Is The NY Public Library Deceiving the Public?

An interesting facebook post by New York State Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner about the NYPL:

I am profoundly disturbed that the leadership of the New York Public Library (NYPL) is using misleading and deceptive language in an attempt to trick New Yorkers into supporting its controversial Central Library Plan for the main 42nd Street Branch.

While purporting to expand public access to the 42nd Street Library, the Central Library Plan is instead a half-baked real estate deal that will result in the selling off of the largest and most used lending library in New York City, the Mid-Manhattan branch at East 40th Street, and the gutting of the fabled stacks at the NYPL’s Main Branch, which house the world-class collections of books and research materials that make the world's leading free research library truly unique. Millions of volumes currently available on-site in the stacks will be warehoused in New Jersey, lessening public access to a public resource unparalleled anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.

By issuing a mass appeal yesterday urging New Yorkers to ‘Support … the daily work of NYPL's network of 88 branches (and) a renovated central branch library that provides longer hours, additional public space, and more resources for children, teens, teachers, and job seekers,” the NYPL is claiming that selling off its largest circulating branch and eviscerating the Main Library’s fabled stacks, at an estimated cost to City taxpayers of $150 million, is improving the NYPL for everyday New Yorkers, when the exact opposite is the case. This is truly an example of Orwellian double-speak. The NYPL’s leadership must harbor serious doubts about the merits and practicality of its Central Library plan to employ such a willfully deceptive appeal.

In his campaign, Mayor Bill de Blasio proclaimed from the steps of the NYPL, "These plans seemed to have been made without any forethought to the building’s historical and cultural integrity. We need to ensure that a detailed financial audit and review is conducted, so that these renovations won’t exceed the $300 million proposed. Before NYPL goes about demolishing stacks and consolidating libraries, they need to ensure that the people they serve aren’t being shortchanged and being disregarded for the bottom line."

I know that Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito are dedicated to keeping the New York Public Library an invaluable cultural and educational public resource. I urge them and all New Yorkers not to be fooled by the deceptive and misleading claims being promoted by the New York Public Library, and to fight for this invaluable cultural treasure that helps make New York unique.

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