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Weekly News Digest

March 13, 2008 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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New York Public Library Unveils Transformation Plan

The New York Public Library ( unveiled a $1 billion transformation plan, led by a $100 million gift from Stephen A. Schwarzman. The Fifth Avenue building—currently known as the Humanities and Social Sciences Library—will be renovated and renamed the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. It will also build two new "hub" libraries—in northern Manhattan and Staten Island—with greatly expanded hours and services. The library also plans to expand its online presence to make its unique holdings and programs accessible worldwide and to create new online communities led by its librarians and curators. Schwarzman is chairman, CEO, and co-founder of The Blackstone Group and a library trustee since 2001.
The plan, which will take at least 5 years to realize, represents the greatest change to the New York Public Library system since its founding more than 100 years ago. The purpose of the plan is to transform the library so that it can better serve a growing public, one that is accessing information in rapidly changing and diverse ways. The library’s 5-year goal is to double the number of unique users who take advantage of its rich collections, wide-ranging programs, inspirational reading rooms, and online offerings. The plan, which calls for a total investment of approximately $1 billion, was adopted by the library’s board following a comprehensive 18-month study by trustees and staff.

Demand for the New York Public Library’s services has soared in the past 2 years. In fiscal year 2007, the NYPL received more than 16 million visits to its 89 locations (2 million more visits than in 2006), and its website received more than 25 million visits (an increase of 5 million visits over 2006). According to recent surveys, each year more than one million residents of the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island—one third of the population—use their local libraries.

Source: New York Public Library

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