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Posts by Laura Rietz

May is National Mental Health Month

An estimated one in five adult Americans is living with a mental health problem, according to a recent survey by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Yet less than 50 percent of adults and children with diagnosable conditions receive treatment—not because it’s unavailable, but due instead to a lack of information about where to find mental health resources in local communities and due to the stigma that is often still associated with mental 

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Two Timely Treasures

What does a ballot from the first post-apartheid election in South Africa have in common with the first Russian-language edition of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital? For starters, they are both in NYPL’s collection of rare items—and each celebrates an important anniversary this week.

May 5th is the birthday of Karl Marx, who would have turned a whopping 195 this year. And on May 10th, 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa, having received the most votes in the country’s first truly democratic election.

These two 

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Read with Abandon This Weekend

Stop staring at your computer screen, drop all your mobile devices, and head to your local library branch: today is national Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.) day! Need some suggestions for reading material to celebrate the occasion? NYPL’s staff has you covered with book lists for readers, big and small.

If you’re looking for the latest New York Times bestseller, check out Adriana Blancarte-Hayward’s recent guide to the week of April 7, 2013, or choose from 

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Celebrate the Mad Men Season Premiere in ’60s Style

The sixth season of AMC’s hit show Mad Men premieres on Sunday, April 7. If you’re interested in throwing a historically accurate premiere party, or you just want to learn more about the 1960s, NYPL offers plenty of groovy resources.

Just how accurate can you be in staging a premiere party? The real question is what moment in time will Season 6 rejoin the lives of Mad Men’s fictional characters. Although AMC is remaining mum on how much time has passed since the end of Season 5, it does acknowledge that a time jump occurs. Based on the fact that 

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Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens!

Ebenezer Scrooge, among the best-known characters envisioned by British author Charles Dickens (1812–1870), remarked prophetically: “I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.” This comment could just as well have been uttered by Dickens about himself. Today marks the 201st anniversary of the canonical author’s birth and NYPL invites you to celebrate it with us.

We’ve just wrapped up our heavily attended exhibition Charles Dickens: A Key to Character at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. If you missed it,

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Everyone Achieves at NYPL

Justin, a 14-year-old with special needs, sits at a computer in the Huguenot Park Library, in Staten Island, and ponders a comprehension quiz about an article he’s just read. The multiple-choice question asks him to fill in the blank: “A packet is a kind of ____.” His choices: Bag, zone, plant, or map. Justin answers incorrectly on his first attempt, so he thinks long and hard before finally settling on “Bag,” then submits his answer. “Fantastic!” says a pop-up message on the screen. “Fantastic!” echo Justin and his teaching aide, who 

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BOO! It's Our Halloween Playlist

Looking for a way to get into the Halloween spirit? NYPL is here to help with a playlist of spooky videos—no tricks, just treats!

Show your Library spirit by carving NYPL’s signature lion into your holiday pumpkin:

Have a chat with Frankenstein’s Creature, the ghoulishly friendly star of our latest Biblion app for iPad:

Also check out our spellbinding collection of videos from Biblion: Frankenstein and listen to chilling dramatic readings of Mary Shelley’s novel:

Go ghost-hunting with teens as they explore the historical haunts 

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Ghosts of Cities Past

What’s the history of your favorite haunt? Teens from The New York Public Library’s Seward Park Branch explored the hidden past of their neighborhood earlier this year and made some surprising discoveries.

Using iPads as their guides in a mobile gaming experience that transported them back in time, the teens dug deep into their neighborhood’s landmarks through the contents of NYPL’s Lower East Side History Collection. One boy was fascinated to learn that 

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Top Summer Readers Hit It Out of the Park

The top children and teen readers of the New York Public Library’s 2012 Summer Reading program celebrated their accomplishments on August 29th at Yankee Stadium, where they met Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson and stood on the field before a cheering crowd of more than 45,000 baseball fans.

The seven kids—the youngest a first grader, the oldest a high school senior—together logged nearly 3,000 items at NYPL this summer. The readers and their families then settled into the stands to watch Granderson and the Yankees take on the Toronto 

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