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Random Acts of Kindness at the Library



From the Bronx through Manhattan to Staten Island, staff members at The New York Public Library regularly witness random acts of kindness. Here, we’ve collected just a few of these heartwarming interactions.


“While I was working at the children’s information desk, a little girl asked for books about princesses. Another girl must have overheard, because she was soon by my side with an armful of princess books! It warmed my heart—not only because she was being kind, but she was being the perfect librarian!”
Rebecca Kluberdanz, Kingsbridge

“An older patron once paid off the fines of a teen standing ahead of him, enabling the teen to take several test study guides home that day.”
Neville Maloney, Mosholu

“A patron came in and gave me a pen that says ‘You are appreciated’ in the cutest little box because I helped her renew her library card. It totally made my day. I have since found out that she has given them to other staff members.”
Leslie Bernstein, Mott Haven


“The health of one of our regular patrons has recently taken a turn for the worse. During her latest visit, she learned that she had accrued some late fines, which could be waived due to her illness. Being a very proud individual, she insisted that they not be waived. After she left, a patron who had overheard offered to pay the fines! The second patron took no credit and asked to remain anonymous. It was so nice! Members of the library staff were all floored and touched at the same time.”
Alexander Mouyios, 67th Street

“Recently, a senior using a walker came in and drifted toward the elevator. She seemed confused and approached the information desk. In Chinese (not sure if it was Mandarin or Cantonese), she asked us where she could find books. Before we could answer, a patron responded (in Chinese, of course) that he would show her the way. He escorted the woman to the lower level where our Chinese books are located, getting her safely to her destination.”
Jeff Katz, Chatham Square

“Someone found a lost wallet with no identification, but there was a library card inside. She correctly assumed that we could identify the person by their card, so she took the extra step to bring it to the library. Patron and wallet were reunited!”
Laura Stein, Grand Central

“Teen patrons often come into the branch needing to use a telephone for various reasons. They’re not allowed to use the library’s phones, so I’ll ask other teens on the floor if they have a phone to lend. Many are willing, even if they don’t know the person. (I offer them a snack or small prize for their troubles, but on occasion, they refuse because they were ‘just doing something nice.’)”
Katrina Ortega, Hamilton Grange

Staten Island

“A patron paid another patron’s $1 lost card fee. They didn’t know one another.”
Jennifer Kist, Dongan Hills

Visit Your Library

With 88 neighborhood branches in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, NYPL’s locations are vital hubs that provide far more than free books and materials. Serving everyone from toddlers to teens to seniors, we’re passionately committed to meeting the ever-changing needs of our patrons. And our patrons remind us daily why it is our pleasure to serve and help strengthen communities.


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.


This only means that the NYPL is really serious on the advocacy. Keep up the good work.


It was a great idea to highlight this story! I bet it inspires others to do more of the same! The world sure could use it!

Nice blog sounds like

Nice blog sounds like something that can be on the NYPL home page so patrons can add their own input

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