September 29, 2014

Scott Sherman describes the story behind his forthcoming book, Patience and Fortitude


Screen shot 2014-09-28 at 10.38.43 PMScott Sherman, the author of a series of award-winning cover stories for The Nation magazine about the New York Public Library’s Central Library Plan, will come out with a book published by Melville House next summer called Patience and Fortitude: Power, Real Estate, and the Fight to Save a Public Library.

In a video address to librarians for our Spring 2015 Librarian Preview on Friday, Sherman describes how he broke the story of the NYPL Central Library Plan in 2011 for The Nation in after interviewing NYPL President Tony Marx, but that “for three months absolutely nothing happened.”

It was only after Garrison Keillor did a spoof of the NYPL real estate deals for “A Prairie Home Companion” on NPR in 2012 that opposition to the plan to move the books to New Jersey and sell off libraries began to draw support from celebrities, writers, critics, preservationists, and citizen groups. The New York Times went on to publish 55 stories about the controversial plan.

Sherman explains: “My book, Patience and Fortitude will be a fast moving account of all of this. I will show how one of the world’s great libraries got into the real estate business and lost its way in the digital age. I will also show how Wall Street executives basically took over the New York Public Library’s board of trustees. And I will show in great detail how a group of activists, and bookworms, and architectural preservationists came together to defeat a plan that would have been a catastrophe for NYPL and New York City.”

Watch the whole video below.

Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.