Chain giant trumps public library in NYC

A report on the sad state of affairs in one New York neighborhood from today\’s New York Times:

Where Barnes & Noble is well-lighted and clean, the books invitingly displayed, most branch libraries are dim, cluttered and understocked. Just ask Don Bailey, a Texan who moved to the Upper West Side 11 years ago. Being a devoted reader, he immediately checked out his local library, the St. Agnes branch. It was, to put it mildly, a turnoff. \”There\’s something about New York libraries,\” Mr. Bailey mused. \”You don\’t have a good ambience.\”

No wonder, if money has anything to do with it. Barnes & Noble at 82nd Street grossed an estimated $10.3 million last year, eight times the average budget for one of the city\’s 85 branch libraries. And those budgets are being cut by the city for the second year in a row.

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