Who You Gonna Call?

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For years, as an unemployed scientist, I depended daily upon the New York Public Library (NYPL) to remain in touch with my world, to earn money and to research and write my blog and freelance pieces -- mostly due to the free internet access they provide in addition to a clean, safe workspace. So it always tears at my heart when I hear that NYPL is in dire financial straits. This time, Improv Everywhere is helping NYPL retain its funding by pranking the patrons and capturing this on film, and including a plea for people to demand that NYPL's funding is not cut.

For this mission, Improv Everywhere brought the movie Ghostbusters to life in the reading room of The New York Public Library at 42 Street. The 1984 movie begins with a scene in the very same room, so they figured it was time for the Ghostbusters to make an encore appearance.

Read more about the film, the patrons and see lots of fun photos of the filming of this piece.

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Across the river here in New Jersey, relatively recently elected Governor Chris Christie (GOP, needless to say) is planning to cut the state library budget at the end of June by 74%.

No, that's not a typo.

He plans to cut it by three-quarters.

If he succeeds -- and the signs are he will -- the state will have just skeleton library services (no interlibrary loans, no online research resources, etc.) until we can boot the philistine out.

You're right: "philistine" was not the first noun that came to mind.

that's just SICK. i guess he's never been unemployed, poor or homeless, has he? nor, i'd guess, has he spent much time in a public library since it appears that he has NO IDEA how much a public library's resources means to this segment of the population (along with students) .. they depend upon their public library for .. well, mostly everything as they struggle to improve their lot in life.

Those aren't the only segments of society who're going to suffer. There's the elderly, the housebound, schoolkids (in our area the local school libraries are notoriously lousy), starving authors doing research . . . Then there's the simple cultural welfare of the state to consider, not to mention that in many of the communities the libraries serve as important social hubs. It's going to be a mess. Only a complete barbarian would even contemplate this move.

I hope the public libraries in the US manage to survive. They're a great institution and one I miss a lot here in Spain where local libraries are practically non-existant and depressing when they are. :(