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Posts by Muriel Richards

For the Hale & Hearty! July is Park and Recreation Month

I recently learned that July has been designated "Park and Recreation Month." I do not begrudge those hearty souls who simply adore inhaling the scent of the soil while lying awake in a perfectly pitched tent, listening to the nocturnal sounds of life in the woods, of starting a campfire to cook breakfast with a glorious sunrise serving as backdrop to the sound of bacon frying and who regard possible contact with a patch of poison ivy as a minor nuisance. However, I may not be properly numbered amongst those hearty outdoor types. Read More ›

Celebrate Fathers at the Library

Need some ideas for Father's Day? We have two exhibitions your dad is sure to enjoy. Pick up some paternally-themed books too.Read More ›

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Books for Barbecue Season

My nephew and niece read a few articles online on the topic of May being "National Barbecue Month" and "National Salad Month" and desired to host a barbecue. Fortunately for my nephew, niece and their respective guests, the NYPL contains a literal plethora of books and DVDs concerning the topic of barbecuing.Read More ›

Send Me a Letter: Books on Card and Letter Writing

While engaging in some much-needed but rarely performed spring cleaning in my apartment, I recently encountered several letters written to me by a maternal great-great aunt years ago. This dovetailed nicely with my supervisor's request that I write my April blog post on the topic of card and letter writing. Read More ›

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder: Art Class at the Library

Whether you are the parent of a budding Picasso or a child who imbues the term "abstract art" with new meaning, the library is sure to have resources to support his or her creative pursuits.Read More ›

Here a Cat, There a Cat: TNR in NYC

February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. Find out more about TNR (trap-neuter-return) programs in New York City.Read More ›

Interview with Gaslight Mystery Author Victoria Thompson

I recently had the distinct honor and utter delight of posing interview questions to an author as talented as she is gracious, Ms. Victoria Thompson. This Edgar and Agatha award-nominated writer is the author of over thirty books, including one that is the featured work (Murder in Chelsea) of the upcoming Great Kills Library Book 

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Find New Hobbies at the Library

My father was a fan of George Bernard Shaw, and I myself firmly believe in the wisdom of the quote often misattributed to Mr. Shaw, "Youth is wasted on the young." This adage, as well as my late father's utter exasperation when I refused to heed his wise counsel, which was a product of a combination of his prescience and a long life of various experiences, came full circle when I recently received a telephone call from my sixteen year old niece, Amanda.

After expressing my shock at receiving communication from my niece that was not of the avant l'heure kind, 

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Welcome to Modernity! Learning About Computers at the Library

Readers of some of my prior posts may have garnered the (correct) impression that I hopelessly long for a return to yesteryear. However, since H.G. Wells' The Time Machine does not yet refer to an actual, functioning invention, I am coerced to resign myself to acclimating, to a degree, to this century. (Sigh.)

I freely admit that there are some perks of modernity that I am exceedingly glad to avail myself of—antibiotics, butter that I needn't arise at 3 a.m. to churn, modes of transport 

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Embrace Change (and a Dog!) at the Library

April contains National Library Week (April 14-20, 2013). According to the American Library Association website, this event was “first sponsored in 1958… to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support."

While many of the services and features of our nation’s libraries have remained the same over the ensuing fifty-five years since the inception of National Library Week, a literal myriad of changes have been effectuated in 

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Skype with Retired FBI Author Gary Noesner at the Port Richmond Library

May contains National Police Week (this year, May 13-19). This is only appropriate, since America, as evidenced by the literal plethora of fictional as well as real life crime books and shows, has a fascination with the realm of law enforcement that spans decades.

From the love of British fiction detective Bulldog Drummond books in the 1930s to the 1950s television series Dragnet to Michael Connolly’s current mysteries featuring central characters with LAPD affiliations and the modern television 

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April Laughs

Spring is my favorite season, as we (in this hemisphere, anyway) emerge from the winter doldrums (albeit this winter really presented us with little to complain about). April, however, has been labeled "the cruelest month" because of the looming possibility of a (short-lived) regression into colder temperatures. I enjoy April because of it's status as "National Humor Month."

Yes, I am well cognizant of the fact that April is also "

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Peril to the Periwinkles! Gardening Books

Most of us, consciously or unconsciously, harbor notions of affiliation. For example, many presume that an individual who is a talented artist in terms of painting will be adept at selecting wallpaper borders that are flattering to the relevant room's basic décor. And, of course, most people logically presume that an entity who cooks a delectable turkey on Thanksgiving should be able to season and bake a tasty chicken. So, it is without negative judgment that I listened to a friend's entreaty for my assistance with planting bulbs in her garden this 

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The Dog is Worth the Diabetic Diet!

Readers of my prior blog posts will already be well versed in the fact that exercise and a healthy diet are not really my forte. Oh, I do perform what I like to regard as "modified calisthenics" when shelving books on the lower and upper shelves of my local library (although I am sure Richard Simmons would likely disagree with my characterization of that duty as officially "exercise"). And I like to think of my 

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Help Others - Help Yourself!

Since being employed by the New York Public Library, I have often been on the receiving end of many queries regarding books to recommend on various topics. One of my friends from junior high school days, Nicole, has exponentially increased her solicitations for my opinion regarding books containing spiritual advice.

The exact nature of the friendship between Nicole and I may be properly understood by listening to the catty bantering contained in the lyrics of "Bosom Buddies" from the Broadway show, Mame. Nicole has enjoyed a scintillating career 

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It's All Relative

Family is a topic that often takes on added significance around this time of year, as during the holiday season, many interact with relatives successfully avoided—er, um, I mean, not visited due to other pressing obligations the rest of the year. Knowing one's family history is of vital importance medically speaking, and, on a psychological level, being aware of one's familial roots assuages the feeling of being cast adrift in the world. Additionally, this year, I experienced a special interest in ascertaining information on my family.

Experiencing a surfeit 

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Halloween Reads

That time of year has descended upon us yet again—it is time to celebrate the macabre, to relish the goblins and embrace the demons (no, I am not referring to fast approaching interactions with family members during Thanksgiving that many experience, although one of my family members is suspiciously too financially enriched in October.  The apparent financial windfall enjoyed by the relevant family member every October has given rise to some rather nasty rumors that he is receiving royalties on the literal plethora of devil costumes donned by various entities on Halloween. 

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Reclaim Your Youthful Vitality (or at least lose ten pounds and dab on some blush!)

I do not consider myself a vain woman, having survived a sufficient passage of decades to have arrived at the wisdom to know that a person's interior is of paramount importance to his/her exterior. My rather corpulent, weary-countenanced physical being does not interfere with my primary aspirations in life: to become a published writer (what a wonderful feeling, I imagine, to issue a school theatre ticket discount slip for one of my plays or to place a hold on a book I've written!), continue to strive to be the best besotted aunt in history and function as an indentured servant to my dog 

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