I don’t know how I missed this, but this week, after 52 years of operation The Donnell Library in NYC is closing. It doesn’t sound like the librarians and library workers knew too much about it either..
“I cried,” said Esther Hauzwig, 77, who works two days a week at the information desk at Donnell, recalling her reaction to the news last November that the library would close for several years. “I’ve been working here for 25 years.” When asked if she would miss the current building, she replied: “You bet your sweet bippy! I am not disappointed. I am furious!”(NYT City Room Blog)
The building is being torn down to make room for a hotel, which (oddly) will house a new “branch” of the Donnell in the basement.
Said a long time patron, Mr. Rabadi “A library is like a laboratory for culture…We’ve lost the fabric of life. The whole place has become a shopping mall.”He found no consolation in the fact that part of the new hotel will house a library. “They will offer us a grave in the basement,” he said. “Maybe this is a reflection on the value of culture. Capitalism has no mercy for culture. So culture becomes subversive — like reading in a bomb shelter.”
Confusion abounds though as to what that will mean–NYPL details where the collections, including the much loved Winnie -the-Pooh & friends doll collection, will be moved– here. This branch was well loved and well used in the community given it’s location (W 53rd, across from the Museum Of Modern Art) and will be missed. Read more from the NYT here.