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Blog Posts by Subject: Reference

Spencer Collection Book of the Month: A Wotton Binding

Volume bound for Thomas Wotton (Detail)After I'd spent four Sunday evenings in January engrossed in the doings of the Earl of Grantham and his household on the PBS "Masterpiece Classic" series Downton Abbey, this month's choice for Spencer Collection Book of the Month was obvious: a book that lingered for more than three centuries in the company of barons and earls, before being exiled from their presence in exchange for cold, hard cash.


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Spencer Collection Book of the Month: Correspondence of St. Jerome

When I started blogging last May, I hoped to post frequently, but my "day job" of cataloging the books I'd like to write about kept getting in the way. This year, I made a New Year's resolution to blog more regularly. To get started, I thought I would pick a "Spencer Collection Book of the Month" at the beginning of each month and write a short post about it—just enough to share with my readers some of the things that make it special, because the Spencer 

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A Tour of the Stacks

On Sunday, December 5, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building was the site of the 2010 Holiday Open House, the Library's annual thank-you celebration for donors at the Friends level ($40) or above. Besides enjoying building-wide party fun, attendees were offered a rare opportunity to glimpse a part of the Library that is normally hidden from public view: the building's central stacks 

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Thank You Notes: A Job Search Essential

Writing thank you notes after a job interview can feel a lot like kissing your dentist's feet after a root canal. For most of us, the interview is a necessary, but uncomfortable experience that we want to just get over with and run screaming to the nearest pub to forget about. Besides, writing anything for a potential hiring manager is anxiety-provoking in itself. Still, skipping the thank you note could cost you! Read on for thank you note tips.

Why write thank you notes? Not writing one could cost you the job. If you think hiring managers and search committees 

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Career Changers: I Want to be a Writer! How Do I Make it Happen?

If you're reading NYPL blogs because you're thinking about writing a novel or titillating nonfiction book, you're in good company. Many writers make the Library their temporary home as they research their subject and search for inspiration. A lot of my clients come in with questions about breaking into the glamorous world of writing whether it's writing children's books, blogging, writing memoirs, editorials, etc. Contrary to popular belief, I can't look at a person and detect 

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Protecting your privacy during the job search

Privacy is a tough thing to maintain during a job search because looking for work is a lot like dating.  If you aren't willing to totally open up, people will wonder if you're truly ready to commit.  Seriously though, I think we all would at least like to believe that even with web 2.0 spilling our digital guts all over the place, some information is still sacred.

Everyone has different concerns when it comes to personal information on the web and employment applications.  My focus in this posting will be on information you may submit over the web 

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What is an Informational Interview?

So, you've been looking for work for months and the only offer you've received is to become a representative for ABC Insurance Company---after you pay for training to become a licensed agent.  Your friends, family, career coaches, and all these articles keep mentioning networking and informational interviews, but what does any of that mean?

Informational interviews are one of the best ways to network because they give you the opportunity to gather inside information that could increase your chances of getting a good job.  Most of us associate informational 

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Scribing the Sacred

If you find inspiration in thoughts of pen angles and letter heights, please visit the “Scriptorium” at The New York Public Library’s “Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam” exhibition.

In the Scriptorium you will see the tools of the scribe: paper, ink, and pens, and learn how they have been used to create religious manuscripts over the centuries. The exhibit hall also contains a lighted table, with 

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Behind the Scenes at Three Faiths: A Conversation with Senior Exhibitions Conservator Myriam de Arteni

Myriam de Arteni has been painstakingly repairing the library’s vast collections for more than three decades. But for de Arteni, conserving works in the “Three Faiths” exhibit--which include some of the library’s oldest and most precious documents--has been one of her most ambitious projects yet.

How does this exhibit compare to other exhibits you’ve worked on? Was it among the most ambitious?

Yes, it was very challenging because it features such rare and fragile 

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Behind the Scenes at the Audio Book Studio

Headphones and CDs

Have you ever wondered why it takes so long for new books to be added to our Talking Book collection? A lot of steps make up the process. Here at the Andrew Heiskell Library, we are able to supplement the audio collection we get from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) with books we record in our own Audio Book Studio (ABS), with the assistance of volunteer narrators, monitors, and audio 

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Guardians of the Sacred Word

The first multilingual Psalter. Genoa, 1516. The New York Public Library, Rare Book Division.For very long time, Jews, Christians and Muslims have behaved toward one another like members of a dysfunctional family, like the competitors for an immense inheritance, the favor of Almighty God. But the current exhibition at the New York Public Library uncovers quite another strain of familiarity among the three, their devotion to the book.

Many cultures value the written word, the art of writing and a reverence for 

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Painless Cover Letter Writing

With emails and tweets, writing or reading an entire letter seems old fashioned and overwhelming now, but a well written cover letter could help you get your foot in the door when you wouldn't have otherwise.

Even if you hate writing or think you are a horrible writer, you can still prepare an effective cover letter as long as you keep the following points in mind:

Keep it brief:  4-5 paragraphs at the most Customize it for the job and company Proofread it and have someone else proofread it

What goes into an effective cover 

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Employed and Miserable: Dealing With a Job You Hate During a Recession

It's hard to find much to be happy about when you think about the news for job seekers now.  In theory, it seems like the rotten economy would turn that annoying job you took to pay the bills right out of college into the best thing ever if you're still "lucky" enough to have it.  The unfortunate reality is that most workers are trudging through the day doing the same work they were doing before plus the work of colleagues who had their positions cut.  Meanwhile, the pressure is on to work overtime on short notice and without complaint, and to forgo little things 

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Will the Myers-Briggs Tell Me What I Should Be When I Grow Up?

With the unemployment rate stuck at over 9%, seeing the bright side of the situation can be tough.  One positive outcome of these hard times is that job seekers are becoming more interested in finding a job that's a good fit, not just something to pay the bills.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to identify what the right job would be if you don't have much experience doing work you enjoy.  As a career counselor, I get a lot of questions from clients about personality assessments, and if I had to pick the one I get asked about the most, it would be the

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POP! goes the Picture Collection: Warhol at NYPL

Self-Portrait, 1967.(1)He came from my hometown. As a teenager, he collected photographs of movie stars. A few years later, I clipped fan zines featuring Hayley Mills and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the Dave Clark 5 and

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My Library: Startasha

Free web access and CD/DVD collections are the biggest draw for Startasha...

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Back-to-School Tips

It’s that time of the year. Kids sharpen their pencils, pick up the backpack, and head off to school. Here are a few tips to get your child ready for the new school year.

• Re-establish school routines. About a week before school starts get your child used to going to bed early, waking up early, picking out their clothes the night before, and start talking about what is expected from them this upcoming school year.

• Prepare. It’s extremely important that your child has all their school supplies when heading into the classroom. But 

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Create a Superhero Response to the 'Greatest Weakness' Question

Clark Kent walks into his interview at The Daily Planet.  The interviewer, a prim and proper human resources representative inked to perfection, shuffles some papers, clicks her pen and says, "So tell me, Mr. Kent, what do you consider your greatest weakness?"

What do you think he says?  Go ahead.  You know you want to say Kryptonite.  Just remember:  Clark Kent had to be the responsible alter ego and support Superman's lavish lifstyle.  Dry cleaning a cape gets expensive!

Career TV's video

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"Wow, That's Amazing That You Do That!" Volunteering at the Center for Reading and Writing

Tutoring at the Center for Reading and WritingThe Centers for Reading and Writing are recruiting volunteer tutors for our fall class cycle beginning in September, so I've been thinking about what it means to volunteer here in the library's adult literacy program.    

I decided to speak with Gale, who has been volunteering at the Center for Reading and Writing for over twenty years. When I 

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Job Seekers: How Is Your Phone Voice?

If you are actively looking for work and keep networking and applying for jobs, the phone is bound to start ringing.  For job seekers who have submitted over 100 resumes, getting the phone to ring might seem like an achievement on its own.  In a way, it is, but the end goal is to get a job.  If the employer doesn't get the feeling that you want to hear from them, they may decide to opt for someone in their "to call" pile of resumes who has a friendlier phone manner. 

Here is a list of some of the most common job seeker phone 

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