Celebs Step Up for the NYPL

Facing funding cutbacks that would drastically reduce services, the New York Public Library is in the midst of a fierce campaign to articulate its value to the community. That effort now gets a serious shot in the arm from video testimonials by celebs including Amy Tan, Barbara Walters, Malcolm Gladwell, Bette Midler, Nora Ephron, Bill Irwin, Mike Nichols, Ellen Burstyn, Colson Whitehead, Tim Gunn and Jeff Daniels. It's unlikely that many other towns could round up a similar roster -- but as libraries all over the country confront the threat of shrinking budgets, they can find inspiration for their own counterattacks in the NYPL video.

"Whenever I hear the words that libraries are being cut back, I feel like people's lives are being cut back ... in a very real way," Gladwell says.

"Stand up and bang on a pan loudly for your public library," Mario Batali exhorts.


June 3, 2009 12:29 PM | | Comments (2)


All of NYC's libraries are facing similar budget cuts. It would be nice to see if the Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library could get some celebrities to drum up the support too.

Bloomberg's vision involves attracting tourism $ here by having chaise lounges in Times Square. Will that money ever meet our libraries and schools? I'd hate to see our city turn into a kind of 'Museum Village' where people come to see what New York City was like.

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