Quick Rant: NYPL

Will somebody please tell me what the hell has happened to the New York Public Library. I’ve only been gone from town for four or five years. One of the things I’ve always loved about this city is what a fabulous library system we have. However, since I’ve been back, half the books I want to check out are listed as only available by reserve at the main branch, which I won’t call by the name of the arrogant millionaire who paid money to get his name on the building.

I was writing something and wanted to check out a detail that I had read in a book years ago. The book is Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fisher. It’s a commonly cited book. It shouldn’t be rare or hard to find at all. If there is an example of the sort of book that public libraries were intended to make available to the public, that would be it. Yet, the New York Public Library only has one copy and it’s not even a circulating copy. It can only be read by appointment at the millionaire’s name building. This is not the first time I’ve had this happen. Multiple times this year I’ve bought books at the local Barnes and Nobles because they were only available on reserve at the library. What the hell is going on? Why are so many books reserve only? I used to use the library all the time. In fact, when I was in college, I rarely used the school library and was able to use the Mid-Manhattan Library for ninety percent of my academic papers.

How can there have been such a decline in such a short period of time. I have my speculations, but this is just going to be a petulant little outburst so I can get back to writing my longer thing. Barnes and Noble’s had the book for same day delivery in Manhattan. I just have to decide if I want to spend the money.

If anyone runs for mayor based on restoring the library, and I mean the collection and the hours of operation, not the damned building, which has been restored with funding from millionaires, I will vote for you!

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