State of the Art Library to Open on NY's Upper West Side in 2015...But Existing Libraries Find Funding Slashed

Submitted by birdie on Thu, 05/09/2013 - 14:17

From New York's "Picture Newspaper", the Daily News:

" The New York Public Library’s newest branch is going to sparkle like fine crystal. "

The W. 53rd St. center will be an airy, vibrant structure with multiple public spaces, modern computer labs, an audio-video collection, and walls of books, library officials said Monday as they unveiled new renderings of the three-story facility designed by Enrique Norten’s TEN Arquitectos.

The new library will also feature a sizable auditorium.

Meanwhile, the city is sucking dry its existing libraries. The Daily News also reports:

"Not only the Queens Library, but the city’s three library systems — Queens, Brooklyn and New York (which serves the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island) — that have had a tough time over the last five years, as Bloomberg has made it an annual ritual to propose major cuts to their budgets. It’s true that much of the cuts are restored by the City Council, but never in full.

One would think that Bloomberg, who supposedly values efficiency and cost-effectiveness, would go out of his way not to put the libraries through budget hell every year.

After all, they have really been able to do more with less: Despite their shrinking resources, over the last 10 years New York’s public libraries have seen a 40% increase in program attendance, and 59% in circulation, according to a Center for an Urban Future study.

Yet, despite their success, the mayor’s Fiscal Year 2014 preliminary budget is proposing to slash funding for public libraries citywide by a whopping $106.7 million dollars. That’s a 35% cut over last year’s funding level, the largest reduction ever.