NYPL Annual Report 10 NYPL  
 
 
   
   
 
   
 

Photo: Mike DiVito

 

  This year, as The New York Public Library looks forward to commemorating the Centennial of its landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 100 isn't the only number to celebrate. The fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010, was one marked by record-breaking figures and numerous accomplishments, large and small.

During the past year, the Library faced harsher budget cuts than ever before, and the citizens of the city rose to meet the challenge by joining our advocacy campaign in overwhelming numbers. As you'll read in the Year in Review section, NYPL's "Don't Close the Book on Libraries" campaign was so successful that very few cuts in Library hours and staff were necessary.

More than 130,000 concerned Library users from across the city wrote letters to their elected officials protesting the deep cuts that would have decimated hours, resources, and staff. In addition, NYPL's loyal supporters donated $144,000 online.

We thank them for their generosity, and we thank Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, and members of the City Council for recognizing the importance of the Library in New Yorkers' lives; as a result, NYPL has been able to keep all 90 locations open for the millions of patrons who rely on us every day.

As always, we also thank the ongoing generosity of the Library's steadfast Trustees. This year, we welcomed three new Trustees to the Board: Evan R. Chesler, Susan Morgenthau, and Luis A. Ubiñas. Evan R. Chesler, a presiding partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, serves on the Board's Library Policy Committee. Susan Morgenthau, a former teacher and longtime NYPL volunteer, is a member of the Campaign Steering Committee. Luis A. Ubiñas is President of the Ford Foundation and was a member of our Presidential Search Committee. I'm sure their dedication and talents will be assets to the Board and NYPL for years to come.

And, of course, we want to thank the cadre of individual, foundation, and corporate donors whose kindness allows NYPL to continually add services and programs, and who have generously supported our campaign to "Create the Library for the Future." Many of the Library's Trustees, their family members, and other friends have provided leadership support for the campaign; they include Timothy R. Barakett, Lewis B. Cullman, Roger Hertog, the Hess Corporation, Kevin W. Kennedy, Scott D. Malkin, Donald B. Marron, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr., Katharine J. Rayner, Elizabeth Rohatyn, the Estate of Katharine S. Rosin, Stephen A. Schwarzman, The Starr Foundation, Joshua L. Steiner, Edgar Wachenheim III, Sue Ann Weinberg, Robert W. Wilson, and two anonymous benefactors.

Paul LeClerc will discuss many of the year's highlights in his Letter from the President. For me, two particularly special additions were the Library's first Wi-Fi Reading Room in the Schwarzman Building's handsome Edna Barnes Salomon Room and the debut, with thanks to the McGraw-Hill Companies for its support, of Financial Literacy Central at the Science, Industry and Business Library, which offers patrons an invaluable source of information about budgets, investments, and taxes. Indeed, as New Yorkers continue to face record levels of unemployment, NYPL has stepped up job-search resources and workshops to help those in need.

Not surprisingly, unsurpassed numbers of children, teens, and adults flocked to Library programs (some 825,905 people attended 43,065 events), while the number of books, CDs, DVDs, and other materials borrowed hit an all-time high of more than 24 million items. The 740,000 items in the Digital Gallery received an impressive 123.4 million views, while website traffic and visits to NYPL remain among the highest of any public library in the country, at 25,369,022 and 17,744,619, respectively.

In the coming year, as NYPL reaches even more milestones — from the Centennial Celebration in May 2011 to the retirement of exceptional longtime President Paul LeClerc in the summer — I look forward to expanding the Library's services to still more people and to facing the challenges that will arise. As was the case last year, budget cuts will be a major concern as the city continues to face lost revenue and competing demands for limited funds.

Despite the challenges, I know The New York Public Library will continue to fulfill its mission — to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities — and serve as a beacon to New Yorkers in good and tough times alike.

Marron's Signature
Catherine Marron

May 2011

     
   

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