The New York Times reports that the New York Public Library plans to proceed with next stage of plan to overhaul its branches. As part of this plan, two libraries will be sold: the Mid-Manhattan branch and the Science, Industry and Business Library.

To address the needs of patrons, a new circulating library will be built inside of the main branch to replace the Mid-Manhattan library. However, some are concerned that this will result in the availability of fewer books, as the main branch is currently a non-circulating research library. Additionally, the potential for overcrowding in the main branch would also need to be addressed.

Funding for the project will come from the city, donations, and the sale of library properties. The total cost of the project is about $1 Billion. While librarians have expressed concern about the elimination of positions and city residents have questioned the ability to invest in such an undertaking during an economic downturn, the project is meant to revitalize the libraries and meet the needs of all New Yorkers who use the branches to study, read, take classes, and use computers for free.