Monday, April 14, 2008

New York Public Library Unveils $1 Billion Transformation Plan

New York Public Library Unveils $1 Billion Transformation Plan

Watch the March 11th Press Conference
A Re-envisioned Library System to Meet the Needs of a Growing, Changing New York
Fifth Avenue Building Dramatically Renovated to Become Flagship Lending and Research Library, A Model for the Urban Library of the Future
Large Hub Libraries Established in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island as Anchors to Neighborhood Branches
Expanded Digital Resources Increase Access to Library Collections
$100 Million Gift From Stephen A. Schwarzman is the Largest Outright, Unrestricted Donation to a New York City Cultural Institution
(New York, NY) March 11, 2008 – At a press conference in Astor Hall attended by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, and many other elected officials, New York Public Library Chairman Catherine C. Marron and President Paul LeClerc today announced a transformative plan that will reach far beyond the historic marble building – the "people’s palace" – that has been at the center of New York City since 1911. The plan, which will take at least five years to realize, represents the greatest change to the New York Public Library system since its founding more than 100 years ago; it will have an impact on every one of the millions of users – children, teens, and adults from all walks of life – who come in person to the Library’s 89 locations, as well as the countless citizens of New York State and beyond who access the Library’s astonishing holdings through the Internet and who call upon the unparalleled expertise of its staff in their pursuit of knowledge.
The purpose of the plan is to transform the Library so that it can better serve a growing public, one that is accessing information in rapidly changing and diverse ways. The Library’s five-year goal is to double the number of unique users who take advantage of its rich collections, wide-ranging programs, inspirational reading rooms, and online offerings. The plan, which calls for a total investment of approximately $1 billion, was adopted by the Library’s Board following a comprehensive 18-month study by Trustees and staff.
Mrs. Marron and Dr. LeClerc also announced that Stephen A. Schwarzman has donated $100 million to the Library as the lead gift toward a newly launched fundraising campaign in support of the plan. They were joined at the Library by Mr. Schwarzman, the Chairman, CEO and co-founder of The Blackstone Group, and a Library Trustee since 2001. His gift is by far the largest single donation in the Library’s history, and, indeed, is the largest outright, unrestricted gift by an individual to any cultural organization in New York City. In acknowledgment of his extraordinary donation, the Fifth Avenue building – currently known as the Humanities and Social Sciences Library – will be renamed the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. (See below for a biography of Mr. Schwarzman.)
The major elements of the plan, described in detail below, are:
Renovate and reconfigure the historic Fifth Avenue building to add a vast, state-of-the-art lending library alongside its existing research divisions, thus creating the world’s most comprehensive library under one roof.
Build two new "Hub" libraries – in Northern Manhattan and Staten Island – with greatly expanded hours and services. These Hub libraries, modeled on the highly successful Bronx Library Center, will work in tandem with and support neighborhood libraries that offer essential services for their local communities.
Expand the Library’s online presence dramatically to make its unique holdings and programs accessible worldwide, and create new online communities led by its librarians and curators.
Strengthen the Library’s financial position by improving operational efficiencies and increasing the endowment.
"The New York Public Library is the most effective organization in this city to help people achieve their goals and improve their lives," said Chairman Marron. "Steve Schwarzman’s gift moves the Library’s plan forward in a powerful way and will have a lasting impact for generations to come."
"The world of information and ideas has changed profoundly," said Dr. LeClerc, "and the needs of library users have changed in response. In neighborhoods, on the Internet, and at the heart of the City, our new plans provide a framework to deliver future generations of library users with the services that will be essential to their lives and livelihood in this new era. We are extremely grateful to Steve Schwarzman for his remarkable commitment to the future of the Library and his recognition of the vital significance of our library system to users around the corner and across the globe."
"I want to congratulate the staff and the Board for setting the bar high, with a sprawling and ambitious billion-dollar plan that completely transforms the New York Public Library for the 21st Century. Our City’s great institutions need to keep making the investments that will keep New York a place that attracts the best and the brightest and nurtures the next generation of leaders in different fields," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, I also want to thank Steve Schwarzman for his incredible $100 million gift. It’s the generosity of New Yorkers like Steve that really sets this City apart."

The Library’s mission has great resonance for Mr. Schwarzman, who credits access to libraries as critical to him during his youth and as he went on to build the largest diversified private equity firm in the world. "The New York Public Library is a passport to the American dream for lower and middle income Americans and immigrants from around the world," said Mr. Schwarzman, the son of a linen and curtain store owner.
"It’s a free university for everyone, from children to scholars. I’ve always loved this Library, particularly for the way in which it serves all people and entirely without cost to them. It is a privilege for me to make this gift to an organization that is so essential to the welfare of New York City and, indeed, the nation."
"Last year, I was incredibly proud to allocate funding to reinstate six-day library service citywide; as a result, an additional 600,000 New Yorkers have been able to take advantage of all our city’s libraries have to offer," said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "Today I am honored to join the New York Public Library in announcing an unprecedented expansion that will transform the concept of the modern, urban library system. The New York Public Library – already world-renowned – will soon be the paramount institution for the 21st century and beyond."
Demand for the New York Public Library’s services has soared in the past two years. In fiscal year 2007, the NYPL received more than 16 million visits to its 89 locations (2 million more visits than in 2006), and its web site received more than 25 million visits (an increase of 5 million visits over 2006). According to recent surveys, each year more than one million residents of the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island – one third of the population – use their local library.
Much of these gains are the result of strong investment in expanded library service made in recent years by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; Speaker Christine C. Quinn and the City Council; and Governor Eliot Spitzer and the State Legislature.
Historic Fifth Avenue Building Transformed
A centerpiece of the Library’s plan is the transformation of the Fifth Avenue building into a Central Library that will include an expansive new lending division serving children, teens, and the general reading public. The historic library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street opened in 1911 as a grand symbol of the City’s commitment to culture and knowledge. It currently houses the Library’s renowned research collections in Humanities and Social Sciences, including millions of volumes of general reference material as well as unique archives and rare special collections.
By moving the general research collection from the original 1911 stacks to high-density shelving under Bryant Park, vast spaces that were formerly inaccessible to the public can be repurposed in order to create a multi-level, light-filled new library that overlooks the park. The integration of research and lending resources under one roof will allow the library to serve a diverse range of users, including young children, students, scholars, writers, entrepreneurs, and casual readers, among many others. The Library will also offer improved exhibition spaces, hundreds of computers and full wireless access, meeting rooms, program venues, and a café. The creation of the new Central Library is expected to result in a threefold increase in use of the building, to an estimated 3.5 million visitors annually.
Marshall Rose, Chairman Emeritus and Chair of the Building Committee of the Board, is providing oversight of the building’s renovation. "Over the past 27 years, I have been involved with many capital improvements in this great building, and the restoration of many of its historic rooms, but none can match this spectacular transformation in terms of the impact it will have on the public." A number of leading architecture firms are currently under consideration to create the design for the Central Library.
New Hub Libraries Anchor Networks of Neighborhood Branches
The Library plans to build two new "Hub" libraries, in Northern Manhattan and Staten Island. Hub libraries offer a full range of collections and programs in state-of-the art facilities geared to all users; they serve as anchors to a group of smaller neighborhood branches that offer services tailored to local communities. In addition to offering in-depth collections, dedicated spaces for children and teens, robust programming, and facilities for a variety of classes and events, Hub libraries are open seven days per week and operate on an expanded schedule of daily hours designed to meet the needs of the area they serve.
This plan has been piloted in the Bronx, where the spectacular new Bronx Library Center on East Kingsbridge Road is a Hub to 11 branches in the northern part of the Borough. In September, the hours of the Bronx Library Center were expanded to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, resulting in an additional 12% increase in attendance and a 13% increase in circulation. In January, the pilot was extended to Staten Island, where the historic St. George Library Center is being used as a temporary Hub until a new Hub library is built elsewhere in the borough. In total, there will be six Hub libraries: three in the Bronx, two in Manhattan, and one in Staten Island.
Expansion Online

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Entertainment and Concert Listings in New York City

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Mable Grahm Mens Wear Collection’s

The Mable Grahm Mens Wear Collection’s new spring line will showcase at Fairway Studios in New York’s midtown Fashion District.

Established in 2006 by designer Sherrita R. Davis, the New York based Mable Grahm Collection provides a fresh perspective on the once staunch market that has recently seen a great rebirth of innovation.

“We provide classic silhouettes with unexpected details,” the designer declared in a recent online interview. The collection is all about interpreting the standards with a twist. With each season, highlighting designs that are more sophisticated the upcoming spring 2008 collection is sure to please. The inspiration for the newest season is very “Buster Keaton in modern day SOHO”. Expect more play on proportion as well as on texture and accessories.

Mable Grahm has been featured in several national campaigns and publications including: Metro Source, Urbanology and Fashion Manuscript.

For more information about Mable Grahm, visit . For invitations to the runway show, call 202-431-1229 or email .