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Blog Posts by Subject: Immigration and Emigration

December’s Readers Den: "97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement" Wrap Up

I would like to thank all the followers and fans of the Reader’s Den. I hope you have enjoyed 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement just as much as I have. If you are interested in learning more about the people and cultures of the Lower East Side, 

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My Library, English Conversation Edition: Meet Jonathan!

"I love talking about nothing, father. It is the only thing I know anything about," quips Lord Goring in Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. At Mid-Manhattan Library's English Conversation Hour for intermediate, advanced, and native English 

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December Reader's Den "97 Orchard" Discussion Questions

Welcome back to week three of December’s Reader’s Den. As I was reading 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement certain questions came to mind. While these may get you started they are by no means the only ones:

Are you surprised at how well the immigrants of the book ate and the wide variety of food available to them?  ... Read More ›

December Reader's Den: Reviews of "97 Orchard"

Welcome back to the second week of December’s Reader’s Den. For many Americans, New Yorkers included, the first images of the Lower East Side are that of the Late Nineteenth to Early Twentieth Century. Many of these images of poverty, clotheslines, and pushcarts come from movies, television, literature, or family histories. In her book

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My Library, English Conversation Edition: Meet Licia!

Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Gabon, Haiti, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Khazakhstan, Korea, Martinique, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen... What do all of these countries have in common? The English Conversation Hour at the

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New York Foundation Records: Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Physicians

In 1933 — the same year he was first contacted by Franz Boas about funding for scientific studies to subvert anti-Semitic claims spreading through Europe and America — banker and New York Foundation Trustee Felix Warburg also began receiving letters requesting his assistance from the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Physicians and Medical Scientists. At that time, the German National Socialist party had 

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The Book of Khalid Turns 100!

Deep inside the NYPL’s Bryant Park Stack Extension (known as BPSE to insiders — pronounced as “Bip-See”) lay many literary treasures and secrets; some are academically obscure and rare while others are widely known and read. The Book of Khalid by Ameen Rihani fits in 

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A Learning Celebration! Food for Body and Soul at the Centers for Reading and Writing

Tutors receive certificates for hours of service.“Spring Learning Celebration Tonight!” reads a handmade sign in the Tompkins Square Library’s Center for Reading and Writing. Paper flowers decorate the folding tables, and green and yellow streamers festoon windows and bookshelves. The first student arrives two hours early, toting two huge aluminum trays of macaroni salad. “Can I leave this here for the celebration?” she says, depositing the heavy trays on a table.

Twice a year, each of the eight

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Learning English for the Sake of Her Children

Lucy Liu and her two children. Photo: Beowulf SheehanLucy Liu, who emigrated from China to New York City nine years ago, is proud that her two young children speak perfect English.   Now she wants to learn too.

  In order to keep up with her kids, Liu is learning to read and write in English for the first time thanks to the free classes at an NYPL Center for Reading and Writing at Seward Park Library in Chinatown.   “I wanted to 

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The NYPL English Class That Changed Her Life

Rose Covington and her daughter. Photo: Beowulf SheehanWhen Rose Covington moved to Harlem from Brazil in 2005, she felt lost and alone because she couldn’t speak or understand any English.

But now, after nearly one year of free English classes in one of The New York Public Library’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs, she has found her voice and confidence again.

"I was so unhappy when I first came to this country because I could not express myself," said Mrs. 

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April 2011 Programs at New Dorp - Free!

We are very excited to have many great programs for you this April 2011. From puppet shows, to bilingual celebrations; from Irish dancing to Zumba! Meet a NYTimes Best Seller Author, and come to celebrate Staten Island's 350th Anniversary! Sounds intriguing? Keep reading!

Please note there are downloadable calendars with all the events at the end of this post, so you can make a copy for yourself and pass it along to friends!

Here are some highlights from 

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The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which took place 100 years ago today, was a tragic incident in New York City's history but also a turning point in the early labor movement.Read More ›

Life After English Class: Yoko's Story

Yoko and Jacqueline reading at a Learning CelebrationYoko, a former student from Japan, stopped by the Tompkins Square Library's Center for Reading and Writing to say hello.  I took the opportunity to ask her a few questions.    

How did you find the Center for Reading and Writing?

It was in 2003, November maybe.  I actually visited other libraries and I was looking for a conversation class.  I think I 

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Field Trip! Adult Literacy Students Visit Three Faiths Exhibit

Students outside the Three Faiths exhibitLast week, students from the Seward Park Library's Center for Reading and Writing, the Library's free adult literacy program, took a field trip to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building to see the exhibit, Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.

As the group trundled up the library 

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Students at Seward Park Adult Literacy Program Discuss Three Faiths Exhibit

Last week, a group of adult students and volunteer tutors at the Seward Park Library's Center for Reading and Writing, the library's free adult literacy program, gathered for an introduction to the Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam exhibit at Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, and to gauge interest in a field trip. 

"Who has been to the 42nd Street Library—the 

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The Shared World: Storylines Project Celebrates Writing of Adult Literacy Students and Author Naomi Shihab Nye

Right to left: Naomi Shihab Nye, Neela Vaswani and Storylines Honorable Mention. Photo courtesy NCV FoundationOn October 26, 2010, adult literacy students and their volunteer tutors from the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island gathered at the Bronx Library Center for the second annual Storylines Project celebration. The Storylines Project brings together adult literacy students from the New York Public Library's Centers for Reading and 

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Heist Society: A Review

Katarina Bishop grew up all over Europe, but she isn’t an heiress. She has a Faberge egg, but she isn’t a Romanov. Kat is used to looking at a room and seeing all the angles, but that was before she stole a whole other life at the Colgan School only to walk away from it months later without a trace.

That was before everything went sideways.

While Kat was busy trying to steal a new, legit, life the family business prospered. When a powerful mobster’s priceless art collection goes missing it isn’t all that surprising that 

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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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Changing the Changing City

Seeking further enlightenment into the city we call home, I recently took a class on the literary and cultural history of New York City. Among the many themes common to New York City novels we discussed was the portrayal of the city itself as a character with power to shape the lives of its citizens.

Many of us New Yorkers have felt this pressure in our own lives: we choose where to live based on our budgets, our hobbies, our family situation, and often our ethnic, linguistic or religious 

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