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The Power of Story Chapter Seven

The Power of Story Chapter Seven

July 21, 2017

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Chapter Seven, Patience and Fortitude, is the final chapter of the book.  Patience and Fortitude are the names of the two marble lion statues, which guard the entrance to the New York Public Library.  

Katie Knox captures one of the lions in her image posted below.


The visual graphic below captures the content of chapter seven. Thanks, Missy Urbaniak

Chapter seven is about money, greed, power, real estate, secrecy: This story has it all, and then one courageous journalist began to notice and to write honestly about his suspicions. And, because he wrote honestly, and not safely, we all can still enjoy the priceless treasure in the heart of Manhattan: The New York City Public Library. Patience and Fortitude are the names of the two iconic lion statues, which guard the entrance to this beautiful building, which holds our history, our identity, our cultural memories.

            Scott Sherman, a journalist, had a suspicion that someone was trying to get their hands on Patience and Fortitude and the hallowed library which they silently guard. This all happened right before the 2008 financial crisis. Not only is the library filled with treasures, it also sits on a treasured piece of property in the heart of New York City. Had this attempt succeeded, millions of books would have been sent to out-of-state storage facilities, and property developers could have gobbled up prime property.


            The plot to take control of the New York Public Library (NYPL) was conceived in secret by leaders of NYPL and monied interest in New York City (NYC), under the guise of renovation, change, and new technologies, but the then Mayor Bloomberg would have had an avenue to take over prime midtown real estate. Ideas, books, history, and land would have been taken from the readers, writers, storytellers, thinkers of the world. Sherman followed his hunches and the evidence, documented what he found, and published it in The Nation (Sherman, 2011, November 30; Sherman, 2014, May 7), breaking the story wide open and triggering a rousing debate among the power brokers and the patrons of the library.

Ada Louise Huxtable

Sherman, patrons, scholars, artists, and grassroots library lovers who fought to save the library, were derided as “elitists,” but they were undeterred. Ada Louise Huxtable (2012), a 91-year-old woman, played a pivotal role in revealing the truth and turning the tide with an article she published. Eventually, the power-brokers and library board backed off with, what is now considered, ill-conceived plan. The debate continues, as three million books were sent to New Jersey and have not been returned. Sherman (2015) warns his readers of indifference, and Corrigan (2015) suggests that perhaps we need a third iconic lion, Vigilance. However, another result of this is that it raised more discussion nationally about the future of libraries—a discussion that continues to this day (Corrigan, 2015, June 24; Huxtable, 2012; Sherman, 2015).





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