I have never been to the New York Public Library but I would imagine that what happened to this entity could very easy have happened anywhere else (and probably is happening somewhere else!!). In what appears to be a some sort of fit of madness, a decision was made to send all the physical books to a storage facility in New Jersey, sell off various branch locations and basically destroy what we would know as a library. It was going to free up land but obviously leave anyone (regular book readers, scholars/students, researchers, etc.) all out of luck.
This book supposedly details that battle, but I found it very convoluted and tedious. There's a flow of incoming cast of characters that come and go plus analyzing the various plans, alternatives, etc. Yet this was so incredibly boring.
I found Sherman's writing style to be downright excruciating and am not sure why. There's a tendency to jump back and forth between history and relative present (depending on where we are in the story) and with a bunch of names of people I don't know and don't care about, this just dragged on and on. I see that this is relatively recent and various people refused to talk to him or would not agree to speak with him unless they were guaranteed anonymity. I wonder if that somehow prevents a more well-rounded and more in-depth book.
There's a review on Goodreads that says that this doesn't add much more to what Sherman already reported. As I was not familiar with this prior to hearing about the book, I couldn't say. But this leads me to think that there's a lot more to this story and unfortunately without these details, we're just left with a not very good book.
Borrow from the library. I wonder if a NYPL user or someone who has more familiarity with the library's history would find this more interesting.