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In a Crisis, the New York Public Library Steps Up to Help In a Crisis, the New York Public Library Steps Up to Help

In a Crisis, the New York Public Library Steps Up to Help

by Liz Dwyer

November 3, 2012


Libraries will always be a place where a community can come together and that's even more true in New York City after Hurricane Sandy. The New York Public Library and most of its 65 branches across New York City survived the hurricane with no structural damage, so they've opened their doors to the community.

According the NYPL website, library branches across the city "have been packed with New Yorkers looking for computer access, power, free programming and a place to talk with neighbors." And, on Friday afternoon Tony Marx, president of the NYPL emailed education historian Diane Ravitch from the Mid-Manhattan branch:

"You should see this scene: every chair and inch of floor and rug being used by rich and poor, black and white, young and old New yorkers to read and write and work. Admin staff volunteering to fill in for those who can’t get to work. Amazing."

Marx says the NYPL is also canceling their Lions Gala, which is their biggest annual fundraiser. They're donating "all the food to folks in Staten Island, where the news is getting more grim, I am told," wrote Marx.

Oh, and for all those New Yorkers who borrowed books, the library says the "due dates for all items due back between Sunday 10/28 and 11/3 will be extended & late charges on these items will be waived as soon as we are back to normal operations."

Seriously good job, NYPL! And for everyone else, the next time some politician wants to slash the budget of your local library, remind her what libraries mean to us on a day to day basis and especially during a time of crisis.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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