Library Murder on the Orient Express

library destructiconOh, they shut down the mighty Donnell library, where we used to research term papers in the eighth grade*, to make room for a boom-era hotel owned by Orient-Express Enterprises Incorporated LLC. Now the economy’s gone all bust and the hotel is high-tailin’ it back to the Orient Asia. So what now? The original plans called for a scaled-back mini-library, from 42,000 square feet of public space to 19,000.

What will become of the gutted building? Affordable housing? Archive-style lofts? Spiraling Skyscraper Farms?

*100 note-card minimum, and oh, they had old copies of Playboy at periodicals circulation!

The Times has some decent reporting of the original reaction to the Library’s closing (woops, we missed this one back in the sleep days of early Suggested Donation), including a link to a decades long battle over who should have these old flea bitten winnie the pooh dolls. Go away, Britons, we got this. You can have Christopher Robin.


Starchivist alert!!!!

archivistGothamist recently interviewed rockstar librarian David Smith. Wow what a guy. Here, in bullet-point form, are some reasons we love him, and some reasons we hate on him and therefore love him even more:

Love Him Because

  • Was a taxi cab driver in NYC in the 70s
  • Gets to do personal research projects for famous people like Diane Arbus, George Carlin, Werner Herzog
  • Also helps HS Students, the homeless, random folk
  • Wants to bring back rent control (not the fake rent control we have now)
  • Would never consider leaving NY
  • Likes the B&H Restaurant on 3rd ave

Hate Him Because

  • Once paid $135/month rent
  • Greatly admires Jonathan Saffron Foyer
  • OK this list is a lot shorter than we thought