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Posts by Billy Parrott

Mad Men: The Beginning of the End

It has been a long and memorable ride, unlike any other on television. But the final season of Mad Men begins April 13. It's the beginning of the end. Whatever will be, will be. The first episode of Mad Men was set in March 1960. Season 6 ended in November 1968. That's eight years and eight months. Where does that leave us? [spoiler alert!]Read More ›

Rubber Band Bracelets From Your Favorite Book

They are all the craze this holiday season, with kids immersing themselves in hours upon hours of crafty creation.  They have even been banned from some area schools for causing fights on playgrounds.  What has caused such a frenzy of creativity and violence? Rubber band bracelet looms.

Gwendolyn Accoo, Office Associate III at the Mid-Manhattan Library, recently poked her head in my office and said “Look what ... Read More ›

Number One Hits for the Year: 1979

I was recently going through a box of old photographs and came across photos from the first concert I ever attended: Kiss. October 21, 1979. Houston Summit. I was 10.

That got me to thinking of the music from that year.

1979 marked the end of arguably one of the most unfortunate eras in American music history:

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The Wonder Years: Music and References from Season One

What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?

I don't know about you, but certain songs are for me forever associated with certain movies and television shows.

What do you think of when you hear Roy Orbison's "In Dreams"? How about when you hear Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With 

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Mad Men on the Menu

You are what you eat is the common adage, but What you eat describes who you are is more appropriate for circa 1960s Madison Avenue and New York City.

The power lunch. Two-for-one happy hour. The business dinner. A sandwich from the corner diner. Scotch at 11am.

Food and drink play an important role in Mad Men.

The production design certainly gives the show an air of visual authenticity and nothing grounds a 

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The Neil Peart Reading List

I've always been curious about Neil Peart. You could say he's the George Harrison of the band Rush. He's the quiet one, but he is anything but silent. In addition to the complex time keeping duties the drummer extraordinaire is also the band's lyricist. With the song's varied themes ranging from philosophy to fantasy you have to assume he is well read.

As a librarian I am always 

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The Google Challenge: Google Images versus The Picture Collection

Below are the four image subjects mentioned by Chris Raschka in his Caldecott acceptance speech, with comparative details for each subject as they relate to Google image search and the Picture Collection. These details include the number of images available through Google and the Picture Collection and a detailed description of the results. Read More ›

The Glen Bishop Reading List

She's not really his girlfriend. He's not really her boyfriend. She says she doesn't like him like that and he says he thinks of her as his little sister, but smarter. But she still sometimes tells others he's her "boyfriend" and he tells his classmates that she's his "girlfriend."

He shaves once a week on Sunday. If he doesn't shave he gets the slightest hint of a moustache. She doesn't like it. He talks to her on the payphone in the hallway of Hotchkiss. The hall isn't conducive to private conversations, but sometimes he wants to be overheard. He 

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The Bookshelves of Boardwalk Empire

Prohibition. Politics. Corruption. Alcohol was not illegal to drink. It was just illegal to manufacture, sell, or transport. Various organized criminal enterprises saw fit to illegally manufacture, sell, and transport alcohol to those who wanted it. 1920. Money. Politics. Corruption. This is Boardwalk Empire.

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Inspiration in the Picture Collection: Louis Slobodkin

For the famous or for those aspring to be, for those who have a job to do, an assignment to finish, or for those just doing what they love, the Picture Collection has long been a valuable resource and source of inspiration.

On May 20, 1944 the Picture Collection received a thank-you letter from Louis Slobodkin.

Slobodkin was a sculptor, author, and illustrator and a regular 

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Billy Parrott, Meet Billy Parrott

OK readers. Some time back I did a blog post in which I firmly stated I was the real Billy Parrott. I'm writing today to formally acknowledge that I am only one Billy Parrott. I am Billy Parrott, the librarian. I'd like to introduce you to the other Billy Parrott. He's the actor.

Mistaken identity was the subject of my original post. Most cases of mistaken identity are visual in nature and I recounted various incidents in which I was 

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"Chris in the Morning" Reading List

From 1990 through 1995, the television viewing public was obsessed with the goings on in Cicely, Alaska. Northern Exposure ruled the television airwaves. And while our airwaves were dominated by this quirky drama, on the show itself the airwaves were ruled by Chris Stevens and his KBHR radio show Chris in the Morning.

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The "Mad Men" Reading List

You might remember my original list, which will always be available here.   

This revised list will be easier to follow and, like my previous list, it will be updated as books appear in new episodes. Details on literary references will continue in the comments field. As mentioned in my original blog post, some of the books on the list are featured more prominently in the series than others, but all are a great way to gain insight into the episodes and the social and cultural times in which the 

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A "Mad Men" Mystery Solved

I am a librarian. I like things to be in order. I like things to be complete, but I have been troubled for the past year. You see, Sally Draper was shown reading a book in Mad Men season four, episode five ("The Chrysanthemum and the Sword"), and I could not for the life of me figure out what that book was. The Mad Men Reading List was incomplete and, as a 

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Where Do You Get Your Information?

A recent conversation with a patron at the Battery Park City Library reminded me of one of my past blog posts in which I pondered the time-saving methods and ideas of Mevil Dewey. I'll have you know that since that post I have implemented none of Dewey's radical ideas. Interestingly enough though, a few of my colleagues do use his methods by spelling my last name "Parrot" instead of "Parrott." Though I personally have not yet benefited from 

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During and After the Credits

There was once a time when one thing was certain: when the credits started rolling, you knew the movie was over.

Unless you liked the musical score or were curious to see who played the Security Guard or who the supervising hairdresser to the third assistant director was, then there was no point in sitting through the credits.

This just isn't the case anymore.

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The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction

One hundred years ago this month people lined up at the Louvre to see an empty space on a wall.

On August 21, 1911 a guard at the Louvre noticed a painting was missing. He initially thought nothing of it, assuming it was behind the scenes being photographed. It soon though became apparent what had really happened.

Someone had stolen the Mona Lisa.

The museum was closed for a week to investigate and when it reopened thousands lined up to look at where the famous painting had once hung.

Louvre employee (and patriotic Italian) Vincenzo Peruggia 

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The Ticketless Traveler: Outer Space!

Long before Forrest Ackerman coined the term Sci-Fi man had imagined escaping the confines of this planet and exploring the vast unknown regions of outer space. 

Space tourism is a burgeoning field but with a cost of about $20 million for a window seat it is a trip that most of us will never make.

My suggestion is to settle on the next best 

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Finding time, and my bromance with the irrepressible reformer

I haven't been in the library profession very long, but I have been a librarian all my life. 

I have always found information, collected information, and put information in order.  

Collected. Completed. Categorized.

A childhood of comic books, baseball cards, flea market bric-a-brac. 

I'm an INFJ.

I was a librarian in a past life.

It has been over a year since my days at the Jefferson Market Branch where 

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The Battery Park City Branch Library: One Year Later

March 15, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Battery Park City Branch of The New York Public Library.   We’ve had a very busy year.   Throughout the past twelve months there is one thing I have always tried to remember: The Battery Park City Branch is someone’s first library.    This is where someone will discover their favorite book.    This is where someone will begin his or her lifelong love of reading.   I started using Twitter late in the Summer of ... Read More ›
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