[Patelson's] is falling victim to a transfigured world, in which the power of digital retail has made places like used bookshops, record stores and sheet-music dealers little more than quaint relics.
Nowadays numerous Web sites offer sheet music for sale, either by mail or download. Publishers like G. Schirmer sell directly online. Other sites provide free downloads for works in the public domain.
(the full article is found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/arts/ ... 3pate.html)
While obviously there is no direct mention of IMSLP, we are the largest site of the kind on the Web, and therefore must receive some of the "blame" that the author is spreading around. Or must we? Of all the factors harming the success of "brick and mortar" sheet music stores (including the economy, the decline of classical music in general, and accessibility of digital replacements), in my opinion little is contributed by the existence of sites such as IMSLP. But my viewpoint may be skewed by my attachment to the printed note, and the fact that (for me) nothing beats browsing through the shelves of a well-stocked music store. I'd like to hear what you think.
Personally, I feel the closing of Patelson's is a sad story. A few months ago I was visiting the shop during my first trip to New York City, when I saw James Levine enter and start browsing through the opera scores right next to me. It is a historic place in its own way, and unfortunately much will be lost by its closing.