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Blog Posts by Subject: News Media, Journalism and Publishing

Sunshine Week at NYPL: March 11-17, 2012

As previously posted, on March 15, SIBL will celebrate Freedom of Information Day (FOI Day) with speaker Robert Weissman from the organization Public Citizen. FOI Day has been the main focus of our annual efforts to highlight the public's right to know. But it need not be NYPL's only activity, and so I offer a suggestion: let's use this as an opportunity to move from one day to an entire week — Sunshine Week at NYPL!

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Freedom of Information Day 2012 at SIBL — March 15!

I am pleased to announce our upcoming Freedom of Information Day celebration at the Science, Industry and Business Library. It will be held on Thursday, March 15, 2012 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Healy Hall (on the lower level), and will feature as guest presenter Robert Weissman, president of the public advocacy organization Public Citizen. This event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

A regular annual event here at SIBL, Freedom of Information Day was recognized by a

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Occupy Periodicals

The Periodicals Division has been collecting alternative press publications pretty much since the Library opened its doors in 1911. The alternative press, a general term that includes small, independent and underground presses, documents social, political and literary movements, popular and not so popular causes, and issues that are often neglected by mainstream media. Collecting and  preserving this material is at the core of the Library's mission to build diverse collections and provide free and open access to them.

NYPL's collection covers an amazingly broad 

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A Journalist to Watch: Shane Harris Talks Scandal, Surveillance, and the State of Reporting

Reporter Shane Harris (second from the right) receives the 2011 Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism. Pictured (left to right) are NYPL President Paul LeClerc, Helen Bernstein, Harris, and Committee Chairman Jim Hoge. Photo: Jonathan BlancIt’s not every day that a former national security advisor recognizes you, taps you on the shoulder, and apologizes for not returning your calls.

But that’s exactly what happened to journalist Shane Harris in March 2004 at a small, invitation-only discussion on homeland security at 

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Spencer Collection Book of the Month: The Rain of Crosses

The New York Public Library business card logoDid you know that The New York Public Library has an official color? I didn't either, and I've worked here since the Dark Ages (before the Internet). But we do, as I found out when I ordered new business cards recently. The color is red.

That's fine with me—I've always liked red (political considerations aside), and besides it gives me an excuse to select as the Spencer Collection Book of the Month for April a small volume containing two illustrations in vivid red. It is appropriate also because Easter falls in April this 

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Charles Kuralt and Walt Whitman on the Road

Walt Whitman filled the pages of Leaves of Grass with poetry exalting the lives of Americans. While out in the streets, he observed and recorded the beauty of daily life. Whitman's poem "I Hear America Singing" is a delightful example how common activities make up the fabric of America.  Within its lines, a boatman owns a part of America, and a mother's daily activities are considered 

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Wrap-Up - Freedom of Information Day at SIBL 2011

Many thanks to David Barstow for his presentation here at SIBL on March 16th for our celebration of Freedom of Information Day. As a kind of wrap-up for this year's event I wanted to offer, especially for those who were not able to attend, highlights of his lecture.

The premise of his presentation was to provide a working journalist's perspective on using Freedom of 

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My Library: Debbie

Debbie is a literary agent and all-around superpatron at Jefferson Market.

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Freedom of Information Day: Five Questions with David Barstow, Investigative Reporter for The New York Times

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Barstow, of The New York Times, will present Freedom of Information: The Act, the Press and the Future at the Science, Industry and Business Library this morning in honor of the 13th annual Freedom of Information Day.

Established by a Congressional Joint Resolution in 1989, Freedom of Information Day is held on or near March 16, the birthday of James Madison, fourth President 

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Freedom of Information Day at NYPL: A Booklist

The recent activities of Wikileaks and Julian Assange have once again reignited the controversy of the degree to which the public has a right to unfettered access to government information.  This year, Freedom of Information Day is being observed nationally on March 16.  At The New York Public Library, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the New York Times, David Barstow, has been invited to 

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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Investigative Reporter David Barstow at SIBL - FOI Day, March 16, 2011

As Freedom of Information Day at SIBL—March 16th—approaches, I want to pass along the details of the event and give some background on our presenter, David Barstow of The New York Times. The session is free and open to the public—no reservations are required; we hope you will join us for what promises to be an extremely interesting presentation.

Our event will take place in room 14/15 on the lower level (turn and walk underneath the staircase) here at the Science, Industry and Business Library, 188 

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Freedom of Information Day at SIBL - Presentations from Past Years

"Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." This banner quotation so often used in connection with the issue of transparency in goverment was written by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (pictured below) in Harper's Weekly, December 20, 1913 (before he was nominated to the court). [This quote can be viewed in the NYPL database

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Freedom of Information Day at SIBL - March 16, 2011

March 16th is the birthday of James Madison, and because of his role as advocate for openness in government that date is celebrated by many different organizations, including the New York Public Library at SIBL, as Freedom of Information Day.

This year, SIBL is fortunate to have as guest presenter at our

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Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism 2011

Ryan Haley, Billy Parrott, Erminio D'Onofrio, Karen VanWestering, Jennifer Craft, and Maira Liriano with the 2011 Bernstein Award finalistsThe Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism was established in 1987, through a gift from Joseph Frank Bernstein to the New York Public Library, in honor of journalist Helen Bernstein (now Helen Bernstein Fealy). The gift was in two parts and the idea was to focus on Helen’s love and appreciation of the crucial role that journalism and 

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PressDisplay: An International, Virtual Newsstand

Gone are the days of newsstands on every corner with titles reflecting the vibrant international community of readers in New York City. Gone are the newsstands, but not the readers. New York City is home to 2.9 million foreign-born residents, many of whom still want to read the newspapers of their home country. To that end, the New York Public Library is pleased to offer PressDisplay at all NYPL locations and to all 

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CRW Students Share Their Stories for Immigrant Heritage Week

In honor of Immigrant Heritage Week, students at 3 of the Centers for Reading and Writing spent the day at Mid-Manhattan Library recording their personal stories with Storycorps, a national oral history project, started 8 years ago. 

Jahara Drammeh (Aguilar CRW student), John, the Storycorps facilitator, and Steven Kopstein, (Aguilar Tutor) chatting before the interview 

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Candide in New York (or the Problem of Evil)

In 2003 I began work on an edition of Candide for Broadview Press that was published in 2009. For the cover image, I suggested a photograph of the twin towers in flames. I also had an idea for an image to balance it on the back cover: the famous snap from Abu Ghraib of a hooded man standing on a box, arms outstretched and apparently in mortal fear of electrocution. If you find that poor taste, or cannot conceive of why I would choose those images, please read on.

Though it is a comedy, Candide is also about what 

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Noting Candide at 250

Frontispiece of the 2006 Project Gutenberg copy of 'Candide,' taken from 1918 Modern Library editionType "Candide Gutenberg" into Google and you will swiftly find your way to a delightful English translation of Voltaire's wonderful work. It would cost you a whole $1.50 to get the same text on paper, in the remarkably inexpensive Dover Thrift Editions series. Spend $500 on a new iPad and you can get the Gutenberg version practically for free! Why bother going anywhere else?

Well, first, compare 

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Voltaire's 'Candide' as Media Event

The title page of the [Geneva] 1759 true first edition (NYPL Digital Gallery)To say that Candide enjoyed an immediate success is an understatement. Candide was a phenomenon. The novel was published through the medium of print, a fact which we too easily take for granted. The print world of the eighteenth century was unlike our own and posed two particular challenges.

The first was censorship. England enjoyed a fairly free press, but most European countries had various systems for controlling the 

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Is Feminism Dead?

Working as an archivist I often come across collection items that change the way I see the world around me. I had such an experience recently when processing a manuscript collection. As I sorted through the papers of a woman who had donated her papers to the library, an article title caught my eye, “Is Feminism Dead?”

Those who are interested in the Feminist movement will remember the Time magazine cover from 1998 that asked this question, featuring the images of four women across a stark black 

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