November 21, 2014

Report: The Smallest Branch of the New York Public Library Hurts For Space as Flagship Gets Makeover

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From the New York Daily News:

Housed in a 700-square-foot converted studio apartment in a Harlem housing project, Macomb’s is the New York Public Library’s smallest branch.

How small? Capacity is 25. There are just 10 laptop computers. The 61 shelves are crammed with books. And the librarian’s office is smaller than most bathrooms.

If the four staff members assigned to the branch on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. near W. 153rd St. in the Harlem River Houses want to put on a puppet show or hold a special screening, their options are stacking the few tables they have up against a wall to clear some space — or taking the event outside.

What About Finding a New Site for the Library?

One site was dumped in 2008 because its owner refused to let the library do an environmental study. Part of the $6 million marked for the project instead went to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at 135th St.

A second site, in an old public school converted to condos, was only four blocks away but was outside the district of Councilwoman Inez Dickens, who represents the area where Macomb’s is currently located, library officials said.

The support of a councilmember is critical to getting any library plan off the ground.

Read the Complete Article

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.