Critics question public library's renovation plan

May 23, 2012 6:41:03 AM PDT
A $300 million plan to renovate the New York Public Library's flagship Fifth Avenue building is coming under fire from critics who say the changes would diminish the library's role as a research institution.

The plan would turn the main library into a circulating library by selling two nearby branches and folding their operations into the main building.

The plan also calls for putting up to half of the 3 million volumes in the mail library's stacks into storage in New Jersey.

The New York Times reports ( ) that critics at a panel discussion Tuesday said the plan would force researchers to wait too long to retrieve books.

Historian David Nasaw called the plan "fatally flawed."

NYPL President Anthony Marx said the redevelopment is essential to the library's future.

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