A group of preservationists and scholars has filed a lawsuit to stop the New York Public Library from removing millions of books from the Fifth Avenue building's research stacks.
The books' removal is part of a $300 million plan to renovate the landmark Manhattan building.
The plan would turn the main library into a circulating library by selling two nearby branches and folding their operations into the main building.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. It seeks a court injunction to prevent the library from proceeding with the demolition work. It also seeks to bar the city from providing funding for the renovation.
It says, "destruction of the stacks . . . will surely doom the NYPL's mission to serve the public's research and reference needs."
Library officials say the redevelopment is essential to the library's future.