces in newspapers to “defend” them. Just saying the same thing over and over again. Defend our libraries.”
And what does Citizens Defending Libraries say, Defend Our Libraries!
So you have a choice. Most New Yorkers still don’t know that public libraries are being sold off, not because the city cant afford them, (the city is wealthier than ever), but because a few people want to take the valuable property, build high rises that will make a few enormously wealthier even though they are stealing from the public to do it.
Canvass your building or neighborhood, contact Eric Schtob, firstname.lastname@example.org, he can email you petitions and flyers. You can also download flyers with this link
Join us in front of Brooklyn Heights Library Saturday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and in front of Pacific Library from 2:30 until 4:00
Sunday, 4:30-6:00, CDL weekly meeting at 10 Clinton St, Brooklyn Heights
Other events this week On Wednesday, June 12, from 4:00-6:00, on the Steps of City Hall, DC37, New York City local unions representing 300,000 city workers will rally for a fair contract.
On Thursday, at 6:00, at 35 West 67th Street, there will be a lecture by architectural historian Francis Morrone on the New York Public Library proposed changes. See CDL website calendar:
I hope you join us in showing that we want to stop the sell offs of public buildings and resources, it is demeaning to the public service professionals and other hardworking employees who dedicate their lives for our good and to the public who uses them and pay for them.
Thank you for caring, Carolyn McIntyre
From Carolyn McIntyre: