Residual upset from Brooklyn Public Library's $52 million sale of the land under its Brooklyn Heights branch has lead several sources to step forward and allege that the library is doing just fine, financially, and that the deal wasn't necessary to sustain its operations. A new complaint covered by The Post claims that the library is "sitting on more than $100 million in unspent funds" and that its budget woes are contrived.
The Post builds up the case with an angry quote from an unnamed lawmaker: "They’ll come up with excuses for the money but they’re full of shit. All the numbers, they pull them out of thin air." The backlash comes after the library sold the land under its Brooklyn Heights branch to a developer with plans to build a 36-story condo with room for the library branch in its base.
A residents group called "Love Brooklyn Libraries" filed a complaint with the attorney general and city Law Department on January 15 saying that "[t]he Brooklyn Public Library has persisted in feigning capital poverty and manufacturing a so-called crisis to further a lucrative real-estate deal which will potentially benefit the library."
The library, of course, denies this. "We have accurately and even conservatively estimated the library system’s unfunded capital needs," BPL Executive Vice President David Woloch said. The Post reports that BPL had access to $90 million in city funds from 2015, and used only about 5.5 percent of that. This year, the funds have been bumped to $107 million. Looks like libraries, being that well-oiled machine of capitalist greed that they are, will continue screwing the people of New York.