More than a decade ago, The New York Public Library looked at the changing needs of our patrons and realized bold action would be required. Particularly, we recognized that we needed to improve the programs we offer in midtown. Here, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 40th Street, New Yorkers from all boroughs come to use our largest circulating collection at the Mid-Manhattan Library; across the street, researchers from all over the world use the amazing collections in the iconic building behind the lions, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building while local, national and international visitors browse our many exhibits.
In a major about face, the New York Public Library (NYPL) backed off its renovation plans for the system’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building as of May 7. Rather than eliminating the stacks at the central library—a decision that had caused no small consternation among New Yorkers, including newly minted mayor Bill de Blasio—NYPL representatives are now offering an alternative plan that leaves the building’s research collection on-site, ending plans to sell the Mid-Manhattan library across the street and relocate the circulating collection into the 42nd Street main branch, and making renovations to the Mid-Manhattan instead.
In a move that will help a leading urban library system begin defining its role in the burgeoning field of massive open online courses (MOOCs), the New York Public Library (NYPL) on April 30 announced a partnership with MOOC provider Coursera. Beginning this summer, NYPL will support a selection of Coursera’s online courses by hosting weekly in-person discussion groups at several branches in the Bronx and Manhattan through Coursera’s Learning Hubs program. Neither organization is paying the other as part of the partnership, but NYPL officials note that sharing information regarding participation in these programs will benefit both parties.
The new Ideas Box from Libraries Without Borders/ Bibliothèques Sans Frontières is fun, smart, and inspiring. The comprehensive vision behind it and the resulting design hold lessons for anyone interested in library outreach. It takes a significant step forward in framing an ideal outpost library that can reach into the gap as an element of humanitarian aid in the wake of a disaster when basic services and cultural institutions are unavailable or inactive.
The Shelley-Godwin Archive, a free online resource featuring the digitized manuscripts of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, will include tools designed to encourage collaborative humanities research, similar to collaborative public projects in the sciences.
The Helen Gurley Brown Trust has given $15 million to the New York Public Library to establish NYPL BridgeUp, a new educational and anti-poverty program that will provide academic and social support to New York City youth. The effort aims to support at-risk youth and prepare them for success in life.
From the Wall St. Journal: The New York Public Library, responding to outcry over its plans to demolish century-old book stacks, will this fall unveil a new design that preserves a significant portion of them, its president, Anthony Marx, said Tuesday. The library disclosed its plans in response to questions from The Wall Street Journal […]
Only July 10, the group Citizens Defending Libraries (CDL), together with a coalition of scholars, authors, and preservationists, filed a lawsuit against the trustees of the New York Public Library (NYPL) to stop the demolition and removal of the stacks that support the Rose Reading Room of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, as part of a major redesign and renovation of the central library. The move follows a separate suit to halt the plan which was filed by different plaintiffs a week earlier, both with the New York Supreme Court.
After more than five years with LJ (and a year working with School Library Journal and The Horn Book as well), I’m moving on. In mid-July, I’ll be starting as Deputy Director, Reference and Research Services at the New York Public Library (NYPL).
More than a dozen New York City Council members, the presidents of New York’s three library systems, and several hundred librarians, library staff, supporters, advocates, and children from nearby schools rallied on the steps of city hall to protest $106 million in proposed funding cuts. Council members Jimmy Van Bramer and Vincent J. Gentile also pledged to introduce legislation that would create a baseline of stable funding for the city’s public library services.