May 18, 2022

New Report Says New York’s Branch Libraries in Need of More than $1 Billion in Repairs

The title of the report discussed and linked to below is Re-Envisioning New York’s Branch Libraries. It was released today.

From the WSJ:

New York’s public library branches need $1.1 billion in repairs to fix leaky roofs, broken air-conditioning systems and a host of other problems, according to a report released Monday by the Center for an Urban Future, a New York-based think tank.

The report argues that the city has a “broken funding system” in which libraries rely too much on discretionary funds from City Council members. It calls on Mayor Bill de Blasio to create a citywide capital plan for libraries and double capital spending on libraries over the next 10 years.

Read the Complete WSJ Article

The Report

From the Center for the Urban Future

While more New Yorkers than ever are using the city’s public libraries, a significant share of the branches suffer from major physical defects and are poorly configured for how New Yorkers are using libraries today. This report provides a comprehensive blueprint for bringing these vital community institutions into the 21st Century.

Direct to Key Findings

Direct to Charts and Graphs

Direct to Full Text Report (60 pages; PDF)

UPDATE September 16, 2014 After new report, councilman calls for unification of city libraries (via Capital)

Councilman Eric Ulrich of Queens said that merging the systems—the systems in Brooklyn and Queens and the New York Public Library, which covers Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island—would mean “more money can be put into library services and less into overhead and administrative staff. … It’s three different systems doing their own thing, and costing us a heck of a lot of money.”

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.