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Protesters: Close The Book On Plans To Renovate, Sell Library Branches

Demonstrators Urge De Blasio To Honor Campaign Promise
Library supporters protest a plan to renovate the New York Public Library's main branch to sell the Mid-Manhattan branch. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Library supporters protest a plan to renovate the New York Public Library’s main branch to sell the Mid-Manhattan branch. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Library supporters dressed in cardboard costumes of their favorite books Monday to protest plans to renovate the New York Public Library’s main branch and sell the popular Mid-Manhattan branch.

As WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, members of the Library Lovers League, who demonstrated on the steps of the main branch, wanted to remind Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio about his campaign promise to scrap the projects.

Protesters are upset about plans to sell the branch on Fifth Avenue and 40th Street and to relocate the New York Public Library’s research collection to a storage facility in New Jersey.

“Don’t sell the Mid-Manhattan library,” Zack Weinstein told Miller. “Don’t let real estate drive library policy.”

“These books are our cultural history,” said Benjamin Shepard, who was dressed as the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “They also represent our social and economic capital, our cultural capital.”

They say the Bloomberg administration has committed $150 million toward the renovation — money that could be spent elsewhere.

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