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Posts by Andrea Nicolay

Now Showing at Chatham Square Library: Artwork by Christophe Clavier

The curve of a guitar; a kerchiefed woman holding a white chicken; the steeply sloped rooftops of an unknown city; a bird of prey with a long sharp beak.

These are just a few impressions from Christophe Clavier's current show on display at Chatham Square Library, consisting of nine lush paintings full of life and color. This is Clavier's second exhibit at The New York Public Library. Last summer, Mulberry Street Library showcased his artwork, prompting an in-depth 

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My Library: Lily R. Wu

On Wednesday, November 9, the New Horizons Band for Adults played a concert at Chatham Square Library before an appreciative audience. It was their premiere performance at this library, and for a member of the flute section, it was a homecoming.

Lily, we had a conversation before the show about how you used to come to Chatham Square Library as a kid. So, tell me a little about your history with this library.

I came here when I was about five or six. My mother brought me 

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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: Caroline

Caroline says the library saves her money in A/C and wi-fi; she just wishes it was open around the clock!

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My Library: Robyn

Robyn always finds the time for books, and for meeting with people to talk about them!

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My Library: Samantha

High school student Samantha looks for peace in the library—and symbolism in The Great Gatsby. Read More ›

Reader's Den: Library as (Emily's) Muse

Last week in the Reader's Den I shared a library poem by modern New York poet Puma Perl. This week I found a library poem by the immortal Emily Dickinson. She writes of an intimate encounter with an antique volume, and how it transports her.


A precious, mouldering pleasure 't is To meet an antique book, In just the dress his century wore; A privilege, I think,

His venerable hand to take, And warming in our own, A passage back, or two, to make To 

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Reader's Den: Poetry Month with a Local

Poetry Month is here at last: a yearly breath of fresh air and inspiration. Some people find inspiration in nature, others find it in a library. This month in the Reader's Den we'll be looking at the poetry of places, and we begin with a poem by a New York City poet named Puma Perl. Much to the delight of library staff, she found inspiration within the walls of the Mulberry Street branch. She shared this poem, written in July 2008, in anticipation of her reading at Mulberry Street on April 14. Thanks Puma ... Read More ›

Be Creative...Do It Yourself!

The Summer Reading theme for 2009, Be Creative, isn't just kids' stuff. Adults need craft time too, so check out our Summer D.I.Y. Series at the Mulberry Street Branch. In the true spirit of D.I.Y., three of our staff members volunteered to learn and teach some crafts. In June we held a Book Art crafting session--participants brought in cardboard cereal boxes and 45 minutes later they held a handmade notebook. The July program saw old t-shirts transformed into useful tote bags, thanks to a 

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The Reader's Den: Discussing Don Marquis

Final Week of National Poetry Month

Reader’s Den friends, we’ve come to the fourth and final installment of our month-long celebration of verse. I give you a poem from fellow New Yorker Don Marquis, originally published in 1915. Check out discussion questions after the break, and post comments!


by Don Marquis

So let them pass, these songs of mine, Into oblivion, nor repine; Abandoned ruins of large schemes, Dimmed lights adrift from nobler dreams,

Weak wings I sped on quests divine, 

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The Reader's Den: Discussing Lowell's "To a Friend"

Week 3 of National Poetry Month

To a “Friend”? Are you sure he/she is just a friend, Ms. Lowell?

This week The Reader’s Den offers up an Amy Lowell sonnet, originally published in the year 1912. Check out discussion questions after the break, and post a comment if the spirit moves you!

TO A FRIEND by Amy Lowell

I ask but one thing of you, only one, That always you will be my dream of you; That never shall I wake to find untrue All this I have believed and rested on, Forever vanished, like a 

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Reader's Den and National Poetry Month: Week Two

The Reader’s Den is NYPL’s online book discussion forum, but during the month of April, we’re all about poetry. This week’s poem, "City Visions," was chosen with a view to celebrating Immigrant Heritage Week, which starts April 17. It was written by the same poet whose words grace the Statue of Liberty (“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses…”).

City Visions by Emma Lazarus


As the blind Milton's memory of light, The 

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Reader's Den and National Poetry Month: Discussing Keats

Week One: Isn’t it Romantic?

Welcome to Poetry Month with the Reader’s Den! Instead of the normal online book discussion this month, each Wednesday we'll post a poem for consideration and discussion. Feel free to use the questions below the poem as a springboard. Post your insights and impressions in the comments, and be sure to check back later in the week to see what others thought.

We begin with a poem by John Keats, composed in the year 1818.

When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain, ... Read More ›

Q & A with artist Helene Berson @ the Mulberry Street Branch

Helene Berson's work is on display in the main reading room on Level 2 from July to August. Since we opened last May, six local artists have shown their work here.  

Describe the kind of art you create. My artwork is best described as collage and mixed media. The materials I rely on are myriad types of papers, photos and acrylic paint. Some of these come from quite ordinary contemporary sources, some are vintage, some are found objects, and some are specialty art papers. The works come together with the use of a variety of glues and gels. Frequently I 

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