New York Public Library President Anthony Marx

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New York Public Library President Anthony Marx talks about the library's plan for its 42nd Street building, and will address the criticism and controversy over those plans. that Scott Sherman and Caleb Crain raised on our show on March 12th


Anthony Marx

Comments [19]

ebethnyc from nyc

Did Marx say when SIBL would close? Such a pity. a) it's beautiful what they've done there. b) worthy of being in B. Altman's bldg. We don't need yet another mega Duane Reade , Chase bank or Chipotle in such a grand site.

Apr. 13 2012 12:05 AM
Dano from NYC 10017

President Marx and probably a few of his collegues have a bee in their bonnet to redo the Main Library the way THEY see fit and are not interested in what the public needs or wants. If you want to serve the public, fix the branch libraries and perhaps spend some money on repair in the main branch. The president is not answering the questions; his agenda
is to do it His way.

Apr. 10 2012 08:08 PM
John from NYC

Did the community really need a Grand Central branch of the NYPL? Meanwhile on Staten Island the community of Mariner's Harbor had to wait for years to get a branch in that community.

Apr. 10 2012 04:52 PM
Librarianbiker from NJ

Would your guess please comment on ebooks: some publishers won't sell to libraries, some charge exhorbitant prices and some limit circulations!

Apr. 10 2012 01:56 PM
Myra Alperson from NYC

I was very upset when the Donnell Library was closed "temporarily" - with plans to reopen it in a new building onsite. That is such a great location and it was a great library, espeically with its Young Adult section and media area. Are there any plans to replace it - anywhere - including the Young Adult and media areas?

Apr. 10 2012 01:56 PM
Alla Zeide

How is it possible to maintain a research library along with a largest circulating library? Does the library plan to have more than one copy of each book?

Apr. 10 2012 01:55 PM
Sharon Frost from Brooklyn, New York

For the record, Mid-Manhattan was established, in its current location, in 1970. The building had been the Arnold Constable department store. The core collections that formed the foundation of Mid-Manhattan had previously (mostly) been crowded into the Central Building (now the Schwarzman Building), on the ground floor level. That's relatively recent history to me, but then, I'm old.

Apr. 10 2012 01:53 PM
Amy from Manhattan

On the Cyrillic cataloging, it seems to me that pages' not knowing the letters might actually be less important than their not knowing what order they come in in the Cyrillic alphabet. Maybe a simple device to help (until bar coding is completed) would be a card w/the letters in alphabetical order, on which the 1st few letters the page needs to look for could be circled & numbered in erasable marker so the page would know where in the stacks to start looking. That could be cheap & quick to implement & easy to use.

Apr. 10 2012 01:52 PM

Has anyone planned for the ongoing cost of transferring documents from one generation of digital media to the next? no matter how optimistic the predictions for expected working of digital media may be, devices to read older media tend to become unavailable after a while requiring bulk copying to newer media. on a large scale this could get quite expensive.

Apr. 10 2012 01:51 PM
NYC Resident

to: @John Weber from NJ

The Queens library is not part of the NYPL.

The Brooklyn library also is an independent organization.

Apr. 10 2012 01:50 PM
John Weber from NJ

Can your guest say why the NY Public Library and the Brooklyn Library doesn't put checked out items in plastic bags, but the Queens Library does?

It seems like a huge waste of taxpayer money and very environmentally unfriendly n the part of the Queens Library.

Apr. 10 2012 01:44 PM
Jacob from B

Wait... Garrison Keillor always hilarious?

Apr. 10 2012 01:43 PM
NYC Resident

Spend money on the branches...where the communities are. Not on the hot event space for the socialites. Open until 11PM? Puhleeze. How about opening the Cathedral Branch before 10AM. Or having longer evening hours at all the branches? Or Saturday hours? Or putting books back in the New Amsterdam Branch?
The Branch libraries need more resources. Many of them could use some sprucing up.
Is all this money that is being spent at the Main Library part of Schwarzman's requirement to slap his name on the building?

Apr. 10 2012 01:41 PM
NYC Resident

NYPL asks you to "Join the Conversation" @
However, they don't post the comments that are submitted.
How can there be a "conversation" if the comments are one-way?
"Statistics" are provided...without providing access to the original comments.

Are the NYPL "trustees" to scared to let on how many negative comments they are receiving in response to their grand plan?

Apr. 10 2012 01:39 PM
NYC Resident

Please ask why the money is being spent at the Main Library and not at the branch libraries...out in the communities? The branch libraries need longer hours and better facilities. The main library is fine as it is.

Apr. 10 2012 01:33 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Full disclosure: I am a 30+ year IT (Information Technology) professional, although I am not a guru when it comes to the latest technologies. I am probably more able and savvy than the average user, but not nearly as capable as a "young turk."

With that in mind, I have been using the NYPL's e-site for about a year, first with a Nook color (which I lost around Thanksgiving) and more recently (the past 3 weeks) with an iPad.

The NYPL website -- the part for library cardholders to manage their material borrowing -- seeing what books we have checked out, what we have on hold, reading lists, etc. -- is fairly confusing and non-intuitive, but one eventually learns how it works.

But the NYPL eBooks site for e-Books, Audiobooks, music, and video ( is nothing less than a complete disaster. It is a mess, every which way, from the incredibly cluttered pages, to the way the site works -- or more to the point, doesn't work.

There are so many small and large issues -- too many to list here -- all it would take is for someone to spend some time on it and try to actually get some materials to a mobile device. The documentation for how to do this for various devices is pathetic. Pathetic.

Adobe First Edition, OverDrive Media, Kindle, ePub, PDF, iTunes, WMA AudioBooks, MP3 AudioBooks, Music, Video -- they all factor in and they all work differently, and almost NONE of it is explained -- half explained at best. Good luck.

All it would take for the people in charge of this is for their lead designer and project leader to sit down with a site user who's a novice to the site for 1/2 an hour and watch him/her struggle and get frustrated attempting to navigate this mess and actually get something downloaded successfully. This seems beyond the imagination of the site's keepers.

Apr. 10 2012 12:59 PM
Jack Murphy

Are the plans for the 42nd Street building a done deal? I keep hearing differing reports. If so, will the Library share the details? If not, I want to know what the Library is doing to ensure that my fellow researchers and I aren't left out in the cold.

Apr. 10 2012 12:06 PM
Lottie O'Neil from UES

I'm curious how President Marx envisions the use of the 42nd Street branch. I often use Mid-manhattan library, as it's close to where I work. I love the possibility of using 42nd Street for books and possibly more (like the writing area he mentions). I do wonder though, whether the library is capable of handling all those people and their needs. I'd be impressed if it could.

Apr. 10 2012 10:38 AM
Susan Smith-Peter from Staten Island

As a user of the Slavic and Baltic collection, I want to make sure that these materials will continue to be accessible after most of them are moved offsite. What is the library doing to ensure continued access to these and other non-English-language materials during and after the move?

Some background: these materials were catalogued in the unique NYPL manner, which often involves the use of Cyrillic letters on the spine, which pages usually can't read. There are also 80,000 uncatalogued Slavic items. These are items from the red catalog (the printed catalog of the Slavic and Baltic collection) that aren't in the electronic catalog. I know that there are Slavic cataloguers working on this now, but I think it's important that all this material be properly catalogued, as if something is improperly catalogued, it will be extremely difficult to retrieve it from ReCap in Princeton.

Apr. 10 2012 09:40 AM

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