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My Library


Who I am.
Why I use the library.
...And what keeps me coming back.

Finding Inspiration and Companionship at the Library

William Logan. Photo: Beowulf SheehanWilliam Logan, a retired truck driver from Harlem, didn’t have much of a chance to go to the Library as a boy growing up.

But now that he’s retired, he’s making up for lost time.

“I try to come to the Library every day,” said Logan, 68, who lives alone and comes to Harlem Library nearly every afternoon for inspiration, relaxation, and companionship. “Reading keeps your mind sharp.”

For Logan, coming to the Library is part of 

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His Stories Will Live On Thanks to the Library

Henry Chang. Photo: Beowulf SheehanNovelist Henry Chang, who discovered his love of books as a kid at the Chatham Square Library, still remembers how proud he was to get his first library card.   Now Chang has even more to be proud of when he walks into the Library — seeing his own books on the shelf in the mystery section, between Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie.

“To see my own books on the Library shelf is humbling — the 

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Keep Libraries Open!

Lenny Collado. Photo: Beowulf SheehanI went to the Library nearly every day after school growing up. Without the Library, I wouldn’t be where I am today — a college graduate and one of the first members of my family to go to college.

  Hamilton Fish Library on the Lower East Side, in particular, was important to me, and most of my education happened there. It served as an alternative to after-school programs that were strict and procedural. The more laid-back atmosphere at the Library 

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Off the Breadline and Onto a Bank Line with Help from NYPL!

Anthony Suarez. Photo: Beowulf SheehanAnthony Suarez has always had a calling to help others.   So a few years ago, when he found himself out of work and in a shelter because he had no way to pay rent, it wasn’t easy for Suarez to admit he needed help himself.

  But after turning to the job-search resources at the Bronx Library Center, Suarez was able to get back on his feet and land a stable job as a caseworker with the city — and return to helping others 

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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 New York Public Library Saved His Life

Pedro Munoz. Photo: Beowulf SheehanPedro Munoz, a junior-high dropout and recovering addict, had never set foot in a Library until two years ago.

Now, Tompkins Square Library is his favorite spot in the city — the place that gave him the strength to turn his life around.

“The Library has saved my life. Without it, I would still be out there on the street,” says Munoz, who has been learning to read and write at free adult-literacy center at Tompkins Square 

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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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My Library, Anime Addicts Edition: Matt

On the first Wednesday of every month, the Mid-Manhattan Library hosts a monthly screening of anime. Eighteen people came to last night’s screening of Trigun at 7:00 PM. Next month on June 1st, NYPL at Nite will be screening 

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My Library: Jerilyn Jurinek

Jerilyn is a painter of American history, and teaches drawing at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers and Spring Studio, and collage at The Cooper Union Department of Continuing Education.

What brings you to the Mulberry Street Library today?

I intend to use the computer. I do everything that needs to be done with email, practice how to use the 

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Award-winning Startup: SkyStem LLC. Can You Guess its Business Service?

Hearing the capstone presentations of 20 aspiring business owners in a FastTrac New Ventures program last week inspired me to talk to Shagun Malhotra, who recently told Crain's New York Business what she learned at FastTrac en route to taking second place in SIBL's 2010 New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition.

Shagun, here's your 

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My Library: An Interview with Ben West of UnsungMusicalsCo., Inc

In the heart of Lincoln Center, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, nestled between the Metropolitan Opera and the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, thrives in its role as a vibrant circuit between historical research and cutting-edge performance. And few researchers illustrate the Library's unique vitality for the performing arts community better than Ben West.

Ben West is a regular at LPA, where theatre professionals who shape the performing arts scene come for inspiration through their research in the LPA’s

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Award-Winning Combo: Engineering Know-How Plus Entrepreneurial Drive

Inspiring America's youth to study engineering is an Obama administration priority. Many professionals—from trade associations to campus-based groups—focus specifically on getting more women into the engineering pipeline. Participants in Dow's recent virtual conference undercored the importance of exposing young women to ways 

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My Library, Anime Addicts Edition: Anthony

On the first Wednesday of every month, the Mid-Manhattan Library hosts a monthly screening of anime. This spring and throughout the summer, we will be featuring patrons who have been attending Anime Night. Over twenty people came last night to see a screening of Bamboo Blade. Want to get in on the fun? Next month on May 4th, NYPL at Nite will be 

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My Library: Sydelle

April showers bring Sydelle's flowers at Ottendorfer!

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The Jefferson Market Courthouse/Library Archive: A Sneak Peek with Barbara Knowles-Pinches

Did you know that the Jefferson Market library has an archive of images, papers and press clippings dating back to the 1800s?  This collection of Greenwich Village history has recently been processed and made available to the public by archivist and librarian Barbara Knowles-Pinches, who began working at Jefferson Market in 2009.  The digitizing process has just begun; images and a finding aid will be available online in the near future. Here, Barbara tells us about some of her favorite items from the 

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My Library: Debbie

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

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My Library: Karoline

Karoline Barwinski is currently teaching our 4 session Intro to Yoga series.  Here's the interview we did with her:

How were you introduced to yoga and what motivated you to integrate it into your life? 

My father actually inspired me to take my first

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SIBL 'Regular': Danielle Lanyard

Danielle Lanyard has channeled her passion for resource-sharing across the small business community into a powerful presentation, Launch Your Start Up on Your Lunch Hour, which she offers, pro bono, at SIBL each month. I caught up with her after last Friday’s session which one attendee aptly described as “Fabulous! Pure gold!”   

Danielle, you must be chuffed when you get a full house in 

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Meet Robert Gulley: Veteran, Construction Worker, Peorian, Artist

There aren't many people who can say they've been living and creating artwork in the same Lower East Side apartment for 30 years, but we found one and his name is Robert Gulley. During December and January we exhibited Mr. Gulley's recent paintings and sculpture in our main reading room. You can see photos of the exhibit in this post and higher quality photos of his work at One day I sat down with Mr. Gulley to get the story behind his artwork.

How did you get started?

I got out of the army in 1970. 

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My Library: Juanita

Not all New York City residents are well enough to make it to the library. The New York Public Library provides these homebound patrons with books and other materials through its Books by Mail service.  Juanita is one of the Books by Mail users we speak to regularly at Jefferson Market.

How long have you been getting your books by mail? Only for a few months, and I just want to say how much 

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