Billionaire Bloomberg Selling Off New York’s Public Libraries

from TruthOut

… Now that these buildings have “done their jobs” (in FIRE sector terms) they can do one more thing for finance and real estate: be killed for private sector fun and profit. This is precisely what is taking place in New York City. The problem for FIRE is getting these privatizations to happen. Luckily for them, the financial crisis solved this problem. By generating budget shortfalls for state and local governments, the financial crisis has given people like mayor Bloomberg the opportunity to make cuts to popular social services like libraries. Why is FIRE interested in budget cuts? Because they reduce money needed for maintenance and thus make the library system appear too large for the city to handle (they also reduce public services, thus making them less popular). The Brooklyn Public Library, for example, has “a $230 million backlog of deferred maintenance, barely dented by the $15 million annual allotment of capital funding.”

Our billionaire Mayor is now trying to deliver a death blow to the public library system. In his budget for Fiscal year 2014 “the Administration is proposing a $193 million subsidy for the systems, which is a 35 percent reduction from the Fiscal 2013 Adopted Budget.” Unsurprisingly, the number one impact highlighted by the mayor is “branch closings”. According to Albor Ruiz writing in the New York Daily News, “More than 60 libraries will have to close their doors and there will be massive layoffs resulting in disastrous cuts to hours and services.” At this point in the negotiations, the final cuts may end up being somewhat less severe. However even a cut half or a third as large as this one would be devastating

[read more here]

6 Responses

  1. So NOW where will we go to hole up and burn books (to keep warm) when it’s the day after tomorrow? I don’t think Barnes and Noble has a working fireplace. And they certainly don’t have a dusty lost-and-found closet with ready-to-wear bag lady ensembles from the 1970s (again, to keep warm until someone’s father comes to rescue us [on foot]). Maybe that’s why Bloomberg wants to get rid of all the libraries — so we won’t have someplace to go when it’s the day after tomorrow. HE’S SEEN THAT MOVIE, and he wants us all to freeze to death.

  2. ‘Quiet! Public Library! Engine Brake Ordinance Enforced!’ reads the sign posted on the corner of a vacant lot

  3. But : won’t all those immigrants in the coming surge need libraries to learn English, American history and all that .. ?

  4. This “information” is nonsense. And the link at “Panic Attack” leads to spam. Very sophisticated spam.

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