In a city where library design seems to have taken on diminished significance in this budget-constrained era, with free-standing structures giving way to ground-floor condos in gleaming new towers, the Hunter’s Point library designed by Steven Holl and Chris McVoy stood as a literal beacon to bibliophiles. When plans were revealed in 2011, New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff lauded the design as “a striking expression of the continuing effort to shake the dust off of the city’s aging libraries and recast them as communal hubs.”
The Queens Library is doing its part to keep the borough from flushing its history away. Read More
Arts and Commerce
It’s official: The New York Observer was duped by Mellow Pages Library, which claimed earlier this week that they had gotten a large offer of money from ExxonMobil and were considering whether or not to take the cash. (To be fair, we’re in good company.)
Still, we should have noticed something fishy about the idea of a corporation as big as ExxonMobil–which only donates to large, legitimate non-profits–suddenly offering a small, non-registered operation like Mellow Pages a bunch of cash, no strings attached. Via email.
Update: In an email to The Observer, a spokesperson from ExxonMobil denied company ever being in contact with Mellow Pages Library. Full email below.
The Mellow Pages Library is the quintessential Brooklyn literary institution: stocked entirely with small press fiction, graphic novels, zines, and various other kind of publishing ephemera from the Island of Misfit Books. It’s also, quintessentially, broke; relying on donations and what founders Matt Nelson and Jacob Perkins were able to fundraise on sites like Indiegogo. Unfortunately, that wasn’t a lot–a November campaign only raised a quarter of their goal, approximately $5,000–and it was unclear whether this independent library would be able to pay rent and remain open.
A sad story, but all too frequent in the small, non-profit business world. Where it gets weird: During the final stretch of the campaign, the founders got an email from ExxonMobil, which offered the library 10 times the amount of money they were asking for…no strings attached. Except, you know, their souls.
Since Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs, former fans have struggled to find an outlet for their anger. Some have taken to Internet tirades (both pro and anti-Armstrong), some have found relief in shoddy Photoshop jobs, and yet others have gone to their local library to retaliate for the lies.
In both Sydney, Australia and London, two signs have appeared announcing that Lance Armstrong’s titles have been moved to the fiction sections. Oh, it’s like the Million Little Pieces problem all over again!
Occupy Wall Street
Some developers wanted to turn precious New York libraries into condominiums, but now some are making sure that their condominiums have libraries within the building. Maybe it makes sense. In a slump of apartment sales, it might just be easier to panel a lower-level studio apartment with fine oak wood, buy out a row at the Strand, and add another bullet point to the amenities list!
Following Tuesday’s early morning raid on Zuccotti Park, the mayor’s office tweeted out a picture of a bunch of books being kept in a storage facility in midtown. Was the People’s Library saved?