Occupy Wall Street Library Maybe Not So Safe and Sound, After All


Amid all the confusion about what’s going on with Occupy Wall Street now that a judge has upheld the city’s right to keep protesters’ tents and sleeping bags out of Zuccotti Park, we’ve been following the equally perplexing story of the OWS Library. Yesterday, we reported that occupiers saw NYPD officers destroying their 5,554 books as they loaded them into dump trucks. But then, a tweeted photo from @NYCMayorsOffice seemed to show that everything was intact and being held, along with other confiscated items from Zuccotti, at a Department of Sanitation garage on 57th Street.

But the story doesn’t end there. Today, the People’s Library published a new blog post quoting a staffer who has been to 57th Street and claims that many of the library’s books and other equipment are still missing: “There are only about 25 boxes of books; many of the books are destroyed. Laptops here but destroyed. Can’t find tent or shelves.” A very long, preliminary list of items the librarians can’t find includes four or five laptops, 2,000-4,000 books, quite a bit of furniture, and “personal belongings of librarians.” Of course, considering that police are now prohibiting protesters from bringing backpacks, food, or musical instruments into Liberty Square (and here we thought the eviction was all about making sure New Yorkers could enjoy the park), it’s also unclear where the OWS Library will be reconstructed.