The former chancellor of New York State’s Board of Regents and her husband are set to give the New York Public Library $ 20 million in an effort to expand and strengthen its education programming.
The goal is to offer and expand on existing programs that are educational in their nature. Once it receives the check, the NYPL can offer new features to its existing programs like English language classes, job training courses, after school homework help and programs that expand on existing research centers.
Tisch holds a doctorate in education and used to teach the 1st grade before being appointed to the Board of Regents. She retired from her post with the board last year and is offering this charitable donation in hopes of extending the reach of her legacy.
Her husband James is the president and executive of Loew's corp. and sits on the libraries board of directors.
According to the New York Times, the Tisch’s donation will create a new position for a director of education, who will report directly to the library’s president, Tony Marx. The Times notes that in the digital era, libraries are becoming community centers where people can access the internet and attend free seminars and classes. The donation will hope to facilitate the image of the library as a center for communal learning, rather than it remaining merely a place to pick up a decent read.
“If we get the right director, and hopefully we will, Tisch told the Times, “this becomes a blueprint for what urban libraries across the country should be turning themselves into.”
A donation of this magnitude is rare territory for the NYPL, which houses its branches in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. The library receives 80 percent of its operating costs from the city. In the last two years alone, Mayor de Blasio has increased funding to the tune of $43 million.
Tisch told the New York Times that in addition to expanding current programs in literacy, language, coding, and other education-based activities; she plans to push the Mayor to open the library on Sundays. Currently, eight of the NYPL’s ninety-two locations are open seven days a week. In her interview with the times, Tisch compared this to the lengthy opening hours and the Sunday availability of the Scarsdale public library.
“You don’t need to be a genius to know, if the kids in Scarsdale need it, then the kids in the Bronx need it too.”
By: Yedidya Borenstein