Monday, June 2, 2008

Donnell Library Closing

1st\NW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

(Photo: Michael Nagle for The New York Times)

After 52 years as one of the most heavily used branches of the New York Public Library system, the Donnell Library Center on West 53rd Street will mostly close at the end of this week. A small circulating collection will remain open, in the basement, through the end of August. Then the building will be razed to make way for an 11-story hotel. When the $220 million hotel opens, sometime around 2011, a new Donnell will occupy part of the first floor and an underground area, coexisting with hotel guests paying $750 to $2,000 per night for a room.

The changes have touched off confusion, sadness and even anger among employees and longtime patrons of the library, which was dedicated in October 1955 and has long been known for strong collections of movies and music, materials in foreign languages, and books for children and teenagers.

The World Languages collection [about 175,000 books in languages other than English] will move to the Mid-Manhattan Library. -- New York Times

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