NYC's 'Saved' Libraries Experience Deja Vu

Just after that one significant law passed on Friday night, Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn met up downtown to make another important announcement: A balanced, on-time budget for Fiscal Year 2012. Details of that budget are still emerging, but the official press release boasts, “We saved … libraries.” But “saved” is relative. While no sources are sure of actual numbers yet, the agreement should prevent branch closures and lay-offs, though service is still likely to drop from six to five days.

Make no mistake, this was a much better outcome than many library supporters were expecting. But this year's wrangling also represents [...]