What happens to a library that has lost its funding in Reagan administration budget cuts?
In the case of one research library in New York, Uncle Sam hires a moving company to cart every volume to Washington, where the collection will be reassembled under a federal agency.
The library is the 10-year-old Minority Business Information Institute, which closed Aug. 31 after losing its $195,484-a-year contract from the Commerce Department's Minority Business Development Administration.
Following the closing, Earl Graves, publisher of Black Enterprise Magazine and founder of the library, asked federal officials for time to raise foundation money to buy the 2,300-volume collection so he could keep it in New York.
But the government, whose grants over the years have paid for the collection, was intent on getting the data on black businesses to Washington where, according to MBDA director Victor Rivera, it will operate the library at a cost "considerably less than $195,000 a year."
While Graves and Rivera were corresponding earlier this month, a moving company hired by the MBDA turned up at the library on Madison Avenue to move the books.
Graves protested, and won a two-week stay. But his case continued to fall on deaf ears, and Friday the movers were back, this time for keeps.