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

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.

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Well this is one of the problems

'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'

If they are doing so well with less money then politicians and financiers can say they were over funded in the past as they are so capable. And if they can do that with little money then it won't make much of a difference if they have even less.

what if

What if you were a NYC librarian? What if your patrons had fewer hours and fewer resources? What if you were furloughed or your position was eliminated? Would you be ok with that?

Who said I was ok with

Who said I was ok with it?
I'm just saying that is the sort of thing you get politicians saying and using as excuses for cuts.

Huge disappointment from Bloomberg and friends

Major disappointment from Bloomberg--this annual ritual. Isn't he the same billionaire who's given millions to UK charities?

Here in Alexandria, VA, we've just beaten back some nasty trims in the library budget, including $56K that city officials wanted to trim from the materials budget--already under the national average in per capita terms.

Of possible interest from last month:

Amazon’s book city #1, Alexandria, VA, may cut library hours: Time for a digital-era national endowment to help ease U.S. libraries’ financial woes?

http://librarycity.org/?p=7443

David Rothman
Cofounder and Editor-Publisher
LibraryCity.org
703-370-6540

He might be (didn't know

He might be (didn't know that) but that is his own money.
This is a different issue and one that maybe people should ask why he's not spending his money in his own city?

Am I the only one who thinks this mock-up looks horrible?

It looks like that BS where designers guess at what people want without actually asking any patrons or staff. But wait! There are so many people photoshopped in! I guess it will be successful after all.

Picture

If you look at the picture carefully you see some odd things. Movie playing on the wall. Musicians playing in the corner and a person speaking in front of them.

garden of lawsuits

I wonder at the trip and fall hazard that is those steps -- the floor pattern is repeated (in the left side of the top photo) on the front of each step giving the illusion that the floor continues -- and I'm not even sure if those are steps since so many people are sitting there; there are even cushions (?) on them, inviting people to sit?
and there is so much wall space not used for anything!!!
and where is all that light coming from? not the ceiling.
I don't think David Niven would approve of all this.

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