The NY Public Library turned away black teens today
Posted in the Harlem Forum
#1 Jul 5, 2012
I arrived past the library's opening time of 10AM to find people standing outside, waiting. Most of the small crowd were teens. What a beautiful sight: young people eager to enter the library during their summer holiday. Imagine what the day inside could mean for their intellectual and social development!
But a rumor was spreading around the group: the library may not open today after all. What? The staff was inside. The books were sitting on their shelves. The computers were powered and ready. At 10:15AM, a staff member confirmed it: the library was not opening today; the air conditioning was not working. The group dispersed, young men and women scattering amongst Harlem's city blocks ... towards what?
The staff member told us that the air conditioner had not been working since December. "A contractor" was supposed to come to fix it. "Any day now," she actually said, to bemusement. The library will probably be closed tomorrow too, she concluded. And the next day. The whole weekend.
I took the subway down to 42nd street, to that library. You can bet it had air conditioning. You can bet it was open. But in Harlem today, the public library turned away its eager youth. A disgrace.
#2 Jul 6, 2012
It's the Countee Cullen branch of the NYPL on 136th Street. And it's closed again today. And you're right, it's a disgrace.
#3 Sep 17, 2012
there is nothing to steal,it's full of books.
#4 Oct 14, 2012
what possible reason could they want in a place that just has books.
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