Who Ya Gonna Call?

If the budget is cut in your library, who ya gonna call? You guessed it – the next line should be Ghostbusters – and perhaps after that the singer would say, “I ain’t afraid of no cuts.” However, when faced with a huge budget cut, the New York Public Library just couldn’t afford the high fees associated with hiring Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters fame, even if only for a couple of minutes.

Instead, as Read Street reported, they approached the next best thing – Improv Everywhere! Haven’t heard of this improv group, then I’m here to let you in on the secret (can’t say best kept because they recently reported having over 1 million views and 300k subscribers). Their slogan is “We Cause Scenes,” and I have to admit that in the following video, Improv Everywhere definitely created “chaos and joy in public places” – this time in one that is usually quiet.

If you love to laugh as much as I do, then you have to check out this video:

So now you’re thinking, what is the New York Public Library trying to say? According to the Read Street article, they approached Improv Everywhere because they wanted people to remember how “great the NPYL is” at a time when their budget has been severely threatened.

Did it work? If you live in NYC, are you going to go to the library more often or perhaps even donate money to it? If you don’t live in NYC, do you now wish you did or at least wish that your local library had cool impromptu “events” like this one? Go ahead and laugh, and then let us know what you think!

  4 comments for “Who Ya Gonna Call?

  1. May 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    That’s awesome. I hope it actually helps increase donations/etc. I love libraries. I don’t visit them as often as I should but I try to get there at least once a month to load up on books. I guess I ought to look into donating to help my own local libraries.

    The one trip I took to New York, we made shore to stop in the NYPL. It’s amazing. I was overwhelmed by the size and the contents. I really hope they can pull through. It would be a real tragedy (and a very sad commentary on our society) to see them shut down.

  2. May 21, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks of the comment Okie! I hope it increases donations and places pressure on those creating the budget to not cut the NYPL’s funds so much. Yeah, I think that I’m going to look into donating to some local libraries here – that and make suggestions about what to do with the funds they have. There are a lot of great YA books coming out, for example, and my library doesn’t seem to have the funds to get a lot of them (especially the English language versions since I live in a bilingual city, most of the books they get are French). : )

    I’ve never been to the NYPL, but I’ve been to the Detroit Public Library to look at their special collections (it was a geeky book class trip in my undergrad days). They had some amazing stuff, including a first edition, 3 volume Robinson Crusoe set, and I think a 3rd edition of the Shakespeare folio. The librarian let us touch the books with our hands (though I refused), but I think that she probably regretted that later. The Crusoe volume was – she thought – very valuable (someone who had been evaluating their collection had set it aside), but it was fragile and by the time we were leaving, the top cover of the first Crusoe volume had fallen off of the spine. I was shocked and appalled.

  3. August 18, 2010 at 8:44 am

    I would love to visit the NYPL but I’ve never been to NY. The libraries in Omaha, NE don’t get much love either and budgets have been cut here too. I love libraries and would drag every single person I knew to one within driving distance if they did something like this. Awesome!

  4. August 18, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Thanks for your comment, Jenn! I’ve never been to NYC either, but I have been to the Detroit Public Library, which is pretty special in it’s own right. I went there for a university class trip, and they showed us some key pieces from their special collections, including a bunch of first edition Hemingway novels, a 3rd edition of the Shakespeare Folio, and a three-volume version of Robinson Crusoe. Very cool.

    I think the main local library here, in Montreal, Canada, is also facing budget cuts. They recently reduced the days open from 7 to 6, so I think it has something to do with this issue. If they did something this creative, I think that I’d get everyone I knew involved too! :)

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