City Comptroller John Liu: Library Properties Should Not Be Sold

Citizens Defending Libraries, the Brooklyn Heights-based organization aiming to protect city libraries “from sale, shrinkage and deliberate underfunding,” had an active week, including a story in The New York Times, coverage in The Nation and a sanctioned appearance at City Hall from City Comptroller John C. Liu.

In a video posted by Liu’s office, he states, “Our public assets are not for sale. That is the bottom line,” adding that claims library properties are draining money from the city are not founded, because “for years, these buildings have been neglected in the first place. We should maintain the public investment in these very public buildings. This is not a time to be selling off city assets in Brooklyn.”

Organization co-founder Carolyn McIntyre also speaks in the video clip, addressing her concerns about Brooklyn Heights’ Cadman Plaza branch. Other activities during’s CDL’s “Library Protection Week” are on its website.

Share this Story:


  • HenryLoL

    Let it go, already! It must be 99% of people in the Heights that would love to get rid of that nasty library. I would never bring my kids in there! SOme quality housing and a smaller, better library is what we need. It will be best for the community and the library system.

  • Justine Swartz

    Cadman Plaza Library is a Treasure with wonderful services,
    an eclectic population, variety of books and DVDs, exceptional
    helping staff, over
    50 free computers,
    a marvelous theatre where fun shows and informative lectures take place.

    We a blessed in having a wonderful
    Brooklyn Heights Library.

  • Heights_Neighbor

    “some quality housing” as if there is none in the area? A high rise seems a bit more than “some” as well. If the library goes, what’s next? It would be a very sad precedent.

  • Jazz

    First you have Liu who lost the plot on LICH to Quinn in the mayoral chess game so now he gets on this crackpot cause “saving” the library to court the idle rich guy vote in Brooklyn Heights.

    Please please pray Weiner gets in the race and obliterates all these hacks. At least we know what his hidden agenda is.

  • Michael D. D. White

    I believe that if Liu were courting the idle rich he would be going along with the BHA position where something odd seems to be going on with who at the BHA is supporting sale and shrinkage of the library and why, about which we are all waiting with bated breath to find out more. I think that Liu is courting the votes of the general membership of the BHA which I believe (based on CDL’s own statistics) opposes the sale and shrinkage. I think Liu is also courting a group who are not the idle rich whose libraries are being defunded across the city as an excuse to sell library real estate. And then there are the researchers and academics and CUNY students who rely on the 42nd Street Library. Idle rich?

  • sue

    What is becoming clear as more information is available is that the Brooklyn Public Library is very poorly run. After a 12 month lead time they have no solution to the Air Conditioning problem at the Cadman Plaza Library other than shortening service hours. I ask the question why could they not put a plan together with portable/temporary Air conditioners for the public.

    They also do a poor job of securing monies as Manhattan and Queens both get more from the city per person than Brooklyn.. I question their competency.

    The organization seems more interested in fronting for the real estate industry than in doing their primary job
    I suggest that we all need to think about changes at the top. Both Linda Johnson and Anthony Crowell
    BLOOMBERGS LAWYER may have to GO



  • Jonathan

    The very well-attended event at City Hall included a whole roster of speakers decrying the Bloomberg Administration’s real-estate sell-offs and privatizations of our public libraries, parks, schools, hospitals and public housing. Video of the entire event is available at on Citizens Defending Libraries YouTube Channel:

    The complete speaker list:

    Carolyn E. McIntyre, organizer and spokesperson for Citizens Defending Libraries
    Girl Scouts from Prospect Heights uniting to save the Pacific Branch library.
    Zack Winestine, speaking for the Committee to Save the New York Public Library
    Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council
    Comptroller John C. Liu
    State Senator Velmanette Montgomery
    Assemblyman Micah Kellner, head of the NYS Assembly Library Committee
    City Councilman Robert Jackson
    Sal Albanese, candidate for mayor
    Yetta Kurland, candidate for City Council in the 3rd District
    Ed Hartzog, candidate for City Council in the 5th District.
    Historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Levering Lewis
    Historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Levering Lewis

  • Moni

    The point is not whether the library is run down and needs refurbishment; the point is that library buildings — PUBLIC property — should not be sold off to greedy RE developers. These buildings were gifts , and in some cases are treasures. I just don’t believe that a defunct air conditioning system is a reason to sell.

  • carlotta

    Thank you HenryLoL for being the devil’s advocate and showing us how absurd the selling of the Cadman Library would be!! Your voice strengthens our resolve to STOP THE REAL ESTATE DEALS THAT STEAL OUR PUBLIC PROPERTY FOR THEIR PRIVATE GAINS. Let’s all join together to keep our our library for ALL who use it and for ALL who will use it in the future. We can make it a wonderful, beautiful, educational, peaceful, awesome place and still keep the building. I urge everyone to join the fight to stop this greed.

  • Moni

    And furthermore, who cares what Liu’s motives are. He’s on the right side! As for Weiner, worse things could happen to NYC than Mayor Weiner.