This Year's Theme: Dangerous Books

Unfortunately, over the past several years, there has been an alarming increase in book bans and challenges across the country. The New York Public Library stands by the right to read freely and access to knowledge for all and recognizes the vital role that public libraries play in our democracy. 

In continuing this work, NYPL’s Center for Educators and Schools is offering educators a space to investigate histories of censorship, understand the sometimes contentious relationships between authors, readers, and libraries, and encounter new and classic media that push the boundaries of social convention and conformity. Over the course of a week, participants will explore interdisciplinary perspectives of what it means to create, consume, and preserve dangerous books through the Library’s collections. 

The CES Summer Residency offers a deep dive into the power of literature to challenge, provoke, and reshape society. Participants will be encouraged to delve into historical case studies and discover other primary source documents uncovering the relationship between censorship and cultural practice. 

Program Topics

Discover a sneak preview of the themes explored during residency below!

Real & Imagined Danger: Explore the different ways books can pose danger through propagandic material, subversive themes, and toxins laced in books.

“A Truly Great Library…”: As librarian Jo Godwin once said, “A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.” Discover the roles of libraries in protecting intellectual freedom through NYPL’s institutional records.

Black Expertise: Delve into subversive Black artistic practices through the story of poet Phillis Wheatley, foodways and culinary tradition, musical experimentation, and more.

Staging Taboos: Explore pioneering artists and their enduring impact on theater and cinema through “cursed plays,” drag performance, and censored experimental films.

Literature vs. the Law: Learn about storytellers and writers across centuries that faced forces that attempted to ban, restrict, and silence the dissemination of ideas about gender and sexuality. 

Explore last year's residency theme!

Plus, read about a 2023 resident's experience with our program!

Selection Criteria

We are looking for educators with a demonstrated commitment to the humanities, creative learning, and teaching with primary sources. We aim to select a group that reflects diverse perspectives in its many forms: professional and life experiences, affiliated schools, geographical residences, and more. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of educators and librarians at NYPL.



CES welcomes applications from a national audience of full- or part-time educators who teach in public, charter, independent, and religiously affiliated schools, as well as homeschooling educators. This year’s residency program will be exclusively open to high school humanities educators.

Participants must be US citizens, residents of US jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the US or its territories for at least three years immediately preceding the application deadline. US citizens teaching abroad at US chartered institutions are also eligible to apply. Foreign nationals teaching abroad are not eligible to participate.


Application Requirements

To be considered for selection, you must submit a complete application form, which includes the following components:

  1. Personal statement
  2. Resume or curriculum vitae
  3. Teaching artifact


Notification Procedure 

All applicants will receive an email on May 15, 2024, with information about their application status. Selected applicants must confirm their participation no later than May 29, 2024, or their spot in the program will be forfeited.

This work is part of the Library’s overall commitment to our branch patrons and education programs, led by the Merryl H. and James S. Tisch Director of The New York Public Library. Major support for educational programming is provided by Merryl H. and James S. Tisch.