[mla-nynj] FW: [NCLA] Fw: Citizens Defending Libraries, Donnell Overruns- Brooklyn Heights Library replacement starts "from scratch"

Mahnaz Tehrani mtehrani at nyit.edu
Wed Oct 15 14:12:45 UTC 2014


Please see the enclosed message. Thanks.

From: Friedman, Arthur L. [mailto:arthur.friedman at ncc.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 8:45 PM
To: ncla at nassaulibrary.org
Subject: [NCLA] Fw: Citizens Defending Libraries, Donnell Overruns- Brooklyn Heights Library replacement starts "from scratch"


Dear Colleagues and friends,



The following materials describe the ongoing battles in Brooklyn and New York City to preserve our library heritage and save these resources from being fodder for developers. While the disastrous plan to destroy the iconic main facility of the New York Public Library has been abandoned for now, there is no telling when an equally atrocious scheme might be proposed. In the report that follows, the plight of the wonderful Donnell Branch is discussed.



Keep vigilant!



Art



Arthur L. Friedman, Ed.D., MLS, MS(Ed)

Professor, Library

Nassau Community College

One Education Drive

Garden City, New York 11530-6793



516-572-7401 ext. 26028



________________________________
From: Carolyn McIntyre <noreply at list.moveon.org<mailto:noreply at list.moveon.org>>
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 1:50 AM
To: Friedman, Arthur L.
Subject: Citizens Defending Libraries, Donnell Overruns- Brooklyn Heights Library replacement starts "from scratch"

EVENTS

**FRIDAY, October 17, 7:00-9:00 PM
Discussion: the Sell Off of Public Assets
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Brooklyn
50 Monroe Place at Pierrepont St
Brooklyn Heights, all trains to Court St Borough Hall

All citizens and groups dealing with developer driven sell offs of housing, libraries, churches, schools, hospitals, and parks are invited to share common concerns. More than just buildings, these resources offer communal, spiritual and educational connection.  Although no dinner, light refreshments will be served.

RSVP Enza Itri at enzaitri1 at verizon.net<mailto:enzaitri1 at verizon.net>


** SUNDAY, October 19, 4:30-6:00 PM
Citizens Defending Libraries Meeting
101 Clark St, community room
2,3 to Clark St, 4,5,R to Court St Borough Hall A, C to High St,
Contact Carolyn or Michael 718-834-6184, mddwhite at aol.com<mailto:mddwhite at aol.com>

Dinner at Park Plaza Diner 6:30 PM
220 Cadman Plaza West
Bring a joke and join us even if you can't make the meeting

**TUESDAY, October 21, 5:00 PM
Brooklyn Public Library Trustees Meeting
10 Grand Army Plaza
Join us in a rally outside the library and attend the meeting
Contact Michael White, 917-885-1478, mddwhite at aol.com<mailto:mddwhite at aol.com>

**SATURDAY, October 25th, 8:00 PM
Library Advocate, Singer Judy Gorman Performs
Peoples' Voice Café
40 East 35th Street, bet Madison and Park Ave

NEWS


BROOKLYN HEIGHTS

Here is the latest Noticing New York article on the proposed sale of the Brooklyn Heights Library with excellent graphics showing  the actual loss to the public.  It also reports how the Brooklyn Heights private Saint Ann's School held a meeting for faculty about how the library and sale is benefitting Saint Ann's.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014, The Public Loss of Selling And Shrinking the Brooklyn Heights Library- How Great Will the Loss Be? Let's Calculate<http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-public-loss-of-selling-and.html>

http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-public-loss-of-selling-and.html

Here is coverage of Citizens Defending Libraries FOIL and Citizens Audit and Investigation in the Commercial Observer, with strong quotes from Michael White
Group Demands Real Estate Info From Brooklyn Public Library<http://commercialobserver.com/2014/10/group-demands-real-estate-info-from-brooklyn-public-library/%20>, By Tobias Salinger 10/07/14

http://commercialobserver.com/2014/10/group-demands-real-estate-info-from-brooklyn-public-library/

On October 7th there was a "Community Advisory Committee" meeting about the proposed sale and shrinkage of the Brooklyn Heights Library.  It was something of a BPL dog and pony show with BPL president Linda Johnson making her first ever appearance. The big reveal came when the developer was asked how tall the luxury building replacing the library might be.  That's when he said he didn't know because now that he'd been given the bid he would be "starting from scratch" intending to "steal shamelessly" from his competitor's proposals one of which called for a tower<http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/2013/12/tall-stories-buildings-proposed-to.html> with a height equivalent between 45 and 55-stories.

Johnson also said at the meeting that there will likley be fewer librarians at the smaller "replacement" Brooklyn Heights Library because being smaller it will be "efficient" that way.

Here is reporting that's out so far about that CAC meeting
Further Details (and Concerns) Emerge at Heights Library Community Council Meeting<http://brooklynbrief.com/details-critics-emerge-heights-library-community-council-meeting/>Matthew Taub October 8, 2014

http://brooklynbrief.com/details-critics-emerge-heights-library-community-council-meeting/

BPL's Johnson Holds Her Own Against Opponents of Heights Library Plan; Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Roasting Company Named as Retail Tenants<http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/71293>By Michael Randazzo on October 8, 2014

http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/71293
By the way,  Smorgasburg <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/nyregion/the-brooklyn-flea-partners-eye-a-bigger-future.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0> is Johnathan Butler of Brownstowner<http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/nyregion/the-brooklyn-flea-partners-eye-a-bigger-future.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>, something that could likely help the developer get better real estate press on all of his projects.


DONNELL LIBRARY, MANHATTAN, 53rd Street-  Cost Overruns!

Former NYPL COO David Offensend swore there would be absolutely no cost overruns building the tiny library that is being built to replace Donnell. Now it's up to $21 million from $20 million. That means the NYPL netted less than $38 million.  The cost overrun so far is 5%.

By extension that would take our estimates for the cost of the Brooklyn Heights 21,000 "replacement" library up to $15.75 million.

Here is the New York Times story that reports the new construction cost but doesn't pick up on the implications:
Library's Master Plan Expected in the Spring<http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/librarys-master-plan-expected-in-the-spring/?partner=rss&emc=rss>, By Robin Pogrebin, October 9, 2014.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/librarys-master-plan-expected-in-the-spring/?partner=rss&emc=rss

The Times was reporting about the expectation that the NYPL will come out with plans this spring to substitute for the $500+ million Central Library Plan that ran aground (with our help).  Melville House has the following more insightfully critical reporting on that topic pointing out the ongoing lack of transparency:
October 13, 2014, New York Public Library officials signal that the new master plan will be revealed next spring<http://www.mhpbooks.com/new-york-public-library-officials-signal-that-the-new-master-plan-will-be-revealed-next-spring/>, by Claire Kelley

http://www.mhpbooks.com/new-york-public-library-officials-signal-that-the-new-master-plan-will-be-revealed-next-spring/

Melville House also has this article about the forthcoming book from Scott Sherman
September 29, 2014, Scott Sherman describes the story behind his forthcoming book, Patience and Fortitude<http://www.mhpbooks.com/video-scott-sherman-describes-the-story-behind-his-forthcoming-book-patience-and-fortitude/>, by Claire Kelley- It has a link to the 2012 spoof that Garrison Keillor did on Prairie Home Companions about turning libraries into the real estate deals.

http://www.mhpbooks.com/video-scott-sherman-describes-the-story-behind-his-forthcoming-book-patience-and-fortitude/

Quote from the article:
I will show how one of the world's great libraries got into the real estate business and lost its way in the digital age. I will also show how Wall Street executives basically took over the New York Public Library's board of trustees. And I will show in great detail how a group of activists, and bookworms, and architectural preservationists came together to defeat a plan that would have been a catastrophe for NYPL and New York City.

The video of Mr. Sherman discussing his new book is here:
Scott Sherman on PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE: Power, Real Estate, and the Fight to Save a Public Library <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vwBNLobrLo&feature=youtu.be>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vwBNLobrLo&feature=youtu.be

The New York Times ran a story on its front page about new studies suggesting that "reading to a child from an electronic device undercuts the dynamic that drives language development."  (Comments are possible- Readers can` favorite' the one that leads back to our library issues.)
New York Times- Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?<http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/us/is-e-reading-to-your-toddler-story-time-or-simply-screen-time.html?_r=0>, By Douglas Quenqua, October 11, 2014

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/us/is-e-reading-to-your-toddler-story-time-or-simply-screen-time.html?_r=0
For those of us who have been paying attention to the way that Forest City Ratner has been in the background in a number of ways in connection with the proposed library sales it may be a real concern that Forest City Ratner's MaryAnne Gilmartin, notorious for misleading and misinforming the public was just appointed to the board of WNYC which oversees our city's most important publicly owned radio stations.  In fact, just about any WNYC or WQXR listener ought to be concerned.
See: Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/NoticingNewYork/posts/752335271504850>:

https://www.facebook.com/NoticingNewYork/posts/752335271504850

Twitter<https://twitter.com/WhiteMdd/status/520594879194628096>:

https://twitter.com/WhiteMdd/status/520594879194628096

Atlantic Yards Report: Saturday, October 11, 2014, The Forest City Ratner Cafe, at the Brooklyn Children's Museum, and Gilmartin's new role on WNYC board <http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-forest-city-ratner-cafe-at-brooklyn.html%20>

http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-forest-city-ratner-cafe-at-brooklyn.html

"It is the responsibility of scientists never to suppress knowledge, no matter how awkward that knowledge is, no matter how it may bother those in power.  We are not smart enough to decide which pieces of knowledge are permissible and which are not."  Carl Sagan 1934-1966

We at Citizens Defending Libraries also see that it is the responsibility of public libraries to make knowledge as accessible as possible and not to decide for us what books to allow us to access.  The NYPL suppressive move of millions of research books out of the 42 Street Library to New Jersey is an inexcusable move towards making knowledge less accessible.  Likewise, the BPL removal of thousands of books from many Brooklyn libraries is also a suppressive move that makes it easier to sell off libraries.  We will continue to fight to protect libraries as well as access to books and knowledge.



Thank you for your help,

Carolyn McIntyre

________________________________


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