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Schomburg closing?

DEMETRIA IRWIN | 4/12/2011, 4:34 p.m.
Six African presidents invited to the Schomburg

For about a month, an e-mail has been making the rounds on the Internet and in the blogosphere claiming that the beloved collections at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will be moved downtown.

The New York Public Library's vice president of communications and marketing, Andrew Calneck, heartily denied to the AmNews that there was any truth to that rumor. "It's a crazy urban myth. It's absolutely not true. We've recently expanded the Schomburg and we will be doing more there. No Schomburg collection or even part of a collection will be moving anywhere," said Calneck. The Schomburg Center houses over 10,000,000 individual items and regularly hosts workshops and programs about African-American culture and history.

The Schomburg Center's director, Howard Dodson, also denied there would be a move, but was a bit less firm about the future of the Schomburg. "To the best of my knowledge, there's no truth to that rumor [of the Schomburg moving downtown]. However, there is a fairly major re-organization going on in NYPL. The long-term future of the Schomburg in Harlem or even in the re-structured NYPL system has not yet been determined," said Dodson in an interview with the AmNews. A staffer for Council Member Inez Dickens flatly denied that the Schomburg is moving. The center is located in Dickens' district. "That rumor is completely false. The council member just put $5 million into the Schomburg, and she certainly didn't do that to see it leave Harlem. We heard that rumor and we investigated it and it is simply not true," said Lynette Velasco, spokesperson for Council Member Dickens. Velasco said she knows who started the rumor, but declined to name the person.