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Blog Posts by Subject: Social Sciences

Career Changers: I Want to be a Writer! How Do I Make it Happen?

If you're reading NYPL blogs because you're thinking about writing a novel or titillating nonfiction book, you're in good company. Many writers make the Library their temporary home as they research their subject and search for inspiration. A lot of my clients come in with questions about breaking into the glamorous world of writing whether it's writing children's books, blogging, writing memoirs, editorials, etc. Contrary to popular belief, I can't look at a person and detect 

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Daddy & Me

Last week Correctional Services completed a new program at Rikers Island called Daddy & Me. The program is designed to encourage early literacy efforts for incarcerated fathers. Read More ›

Protecting your privacy during the job search

Privacy is a tough thing to maintain during a job search because looking for work is a lot like dating.  If you aren't willing to totally open up, people will wonder if you're truly ready to commit.  Seriously though, I think we all would at least like to believe that even with web 2.0 spilling our digital guts all over the place, some information is still sacred.

Everyone has different concerns when it comes to personal information on the web and employment applications.  My focus in this posting will be on information you may submit over the web 

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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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What is an Informational Interview?

So, you've been looking for work for months and the only offer you've received is to become a representative for ABC Insurance Company---after you pay for training to become a licensed agent.  Your friends, family, career coaches, and all these articles keep mentioning networking and informational interviews, but what does any of that mean?

Informational interviews are one of the best ways to network because they give you the opportunity to gather inside information that could increase your chances of getting a good job.  Most of us associate informational 

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Andrew Heiskell Library Announcements and Links for October

Once again, we're sharing highlights from our postings on Facebook, featuring updates from the National Library Service, news about our programs, and links to sites we thought interesting and useful. You can follow us on Facebook to get all our updates as we post them.

BARD Update

Good news for those of you reading magazines on BARD. According to NLS:

"The pages will now display the reading time, narrators, and the descriptive 

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Behind the Scenes at the Audio Book Studio

Headphones and CDs

Have you ever wondered why it takes so long for new books to be added to our Talking Book collection? A lot of steps make up the process. Here at the Andrew Heiskell Library, we are able to supplement the audio collection we get from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) with books we record in our own Audio Book Studio (ABS), with the assistance of volunteer narrators, monitors, and audio 

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Now That's History!

Ancient History, Middle Ages, Industrial Revolution... Does history homework make you feel like you are in the Dark Ages? Well be enlightened by the library's resources!

You can find complete, trustworthy information a lot faster using the library’s databases and apps.

Here’s how to access NYPL’s databases: 1. Go to 2. Click on ‘Find Books, DVDs, & More’ in the top menu 3. Click on ‘Articles and Databases’ in the left sidebar 4. Databases are listed 

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Painless Cover Letter Writing

With emails and tweets, writing or reading an entire letter seems old fashioned and overwhelming now, but a well written cover letter could help you get your foot in the door when you wouldn't have otherwise.

Even if you hate writing or think you are a horrible writer, you can still prepare an effective cover letter as long as you keep the following points in mind:

Keep it brief:  4-5 paragraphs at the most Customize it for the job and company Proofread it and have someone else proofread it

What goes into an effective cover 

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Employed and Miserable: Dealing With a Job You Hate During a Recession

It's hard to find much to be happy about when you think about the news for job seekers now.  In theory, it seems like the rotten economy would turn that annoying job you took to pay the bills right out of college into the best thing ever if you're still "lucky" enough to have it.  The unfortunate reality is that most workers are trudging through the day doing the same work they were doing before plus the work of colleagues who had their positions cut.  Meanwhile, the pressure is on to work overtime on short notice and without complaint, and to forgo little things 

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Andrew Heiskell Library's Roundup of Links and Articles for September

Once again, we're presenting links to sites covering disability issues, as well as announcements of changes and enhancements of the services, and anything else that caught our attention during September. These links and announcements previously appeared on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

The National Library Service  made the following announcements:

"NLS will cease production of books on cassette as of 

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Andrew Heiskell Library: Ahead of Our Time

We're sometimes asked to explain what we do to individuals or groups of people interested in or in need of the library services we provide. In the past, this often meant long, even tedious descriptions of how we put the right books in the homes of our patrons. There was little if anything to which we could make comparisons.

But now, thanks to online services like Amazon, the explanation has become a snap. The following is from a presentation made by Mark McCluski, Head of the Andrew Heiskell Library. We thought you would enjoy reading 

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Will the Myers-Briggs Tell Me What I Should Be When I Grow Up?

With the unemployment rate stuck at over 9%, seeing the bright side of the situation can be tough.  One positive outcome of these hard times is that job seekers are becoming more interested in finding a job that's a good fit, not just something to pay the bills.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to identify what the right job would be if you don't have much experience doing work you enjoy.  As a career counselor, I get a lot of questions from clients about personality assessments, and if I had to pick the one I get asked about the most, it would be the

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Back-to-School Tips

It’s that time of the year. Kids sharpen their pencils, pick up the backpack, and head off to school. Here are a few tips to get your child ready for the new school year.

• Re-establish school routines. About a week before school starts get your child used to going to bed early, waking up early, picking out their clothes the night before, and start talking about what is expected from them this upcoming school year.

• Prepare. It’s extremely important that your child has all their school supplies when heading into the classroom. But 

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Mean Streets to Green Streets

Thomas Jefferson Park, 1939 Photo: Max UlrichIn the smoldering heat of summer, one of my greatest pleasures has been to find reprieve in New York City’s lush and thriving community gardens. For all the grandeur of the city’s more widely celebrated green spaces like Central Park and Prospect Park, there are hundreds of small-scale urban oases nestled in formerly decrepit lots across the five boroughs.

At one community garden that I visited in Alphabet City, a woman was simmering curry over the communal grill. “I love to cook outside in the 

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Happy New Year, Circa 1910: Pop-up Greeting Cards in the Jewish Division

If you visit your local stationery store in September, you may well find a small selection of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) cards. The cards will probably have the standard Hebrew greeting for the new year, Le-shanah tovah tikatevu (literally, "May you be inscribed for a good year"). They may be serious, as befits a greeting card for the "Days of Awe," or light-hearted. (I saw one recently that showed a man asking his neighbor, "How's your New Year going?" Answer: "Shofar, so good").  It's 

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In the Neighborhood: Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace

Of all the reference questions I expected upon coming to work at the Andrew Heiskell Library in its current location on West 20th Street in Manhattan, "Where is Teddy Roosevelt's birthplace?" was nowhere on my list. I quickly learned that the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace Historic Site is a short two blocks east, at 28 East 20th Street, and that this question comes up mostly during the summer tourist season. Since then, I've often walked past this now familiar, unassuming townhouse and 

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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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Let's Get Social

For a long time, our newsletter, NewsLion, has been our primary way to communicate with people, and while it remains the best way to update the most people on new services, the latest books recorded in our very own Audio Book Studio, upcoming programs, and other services and agencies of interest to our patrons, it is not the most timely of publications. Because it is published only four times a year, we find out about many interesting and useful books, services, and programs too late to include them in the latest issue. To help get the 

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Do You BARD?

Digital Talking Book Cartridge and ContainerIf Google can be used as a verb, why not BARD? BARD is the acronym for the National Library Service's Braille and Audio Reading Download service. If you're registered for Talking Book service from the Andrew Heiskell Library and have a digital player, either a National Library Service (NLS) machine or one you purchased from an outside vendor such as HumanWare, you're probably already downloading books. But if not, 

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