julia foulkes

Research for all

As a member of the Advisory Board of the research libraries of the New York Public Library, I got an early view of the new plans to renovate the Schwarzman building at 42nd Street. This renovation follows years of debate about the fate of the building, particularly a plan that gutted the research purpose of the building and turned it over to circulating collections. The outcry was vociferous enough that it caused a complete reversal—a re-dedication to research as the primary function of that building. Still, figuring out how “research” works in the age of Google in a building that is also a primary tourist destination and is devoted to remaining accessible to all requires some fine-tuned thinking. I think this plan is a good step forward in meeting those goals. (Summary of renovation in this WSJ article, including a quote from me.)