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“Be Grateful for Subpar Services”

November 6, 2016

Here is my friend from Picture the Homeless and Occupy, an activist we call Ms. K., confronting City Councilor Inez Dickens and Borough President Gale Brewer over their plans to move the Macomb’s Bridge Library, the smallest library in the NYPL system, to a larger space across the street. However larger the new space is, it is still less than half the size of a standard neighborhood branch library in the NYPL system.

Dickens and Brewer contend that Ms. K.’s complaints are unjustified and that the plan has the approval of the community. Ms. K. wants to know what “community” to whom they talked and got approval, because no one she knows is satisfied with the decision. Why does an inner city neighborhood like Harlem deserve a library less than half the size of a library in other New York neighborhoods?

As it is now, the library is so small that the adults have to leave when school lets out in order to accommodate the children, and the library has a grand total of two desktop computers for patron usage, in addition to laptops.

The message of Brewer and Dickens is that the residents of the neighborhood should be happy that they are getting a larger library. The real point, Ms. K. contends, is that Harlem is being allocated crumbs based on the skin color and income of the community that the branch primarily serves.

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