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Blog Posts by Subject: Animals

2013: The Year of the Snake

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake. In the Chinese zodiac, the snake is equivalent to the Taurus in Western tradition. February 10th, 2013 to January 30th, 2014 will mark the Year of the Snake.

In the Chinese zodiac calendar, the snake is the sixth animal and symbolizes grace and calmness — it is introspective, cunning, and modest, but also mysterious, deceptive, and possessive. Those born in 2013, 2001, 1989 

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English Nature Writers: Charles Waterton

Charles Waterton by Charles Willson Peale oil on canvas, 1824 ©National Portrait Gallery, London. Creative Commons BY-NC-NDMost recently discovered, just last week, is Charles Waterton (1782–1865). I've not read enough to evaluate him as a writer (of which all authors tremble in dread), but he certainly led an interesting life. Of a very ancient Catholic family including St. Thomas More and Margaret of Scotland among his ancestors, he became interested in nature in 1804 

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English Nature Writers: Richard Jefferies

"Why, we must have been blind all our lives; here were the most wonderful things possible going on under our very noses, but we saw them not." —Walther Besant.

Richard Jefferies (1848-1887), though a novelist, is more known as a nature writer. His childhood was spent on a farm in Wiltshire (now a museum), during which he began his observation and awareness of nature and people within it. At the age of 9, he was already an adept at tracking and hunting, and perhaps not surprisingly, left school at the 

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English Nature Writers: Gilbert White

I'm a literary Anglophile. There — I've confessed and we can move on. One of their really cool genres is nature writing. They do it in such a quiet and smooth style, as if they've lived in field and woods all their lives. (Dah!)

Perhaps the most famous, or at least the most referred to, is

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Winter Fun for Kids and Cats

This snowy Saturday afternoon has brought to mind a couple of scenes from nineteenth-century children's books in the Rare Book Division. First, a scene of "Wintervergnügen" (winter fun) from Jugendspiele zur Erholung und Erheiterung (Tilsit, 1846). This is a two-volume work, one devoted to girls and one to boys. Sledding is categorized as one of the boys' games (Knabenspiele), but of course that needn't stop 

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Horse Professional Associations and Journals

Like always, I am horse crazy as ever, so I definitely wanted to see which professional associations and journals are out there to aid horse professionals. When I was a librarian at a corporate library, part of my job was to dig up medical professional journals. I found an association for recruiters in health care for my supervisor that she did not know about. I became aware that there is a professional association for everything, and I sometimes refer patrons to professional associations.

Once at the library, I had a parent inquire about education for her child, and 

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What to Draw? A Turkey, of Course

Happy Thanksgiving to you! In honor of the holiday, here's a page from one of my favorite drawing manuals in the collection, 1913's What to Draw and How to Draw It by E. G. Lutz.

This turkey (along with his tiny companion, the fantail pigeon) is just one of dozens of possibilities — like owls, elephants, pelicans, pigs, castles, cats, and men and ladies — you'll find in these pages. Want to see the entire book? It's been digitized and you can

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Animal Welfare Special Libraries and Museums

I absolutely love animals. I have fostered many cats, including a queen and her three kittens this spring. I have been riding horses since I was nine years old. I volunteered in two zoo libraries, and I walked dogs for six years in various animal shelters. I used to be a big fan of Animal Planet and Steve Irwin and the Australia Zoo. Animals are cute, adorable, and they just make me happy.

Special Libraries

from the

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How Did the Pigeon Get to NYC?

One can scarcely think of any park in NYC — or any city, really — without envisioning the ubiquitous pigeon there as well. Despite signs requesting you not feed the birds in adjacent Bryant Park, the library has more than its share of feathered patrons.

But how did this non-native species become the bird most associated with New York City? Pigeons are certainly not indigenous, but they have made themselves quite at home in the Big Apple. In

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Booktalking "Duchess" by Ellen Miles

Booktalking Duchess by Ellen Miles, 2011

In the wonderful Kitty Corner series by Ellen Miles, Mia and Michael and their 

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Booktalking "Alice-Miranda on Vacation" by Jacqueline Harvey

Alice-Miranda on Vacation by Jacqueline Harvey, 2010

Seven-and-a-half year old Alice-Miranda is home from boarding school, and she is making a splash. She brings her friend Jacinta with her to a wonderful mansion that is their playground during the school break. She has no qualms about 

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Booktalking "A Taste of Perfection" by Laura Langston

A Taste of Perfection by Laura Langston, 2002

Erin was ecstatic about her chance to volunteer at the SPCA over the summer, only to learn that her father had been laid off and she was to spend the summer at her grandmother's kennel, with black and yellow Labrador Retrievers. On the positive side, at least she gets to see 

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Special Library in Focus: The American Museum of Natural History Library

Background Info on the Museum & Library: Luckily for me, I was able to visit the library of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) with a staff group. I did not realize that their library is open to the public, and I was not aware of the amount of empirical research that goes on in the museum. The museum is focused on the natural sciences, the earth and animals. There are about 200 scientists that work for the museum, and the library is a METRO member. The 

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Pic Pick: "Hugs from Pearl"

After a short hiatus, I hope to bring another joyous book recommendation! 

The Pic Pick of the day is Hugs from Pearl By Paul Schmid.

Have you ever wanted to do something that makes others feel better, but don't know how to do it?

Sometimes things that are easy for some people can be very difficult for others.

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Goin' to the Dogs Part 2: A List of Stories About Man's Best Friend

Dog stories was the January theme for Mixed Bag: Story Time for Grown-Ups, the read-aloud program I do on Wednesdays at lunch-time every other week. (I promised to read cat stories later this year in rebuttal.) Most of the stories I chose to read in January were selected from the book The Best Dog Stories. Since I included a list 

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Phyllis Newman Reading "What's New at the Zoo?"

On Saturday, December 3, 2011, Phyllis Newman, the Tony-award winning actress and illustrator of What's New at the Zoo? by Betty Comden, came to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building's South Court Auditorium to read from the book. 

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Truth is Stranger than Fiction — Animal Edition

Hey animal lovers! Yeah, I'm looking at you.

Welcome to Truth is Stranger than Fiction — an occassional BiblioCommons list devoted to special topics in non-fiction. The focus of this month's list is on quirky animal stories! From elephants to oysters, pandas to puppies, there is sure to be a story to make even the greatest of grinches smile. 

For most of us, it would be quite difficult to 

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Judging a Book by Its Cover: Whales on Stilts

Silence in this court, here comes the judge, this court is in session.

Jen and I will attempt to judge the book Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson by its cover and its cover alone.

Rob says: The ocean has dried up and the earth is a vast desert wasteland... and the whales are quite angry about it since they 

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Meet Kimberly and Theo

Once a month, the Mulberry Street Library hosts R.E.A.D. with Mudge, a special program in which children read aloud to a registered therapy dog and licensed handler. Named in honor of the national Reading Education Assistance Dogs program and Cynthia Rylant's beloved boy and dog books, Henry and Mudge, Mulberry's Street's team is made up of the wonderful Kimberly Wang and her amazing dog Theo. We 

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Meet Beth and Forest

Once a month, Beth Neuman and her dog Forest, an 11 year old toy poodle, volunteer at Ottendorfer Library’s Paws ‘n’ Books program. The literacy program offers children ages six and older the opportunity to read aloud to a four legged friend for 15 minutes, helping to boost their reading confidence. We interviewed Beth before one of their Paws 'n' Books sessions.

NYPL: How did you meet Forest?

Eleven years ago a friend I worked with 

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