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Blog Posts by Subject: Books and Libraries

Misfit Memoirs: A Book List

I love a great memoir, and I noticed recently that I tend towards a certain sub-genre of memoirs, those of the mistfit variety. These memoirs are usually brutally honest, self-deprecating, and describe life at the fringes of society, or at least behavior that most of us would be embarrassed, horrified or shocked by. Most are funny and tend to be insightful, and whether it’s a well-known celebrity or someone I’ve never heard of, I find them relatable and refreshing. Read More ›

What We're Reading: August 2014

I asked and they answered—here's what an assortment of staff across the system are reading right now.Read More ›

The Networked Catalog

At NYPL Labs, we are fascinated with our catalog and the possibilities its data represents. Just as the catalog has changed in the past we wonder what other possible forms it could take today, and in the future. With this driving thought we conducted a preliminary experiment: what if the catalog had a "See All" button?Read More ›

Better Late Than Never

A recent Mental Floss article about overdue library books reminded me of a book the Mid-Manhattan Library received in the mail last year. It was mailed from Arizona. It was overdue. Its due date: August 17, 1959.Read More ›

Booktalking "Art & Max" by David Wiesner

Dinosaur and lizard minds collide in a shared attempt to create art. Arthur decides paint Max a panoply of colors that fragment and shatter all across the page!Read More ›

Read All About It! NYPL's Cameo Appearances in Children's Books

With New York City the undisputed heart of children's book publishing, more American children's book authors and illustrators live here than anywhere else in the world. Naturally it then stands to reason that New York Public Library might make the occasional cameo appearance in works for kids. Here then is a fun, if not thoroughly exhaustive, listing of some of the books we've found that may feel a little bit familiar to the kids of the city.Read More ›

Branch Special Collections

Several branches throughout the three boroughs have special collections that focus on local history or are of special interest to their respective communities.Read More ›

Hamilton Grange Library: Pictures from the Past

Recently we rediscovered some old and not so old photographs of the Hamilton Grange Library in our Digital Collections and wanted to share.Read More ›

Research Collections: Highlights from the Reading Room

My research colleagues and I can think of no better way to launch our new blog on the research collections than to begin with our readers. Our goal for the blog is to highlight the known and less well-known strengths of the research collections as well as the latest updates from our ongoing collection development and outreach activities. Read More ›

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 ›

From the Shelves at NYPL: Barbara Byrne-Goldie

Senior Children's Librarian, Barbara Byrn-Goldie, is a life-long New Yorker and it shows. Her energy and enthusiasm telegraph the warm welcome anyone will receive when they visit the New Dorp Branch of the New York Public Library in Staten Island. Read More ›

The Time Machine: Reading List 2013

Some years ago, while considering ideas for my next blog post, I thought I might compile a list of the books I had read during the previous year—not only to keep a record for myself (tending, as I do, to forget things), but to share my bookish enthusiasms and perhaps offer a few recommendations to anyone who might be interested. Then, before I knew it, another list came along, and then another, and now, in what seems the blink of an eye, it is four years later, and I am putting together yet another list of books read during the improbable year just passed. I don't think it is coincidental Read More ›

Growing Up In the Webster Library

The stairs leading up to the apartment.There are many people who say the library played an important role in their childhood. But for Kenneth Choquette, the library was—quite literally—his home.

Ken's grandfather, John Mahon, was the custodian at the Webster Library from approximately 1940-1971. In those days, mostly because of the coal furnace, being a custodian was a twenty-four hour job. At the very top of Webster, up a back staircase, was Ken's home: a four room apartment. The space itself is still there, but it is now full of air conditioning vents and electrical 

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Let's Talk About Reading - the Reader's Den 2014 Online Book Discussion Schedule

Happy New Year! 2013 has officially ended. If one of your New Year's Resolutions was to join a book club, then we here at the New York Public Library have the perfect group for you. Join the Reader’s Den: the original NYPL online book discussion club. With a knowledgeable collective of book discussion leaders hailing from Chatham Square, Jefferson Market,

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2013 in Reference and Recommendations

Whether you come to The New York Public Library looking for something good to read or to find that missing bit of information you needed, we hope you were able to find what you were looking for in 2013. We're always here to help, and we hope to see you again next year!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 ›

From the Shelves at NYPL: Anna Taylor

Anna Taylor visiting the interactive exhibition The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter, curated by Leonard MarcusAnna Taylor works at the New York Public Library’s Columbus Library—more than a short walk from Columbus Circle—over on 10th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in the Clinton (aka Hell’s Kitchen or Midtown West) neighborhood... an area that has been transformed in recent years by the dramatic increase in residential construction. It is not unusual to find this library filled to the rafters with children and teens 

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Thank You for Your Service, by David Finkel

Thank you for your service. That phrase, the dust jacket; everyone can recognize immediately the title of this book is ironic. Or...is it?

Thank You for Your Service, the latest book from author David Finkel, is about the after-war. Everyone knows the wars: 

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Great Book Web Sites

I was inspired to write this blog from my terrific experience with booktv.org. I very much enjoy watching and listening to authors describe their research and conclusions that they have metamorphosed into works of literature.

BookTV is featured on CSPAN2 (Channel 66 in my neighborhood) on weekends, if you have cable TV. It features authors of nonfiction works being interviewed about their books. Following the interview, the floor is opened up to audience questions. One weekend, I was delighted to discover that they have a web site. It got me to thinking about what 

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My Library: The Incredible Resources of the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library

A few years ago, after I was diagnosed at age 47 with Stargardt disease (juvenile macular degeneration), I discovered that it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to read print. Things which I had always taken for granted such as visually scanning the headlines of a newspaper, reviewing my written financial statements and checking out the onscreen guide on my television set all caused my eyes to strain almost immediately. I could still see the print, but not without considerable discomfort. How would I be able to manage 

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