Room for Debate: Threat or Salvation for Library?

The New York Public Library’s $300 million plan to sell its Mid-Manhattan branch and the Science, Industry and Business Library and consolidate them in a renovated main building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street continues to generate criticism. Opponents, hundreds of scholars and others who have signed a petition to block the plan, have said it would undermine its mission as a research center because millions of books would be moved to a storage facility in Princeton, N.J. But library officials say the move is vital to saving the two branches, would have little effect on research and would bring in more users. Should the library go forward with the plan?

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