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Patience and Fortitude: Power, Real Estate, and the Fight to Save a Public Library

Scott Sherman
# UP6432 Paperback, 217 pages; 2017 (2015)
Currently Unavailable
The main branch of the New York Public Library, on Fifth Avenue at Bryant Park, is an icon, its beautiful Beaux Arts façade—and the incredible collection housed inside—guarded by twin lions nicknamed "Patience" and "Fortitude." For more than a century, "the people's library" has welcomed millions of visitors, offering priceless knowledge and culture to patrons from all walks of life. It survived the Great Depression, the theft of collection assets, New York's financial collapse in the 1970s, even a pipe-bomb explosion. But recently, the NYPL's greatest challenge came from its own board of trustees, who contrived to sell off multiple branches, demolish the historic main library's stacks, and remove millions of its books to storage in New Jersey. Public outcry was fierce, pitting businessmen and real-estate moguls against readers, writers, and activists who argued that corporate modernization practices would destroy such a valuable organization devoted to the public good. Journalist Scott Sherman's in-depth account of the battle for the soul of the NYPL is a fascinating read for library lovers in any city! (KG)
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