The New York Public Library received a $100 million donation from Wall Street financier Stephen A. Schwarzman.
“The gift from Mr. Schwarzman, a library trustee and buyout guru who made fortunes as the chief executive of the Blackstone Group, is among the largest to any cultural institution in the city’s history.”
Despite his impossibly generous donation, the following quote from a NY Times article on the donation is fairly despicable:
“The library helps lower- and middle-income people — immigrants — get their shot at the American dream.”
I am sorry but that statement is so wrong in so many ways. First, it is condescending towards the very people he claims are enlightened by the NYPL. Am I to assume Mr. Schwarzman does not go to the NYPL to fulfill the American dream? Or did he when and if he was simply middle or, gasp, lower class. Second, the NYPL is a top-notch research library that happens to be a public institution. The library caters to and is invaluable to all social classes, ethnicities, etc. It’s collections are used by everyone.
While I am incredibly happy to hear the NYPL is getting loads of money to continue to serve the public good and we should all be thankful Mr. Schwarzman is so generous, his lack of sensitivity to the NYPL’s mission and patrons is galling.
Here is a press release from the NYPL regarding their $1 billion redevelopment plan.
Posted by: Ian