Panoply of Threats Against NYC Libraries- Real Estate, Content Industry, Silicone Valley, Surveillance, Censorship and Information Control
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Session A: Friday June 28th, 5:00pm - 7:00 pm
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The subject will be how New York City’s libraries are under attack. They are being sold, shrunk, turned into real estate deals (like two emblematic “Shrink-and-sink” deals producing luxury towers). Their books and librarians are disappearing. Their spaces are being privatized, commercialized and “reimagined” with “private” partners ascending in influence. The grander more symbolic library spaces are being used for hedge funders’ galas and society weddings. The dismantling gets initiated by deliberately underfunding this public commons that critically underpins democracy so as to excuse what follows. Aligning against the tradition of libraries are several other powerful interests: The content industry’s desire for ownership, Silicon Valley’s surveillance capitalism, other surveillance interests, censorship and instincts of the powerful to steer and dumb down, public information and discourse.


Michael D. D. White is a lawyer, urban planner, writer and activist. He worked in public finance and development for more than a quarter century for the New York State public finance agencies. He is a co-founder of Citizens Defending Libraries and writes Noticing New York about development in...

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