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    Francis Frith, The North Shore of the Dead Sea, printed in The Queen's Bible (1862-63)Francis Frith, The North Shore of the Dead Sea,
    printed in The Queen's Bible (1862-63)
    Francis Frith, The Pool of Hezekiah, Jerusalem, printed in The Queen's Bible (1862-63)Francis Frith, The Pool of Hezekiah, Jerusalem, printed in The Queen's Bible (1862-63)

    Between 1856 and 1860, the Englishman Francis Frith (1822-98) took three trips to the Middle East to take photographs. The region’s dry heat made the laborious collodion process, where glass plate negatives had to be sensitized, exposed, and developed while still wet (hence its more common name, “wet plate”), exceedingly difficult. Despite this challenge, Frith managed to build up an archive of landscape views that played a central role in establishing his career as England’s most commercially successful photographer of the nineteenth century.

    Frith quickly learned that Victorians were eager to own copies of his photographs of the Holy Land. To meet popular demand, he opened his own publishing house, F. Frith & Co., in the late 1850s. Frith made his photographs available in various formats that suited different budgets, from inexpensive stereographs to multi-volume books illustrated with tipped-in albumen prints. Selections from the Middle Eastern photographs illustrated slightly differing books such as Egypt and Ethiopia, Photographed and Described by Francis Frith (1858-59), Egypt, Nubia and Ethiopia (1862) and Sinai and Palestine (1862). All of these books are currently on view in the Library’s exhibition, Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography, alongside scenic views of European locations by Frith’s company.

    The Queen's Bible (1862-63), front coverThe Queen's Bible (1862-63), title page, Vol. II

    Also on display is the Photography Collection’s rare copy of The Queen’s Bible (1862-63), one of the most deluxe publications illustrated with Frith’s photographs. Only 170 copies were produced of this sumptuous volume bound in red Moroccan leather, embossed with royal insignia, and enclosed with ornate brass clasps. Frith dedicated the two-volume Bible including the Old and New Testaments to Queen Victoria, who remained in mourning after the recent death of her beloved husband Prince Albert. The royal couple had been enthusiastic supporters of photography in England from the beginning; in 1853, they became founding patrons of the Photographic Society Club (an early album of which is also on view in the exhibition.) As a contributor to the British journal Photographic Notes wrote in 1862: “Amidst the universal grief felt at the death of the Prince, photographers have their own peculiar additional regret, that their art has lost one of its warmest admirers and patrons.” Although The Queen’s Bible certainly aimed at the high, even royal, end of the market, it comes from a moment when English photography was becoming less of an elite pastime thanks to a burgeoning network of communities, clubs, and publications exchanging ideas about the medium. If the Bible housed Frith’s photographs in religious gravitas, the inexpensive stereograph offered a different kind of experiential richness in its three-dimensional image of distant lands.

    This Bible and other books and photographs by Frith are on view in Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography (December 12, 2014-September 5, 2015), in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building’s Gottesman Exhibition Hall.

    Further reading

    Bartram, Michael. The Pre-Raphaelite Camera: Aspects of Victorian Photography. Boston: Little, Brown, 1985.

    Nickel, Douglas R. Francis Frith in Egypt and Palestine: A Victorian Photographer Abroad. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.

    Nir, Yeshayahu. The Bible and the Image: The History of Photography in the Holy Land, 1839-1899. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985.

    Prodger, Phillip. Darwin’s Camera: Art and Photography in the Theory of Evolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

    Seiberling, Grace. Amateurs, Photography, and the Mid-Victorian Imagination. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.

    All items pictured can be found in the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs and the images are copyright of New York Public Library.


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    As the days of the year count down, and the numbers on the bathroom scale go up post-holiday feasting, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the delectable and sumptuous cookbooks I've encountered this year. 

    Singapore Cooking: Fabulous Recipes from Asia's Food Capital by Terry Tan
    This large format cookbook devoted to the Southeast Asian food mecca of Singapore uses photographs and recipes to tell the story of the historic and geographic lineage of Singapore's  cuisine, where Chinese, Indian, European, and Malaysian flavors collide. I made the Okra with Shrimp—slicing and blanching the okra first helps tame the ooze, somewhat. The final result was like a spicy Southeast Asian gumbo, good Fall comfort food.  I wish I had all day to grind candlenuts, lemongrass and turmeric by hand  to make my own curry pastes, but I cheated with pre-prepared paste (Mae Ploy makes a good line of them).  Tip: the Bangkok Center Grocery on Mosco Street in Chinatown has many of the ingredients you might need to prepare some of these recipes and  Nyonya, a Malaysian restuarant on Grand Street in Little Italy/Chinatown is a good place to try some of the dishes mentioned in this book.  

    The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani
    For many New Yorkers, eating good pizza can be something close to a religious experience (with the impression that any non "New York" slice borders on sacrilege...) This thorough and technical primer walks you through nine different regional and structural pizza styles—from New York to New Haven, deep dish to calzones, and more! Whether you like your crusts buff or thin, this book will show you how to choose the right dough paired with the right sauce and topped to perfection.  The focus is on the dough though, author Gemignani is a master pizza maker who provides  informative charts on flour/salt/yeast/water ratios depending on the type of pizza you wish to create. Rejoice, your pizza-making wisdom shall rise! 

    The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nutrient Dense Recipes for Intestinal Health Using the GAPS Diet by Hilary Boynton
    After eating all that spicy Singaporean food and gluten-rich pizza, you may need to heal your gut! GAPS covers a broad spectrum of intestinal tract-related problems, and these recipes aim to steer readers away from mass-produced packaged food products towards more homemade, nutrient rich substitutes. Most notable are the recipes for condiments—mustard, mayonnaise, and salad dressings that are far healthier if you make and bottle them on your own. I tried and tired my whisking hand with the garlic aioli recipe. What an oily, delicious mess! I had to keep reviving it though as it would easily de-emulsify. A small price to pay—go with your gut! 

    The Pescetarian Plan: The Vegetarian and Seafood Way to Lose Weight and Love Your Food by Janis Jibrin
    I wasn't really looking to make a plan but I love seafood and this book has some great information on choosing sustainable fish, increaing Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, and just makes you feel good about making healthy food choices. The recipes are pretty straightforward and usually top out around six ingredients—good for weeknight cooking.  

    Modern Art Cookbook  by Mary Ann Caws
    What a feast for the eyes! This lovely book fills its pages with artistic representations of food—from impressionists such as Eduoard Manet's Asparagus  to Andy Warhol's Campbell s  Soup  Cans.  Caws draws wide brush strokes, using art, literature, and poetic references to show how a diverse range of artists depicted and celebrate cuisine. There are recipes from the artists themselves, such as Monet's madeleines, and David Hockney's strawberry cake. 

    Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell
    Penned by a chef from the California cuisine mecca Chez Panisse, this is an instructional cookbook written in a friendly and knowledgeable tone focusing on simple, basic ingredients. The book was inspired by trying to teach his son who had gone away to college how to cook. The title is a bit misleading as there are more than twelve recipes in this book to master, but the chapters are divided into ingredient focused lessons—such as eggs, legumes, salad dressings, chicken, and cake. The egg chapter changed my life—I have since much improved upon hard-boiling, soft-boiling, sunny-side up, and poaching techniques. Like a good father, Peternell gives solid advice, while allowing you room to be creative and find your own footing in the kitchen. 

    My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz
    Sigh. Paris... Kitchens... David Lebovitz (another Chez Panisse alum, a pastry chef) lived the dream of many gastronomes, and in this cookbook-cum-memoir brings to life the streets of Paris, filled with boulangeries, fromageries, pâtisseries,  (insert delicious food item and add  "ies".... ) His Paris kitchen brims with classic French recipes such as Quiche, Coq au Vin, Steak frites, and a bevy of mouth-watering desserts. He'll even tell you all about his favorite French mustard that got him nods of approval on the tram in Lyon from the most traditional French madames, as it peeked out of his provisions bag...

    My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story with Recipes by Luisa Weiss
    Sigh, Berlin... Kitchens? Yes. Weiss's memoir fills the air with Zucherkuchen (sugar cake) and tomato sauce, the sweet and the spicy. Growing up shuttling between her Italian mother who lived in Berlin, and her American father's home in Boston, Weiss experienced a rich and somewhat topsy-turvy childhood. Settling in New York, Luisa started a blog called The Wednesday Chef, but decided to leave her fiancée and NYC lifestyle to return to the city she longed for. Read this inspiring story of a brave young woman who followed her heart and her hunger back home to Berlin. 

    The Sweet Magnolias Cookbook by Sherryl Woods
    Yes, THAT Sherryl Woods, the romance book author of Safe Harbor,Finally a Bride, and Stealing Home (from the Sweet Magnolias series that inspired the cookbook). In this cookbook published by Harlequin Books, Woods weaves a tapestry of Southern cookery in the mythical town of Serenity, South Carolina. Enjoy her fluffy biscuits, backyard seafood boil, and red velvet cake peppered with tales of lazy days on front porches, friendship and the comforts of home. 


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    Whole Foods Market - Accepting Applicants for New Store Opening , 240 openings.  Recruitment  will be held  Sunday, January 4 through Saturday, January  10 at  9 am.  Interested candidates must apply online in order to be considered for this position.  Candidates will be invited to group interview sessions via email and given additional details on location, dates and times at that time.  Contact: Natalie Cespedes.  Phone: (917) 493- 7072.

    Enrollment is Now Open--SAGE Works Boot Camp.  SAGE Works assists people 40 years and older in learning relevant, cutting-edge job search skills in a LGBT-friendly environment.  Enrollment workshops will be held Monday thru  Friday,  January 5 to January 9,  9:30 am - 2 :00 pm at The SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10001.

    appiche le pour

    St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development  provides Free Job Training and Educational Programs in Environmental Response and Remediation Tech (ERRT), Commercial Driver's License , Pest Control Technician Training (PCT), Employment Search and Prep Training and Job Placement, Earn Benefits and Career Path Center.  For  information and assistance,  please visit St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development, 790 Broadway, 2nd Fl., Brooklyn, NY 11206.   718-302-2057 ext. 202. 

    Brooklyn Workforce Innovations helps jobless and working poor New Yorkers establish careers in sectors that offer good wages and opportunities for advancement. Currently BWI offers free job training programs in four industries: commercial driving, telecommunications cable installation, TV and film production, and skilled woodworking.  BWI is at 621 Degraw Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217.  718-237-5366.

    CMP (formerly Chinatown Manpower Project) in lower Manhattan is now recruiting for a free training in Quickbooks,  Basic Accounting, and Excel.   This training is open to anyone who is receiving food stamps but no cash assistance.  Class runs for 8 weeks, followed by one-on-one meetings with a job developer.  CMP also provides Free Home Health Aide Training for bilingual English/Cantonese speakers who are receiving food stamps but no cash assistance.  Training runs Mondays through Fridays for 6 weeks, and includes test prep then taking the HHA certification exam.  Students learn about direct care techniques such as taking vital signs and assisting with personal hygiene and nutrition.   For more information for the above two training programs, please Email: info@cmpny.org, call 212-571-1690 or visit 70 Mulberry Street, 3rd Floor, NY, NY 10013. CMP also provides tuition-based healthcare and business trainings for free to students who are entitled to ACCESS funding.  Please call CMP for information.

    Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) trains women and places them in careers in the skilled construction, utility, and maintenance trades. It helps women achieve economic independence and a secure future.  For information call 212-627-6252 or register online.

    Grace Institute provides tuition-free, practical job training in a supportive learning community for underserved New York area women of all ages and from many different background.  For information call 212-832-7605.

    Please note this blog post will be revised when more recruitment events for the week of January  4  are available.


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    I spent a huge portion of the last several months cramming my head full of teen books for several committees. You can see the results of my work with my NYPL colleagues in our Best Books For Teens 2014 list. But there were a few books that didn’t make the cut for that list and a few books I read after that committee was over that really deserve some love and attention, so I wanted to share some of those titles with you.

    There Will Come a Time

    There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos
    Mark and his twin sister Grace were in a car accident. He survived, she didn’t, and now he’s trying to deal with the empty space she left behind.

    Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    Samantha doesn't remember what happened the night she and her best friend went missing. The truth is locked in her head, but it might be more dangerous to let it out.

    Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi
    This graphic novel tells the true story of an explorer and his impossible journey across the Antarctic

    How They Choked

    How They Choked: Failures, Flops, and Flaws of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
    Learn about the many mistakes made by famous and infamous people throughout history.

    The Last Forever by Deb Caletti
    Six months after her mother dies, Tessa’s father takes her on a road trip that will transform her life.

    Pointe by Brandy Colbert
    Four years ago Theo’s best friend Donovan disappeared, and soon afterwards her life started spinning out of control.

    Starbird Murphy and the World Outside

    Starbird Murphy and the World Outside by Karen Finneyfrock
    Starbird is sixteen years old, but she’s never used a cellphone and she’s never touched money. She’s going to face quite a few surprises when she leaves the commune and joins the real world.

    The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley
    Maggie thinks that moving from Chicago to a small town in Ireland will be the biggest change in her life. But falling in love and dealing with death will change her even more.

    Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
    When Davy tests positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, her perfect world starts falling apart.

    Panic

    Panic by Lauren Oliver
    The only way for the graduating seniors to get enough money to escape this dead-end town is by playing a game that they will risk everything to win.

    Amity by Micol Ostow
    History repeats itself as two different families move into a haunted house and discover the horrors within.

    Stronger Than You Know by Jolene Perry
    Joy is finally safe now. She’s been rescued from the abuse and neglect she suffered while living with her mother all those years. But is she strong enough to leave her past behind her?

    Trouble

    Trouble by Non Pratt
    Hannah and Aaron have both made mistakes in the past. Aaron’s mistake is still a secret, but everyone will know Hannah’s mistake over the next nine months.

    The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle
    An Upper East Side story about a girl who everyone thinks is a hero but who is really hiding a secret.

    Sekret by Lindsay Smith
    Yulia thought she was hiding her abilities until she is kidnapped by the KGB and forced to join their team of psychics who spy on the Americans and each other.

    The Riverman

    The Riverman by Aaron Starmer
    Fiona believes that there’s a magical world where a creature called the Riverman wants to steal her soul. Alistair isn’t sure if she’s crazy or if her soul is really in danger.

    Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
    An English class studying Sylvia Plath opens the door to a strange world where the past and the present blend together in surprising ways.


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    A New Year, New OSHA Reporting Requirements is a Department of labor blog post authored by Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.  In his blog, Dr. David Michael announces  new OSHA reporting requirements:  Employers will now be  required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding about the incident.

    The New Year will be here before we know it! For employers under the federal jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that means more than just making resolutions, they will need to comply with new reporting requirements going into effect January 1, 2015.

    OSHA-flowEmployers will now be required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding about the incident. Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident.

    There will be three options for employers to report. They will be able to call their nearest area office during normal business hours, call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742), or report online.

    Since announcing the new requirements in September, we’ve been conducting extensive outreach to make sure employers understand what to do when they go into effect. Just last week, we held a live Twitter chat to answer questions.

    During the chat, we answered over a dozen questions. But we noticed a few that seemed to be on everyone’s mind. So, we decided to share with you a little FAQ:

    Q: How can an employer confirm the report from an injury has been documented?

    A: If you do it online, you will receive email confirmation. By phone, you will be speaking directly to OSHA representatives.

    Q: What is the best URL on the OSHA site to point our branch offices to for details of their obligations to report?

    A: The best way is to go to: http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014

    Q: What constitutes formal admittance for care? Surgeries can be either outpatient or inpatient.

    A: The hospital or clinic determines whether the worker was formally admitted as an in-patient.

    We also have a variety of additional resources for employers including a dedicated webpage, more FAQs, a Fact Sheet, and a video I recorded to help explain the new requirements.

    It’s important to remember that these updated reporting requirements are not simply paperwork but have a life-saving purpose: they will help employers and workers prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.

    I think we can all agree that’s something to celebrate in the New Year.

    Dr. David Michaels is the assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health. 


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    Then:

    Isn't there somebody who can answer my questions without having to look in a book?

    Now:

    Can’t you just Google it?

    By now you may have seen the handwritten or typed images of questions asked long ago (as far back as the 1940s) over the telephone or in person at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building making the rounds on social media (a new image will be posted every Monday on the library’s Instagram, hashtagged #letmelibrarianthatforyou.) The thinking seems to be that the library was the place you went to before you could ask a search engine: "Can a mouse throw up?"

    While yes, the answer to this one can be found online pretty quickly, many of our patrons discover that not everything is available on the internet or if it is, the search for that needle in the haystack can be quite daunting.

    To get a sampling of the types of reference queries staff at NYPL answer check out the Reference subject heading on our blog. We do our best to write about real questions we hear frequently or that are of special interest, and we also try to anticipate future questions! Ask NYPL is the virtual reference service of The New York Public Library but our origins are from 1968, when the Telephone Reference department was formed. Now we answer questions online as well as over the phone and via old-fashioned mail.

    In the 1990s we started taking queries via email, chat and later on, text message. There was even a book published in 1992 Book of Answers: The New York Public Library Telephone Reference Service’s Most Unusual and Entertaining Questions. Today our services have expanded to include assistance with borrowing and downloading e-books and accessing online databases

    Who exactly reaches out to us? Anyone can access our services and collections to find the answers they need. Patrons who don’t have access to the internet call us for directory assistance, to find out how to get tax forms or because they simply want to know if a celebrity ever starred in a western or a comedy. We get questions from authors, students, researchers, genealogists, and reporters who sometimes are surprised when we tell them that they will need to come in to the library to further their research. After all, while there is a lot of information online (check out our Digital Collections) and more being added every day, there is also a lot that is not digitized or freely available outside of the library.

    So while the cards may have elicited a chuckle or two online, to me it was a nod from the past to the work we do today and will continue to do as long as there are curious people in the world who wonder: "What size gas tank did a 1987 Buick La Sabre have?" For a reliable answer you can visit the library to access ALLDATA Online. While we don't have all the answers, we can usually point you in the right direction.


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    Friends is a hilarious TV show about the friendships and antics of three young men and three young women leaving in the same building in New York City. 

    FriendsSeason 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and the 10th and final Season, are all available in DVD at the library. 

    Watching old reruns of Friends I came across an episode where Joey does a dramatic reading of a book entitled Love Your Forever by author Robert Munsch for Emma's birthday. 

    Love you Forever is a wonderful picture book with a touching story of a mother watching her child grow up.  


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    2014 was a banner year for great video game soundtracks. Below are ten of the best, all of which are available to stream or download for free!

     

    The Floor is Jelly
    by Disasterpeace and Ian Snyder

    Our first soundtrack is a collaboration between developer Ian Snyder (Feign) and game composer Disasterpeace (Fez OST).

    The idyllic, whistful music combines acoustic instruments and ambient sounds of water with electronic synths and digital manipulations.

    Stream for free on Bandcamp

     

    Immerse
    by Lifeformed

    While this is technically a soundtrack to a documentary about making a game (Double Fine's Broken Age) rather than a game soundtrack per se, it would be impossible to omit Lifeformed's follow up to the excellent Fastfall: Dustforce OST.

    Like the latter, it's a perfect blend of pulsing beats and spaced out blips, and is similarly licensed under Creative Commons for non-commercial use.  

    Stream for free on Bandcamp
    Creative Commons License: BY-NC-SA 3.0

     

    Fract OSC
    by Mogi Grumbles

    Cold, shimmering synthesizers dominate this retro-futuristic soundtrack and serve as the perfect accompaniment to the neon-hued, first person music puzzler.

    Fract OSC was winner of Best Audio Design at IndieCade 2014 and Honourable Mention for Excellence in Audio at the Independent Games Festival 2013.

    Stream for free on Bandcamp

     

    Transistor
    by Darren Korb

    Bastion composer Darren Korb returns for the soundtrack to Supergiant's second game, Transistor. His brilliant work on the former might have been slightly overshadowed by the charismatic, gravel-voiced narrator.

    However, Transistor's jazzy, downtempo electronic tracks (interspersed with five sultry vocal turns by Ashley Barrett) take center stage in this dystopian, turn-based, action RPG.

    Stream for free on Bandcamp

     

    Shovel Knight
    by Jake Kaufman

    The soundtrack for Shovel Knight has the distinction of being a chiptune album playable on original NES / Famicom hardware.

    As a bonus, these tracks have been licensed under Creative Commons and you can download remixes, including one by Megaman composer Manami Matsumae, on Strike the Earth! Shovel Knight Arranged.

    Download / Stream for free on Bandcamp
    Creative Commons License: BY-NC-SA 3.0

     

    Pixel Boy
    by Pyramid

    Hailing from the French city of Lyon, electronic artist Pyramid contributes warm, dreamy, ambient soundscapes to Pixel Boy and the Ever Expaning Dungeon, a roguelike twin-stick shooter.

    Stream for free on Bandcamp

     

    Eidolon
    by Michael Bell

    Eidolon's lonely, first-person exploration of a post-human Northwestern wilderness is expertly scored by Michael Bell's plaintive acoustic guitar, and littered with bursts of noise and haunting strings.

    Stream for free on Bandcamp

     

    Hohokum
    by Various Artists

    Hohokum was undoubtedly one of the oddest games to be released this year, recalling the experiments of the Katamari series.

    Its effervescent soundtrack is a who's who of electronic artists signed to record label Ghostly International, including Matthew Dear, Com Truise, and Jacaszek. 

    Stream for free on Ghostly International
    Stream for free on The Hype Machine

     

    0x10c
    by C418

    0x10c was originally planned as the follow up to the immensely popular Minecraft, but has since been abandoned.

    These two tracks are all that have been released from by composer C418, but clearly indicate the dramatic, orchestral approach he intended.

    Download / Stream for free on Bandcamp

     

    Destiny
    by Michael Salvatori, C. Paul Johnson,
    Martin O'Donnell, and Paul McCartney

    The soundtrack for Destiny was perhaps one of the most anticipated of 2014, featuring a score by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori (Halo series) and recorded by a 120-piece orchestra at Abbey Road Studios.

    Also, none other than Paul McCartney provided contributions and feedback as well as the single Hope for the Future, which plays during the end credits.

    Stream for free on YouTube

     


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    2014 was a great year for live events at the New York Public Library. From filmmakers to authors, choreographers to visual artists, our remarkable guests shared insights into their inspirations, their philosophies on art, and even how to keep houseguest visits short. Even if you weren't able to attend, you can still experience the highlights right along with us as we remember our favorite NYPL events of 2014.

    Live 2014

    Alexei Ratmansky on just dancing

    "As beautiful as it is and as serious as it is, I think it's still just dancing. Ballet is just dancing. We can't compete with literature, with philosophy... Dance originally comes from very simple emotions, like you're having a party, you drink, you have a good time, you have your friend around, and you start dancing."

    Ben Lerner on sincerity

    “For me as a poet growing up with a modernist poetics, there was always this idea that contemporary reception was always just horribly compromised by the market and one definition for Colum McCabe was that modernism displaces its readers into the future. You’re supposed to produce these difficult works that survive recuperation by the market but then one day in this imagined future there’s gonna be somebody like smart enough and pure enough to read your book. And so a lot of modernist literature is very contemptuous, not all of it, but a lot of it is very contemptuous of the reader in the present, and I wanted to move away from it, to kind of purge myself of those tendencies.”

    Wes Anderson on The 400 Blows

    "This movie in particular I think was one of the reasons I started thinking I would like to try to make movies. This is such a personal story. And it's the director's story, you know, it's this man's; it's like a first novel."

    Kara Walker on creating A Subtlety orthe Marvelous Sugar Baby in the Domino Sugar Factory

    "I really sort of have to take on the hutzpah of the industrialist. You know, I actually have to kind of ingest that if I'm going to be in this space and not simply look at it as a ruin but look on it as a site that was all about possibility. You know, as building the American Dream... To only sort of look at the underbelly and the blood, it sort of just elicits vengeful, angry feelings, but not necessarily art I would want to look at or make. So I think to have the other side of it meant that I could bring these two kind of opposing universes together. And I think they're percolating in me in various forms anyway."

    Joyce Carol Oates on writing from dreams

    "Our dreams are filled with these strange images and these strange things, but mostly we let them fade away. If you seized one of them that was really mysterious and disturbing and just thought about it, obviously you could construct a story around that."

    John Waters on furnishing a guest room

    "I have, in the guest rooms, ridiculous books. By your bed might be a book called Single and Pregnant... My nieces and nephews have said to me when we have a family get-together and they come from out of town, 'We're not staying at your house!' They refuse to stay in the 'scary room,' [as] they call it. In my guest rooms I have my most alarming items to discourage guests. My mother always said guests and fish always smell after three days."

    Katherine Boo on documentary work over time

    "Often, you know, you see something in a community that if you only see it in a snapshot, it's irrational. And I think that's part of the importance of documentary work that happens over time."

    Learn more about LIVE from NYPL and stay tuned for our spring season announcement!


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    Scott, Les, Krista, Julie, Pete, Jason and Elijah—all stranded at Tattawa High School during a blizzard. No heat, no water, no cell phone reception... and no help on the way. They watch the rising pile of snow on the landscape, read novels, and raid the school cafeteria for food and the nurse's station for blankets. Unfortunately, the school food is not thrilling, and sometimes it is not even clear what the ingredients are. There do not seem to be enough blankets to go around.

    Staying warm, getting food and water, and brainstorming ways to survive occupy all of the kids' attention. They must get along, resolve their differences, work together, and focus on things that they ordinarily take for granted. Their inventiveness and initiative are impressive.

    Trapped by Michael Northrop, 2011

    Michael Northrop's web site

    Books about blizzards


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    I was invited to the National Library of Colombia’s 2nd Digital Book Week as a speaker and to give a workshop on digital mapping tools. I thought it would be useful to share that workshop since it encompasses a lot of different processes and tools that make digital cartography today very accessible. It is a primer on working with various free web mapping tools so you can make your own awesome maps.

    TL;DR

    You will make this. This tutorial assumes you have a digitized map and some data you want to overlay on it. The general steps covered are:

    1. geo-referencing the scanned map so that web tiles can be generated
    2. generating GeoJSON data to be overlaid
    3. creating a custom base map (to serve as reference/present day)
    4. integrating all assets in an interactive web page

    Note: This tutorial assumes you are using Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Google Chrome. You will be playing with the developer console and I don’t have multi-browser instructions.

    Let’s get started!

    This is what we want to make. It is an 1891 map of Bogotá available in the National Library of Colombia (link requires Flash Player) annotated with some data found in an 1888 Bogotá City Directory.

    1) Geo-referencing

    The first step after scanning a map is to add geographical data to it; to establish an equivalence between its pixels and the geographic location they represent. This is called geo-referencing. This process will distort the scanned image:

    Original scan
    Original scan (shrunk, of course)

    …to match the Mercator projection which is used in most web mapping projects such as OpenStreetMap or Google Maps:

    Geo-referenced scan in Mercator projection
    Geo-referenced scan in Mercator projection

    The amount of distortion will depend on the quality of the survey, preservation state and original projection of the map. You may be asking: how did this magically happen? There’s commercial and open-source software that allows you to geo-reference images but the point of this tutorial is doing all of this without installing any software other than your web browser. Enter: The Map Warper! Map Warper is a web tool that lets you upload your scanned maps and provides a simple interface for you to geo-reference them (or “rectify” in geo parlance). Referencing boils down to you telling what part of the scanned map (left) corresponds to what part of the Mercator projection (right):

    Map Warper
    The split-view rectification interface in Map Warper

    Notice the pins in the image. Each pin has a number and the same pin is present in both views. From them you can tell that North in the scan is pointing leftwards while East is pointing upwards. The more pins you add, the more precise the referencing will be but the slower the final image generation. However, image generation happens only once so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. It’s more an issue of how many pins you are willing to add. The map in this tutorial has 101 pins.

    A final consideration in this process is to make sure you get a high-quality geo-referenced image after distortion. The process of distorting the original image is called resampling1. In the Map Warper’s Advanced options you can set the method from the low-quality but fast Nearest Neighbour to high-quality but slow Cubic Spline:

    Resampling method selection
    Select “Cubic Spline” in the Resampling Method option

    You can view the final map here. You can also download high-resolution assets in the Export tab. However, I think the main perk you get from the Map Warper are the tiles. It’s that URL template you see here:

    Map Warper
    You can find the tile URL in the “Export” tab

    The template is:

    http://mapwarper.net/maps/tile/4949/{z}/{x}/{y}.png

    You will need this URL! Keep it somewhere safe. Map Warper has a tile-generating engine that uses the geo-referenced image to produce square map tiles at different zoom levels and coordinates so that only the necessary parts of the interactive map get displayed as you use it2. This is an example tile:

    a web map tile
    Web maps are made up of millions of these

    2) Data extraction

    We have the map. Now we want to figure out what data to show on it. Our example uses this 1888 City Directory of Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city. This directory is information-rich, containing tens of thousands of person names (each with address and occupation), dozens of different occupations (described in page 4) and advertisements (along with many store addresses and owner names).

    The directory provides an interesting view of life in late XIX century Colombia: lawyers, photographers and accountants share pages with saddlers and blacksmiths. I went the boring route and looked for some prominent politicians of the time, such as then-sitting president (page 222, first in the second column). The current list contains seven people: four presidents, a vice-president, a minister and an acting president3. The list includes:

    • name
    • office (highest office held in the Colombian executive branch)
    • term
    • page (where it appears in the directory)
    • occupation (as displayed in the directory)
    • address
    • Wikimedia Commons photo URL
    • latitude, longitude (a placeholder set to downtown Bogotá that we will change in this step)

    Download the CSV list

    You can create your own list from other data you find more interesting or useful. Make sure to include latitude and longitude columns and save it as a comma-separated list.

    GeoJSON

    So far our data is contained in a comma-separated list, but web mapping tools generally use the GeoJSON standard. GeoJSON is based on JSON which is one of the most popular ways of structuring data in the web. GeoJSON uses the concept of “features” to describe geographic data. Those features can be points (as is our current case) or more complex geometries such as lines, multilines and polygons. Each feature is described by its geometry (the point, line, polygon itself) accompanied by its properties which is whatever extra data you want to associate with it (in our case, a person’s name, address, photo, etc.). For example4:

    We need to convert our spreadsheet into a GeoJSON object and then update the placeholder latitude and longitude values to the proper values. We will use the map itself to help us figure out those. We need a tool that lets us generate GeoJSON that we can easily manipulate.

    Enter GeoJSON.io! This is “a quick, simple tool for creating, viewing, and sharing maps”. GeoJSON.io has this nifty interface we can use to create the GeoJSON we need.

    Go ahead and open GeoJSON.io in a new browser window. you will see the default map at full zoom out. Now we need to do a little hacking. Right-click somewhere on the map and select Inspect Element:

    Right-Click -> Inspect Element
    Right-Click → Inspect Element

    This opens an advanced developer view that let’s you view and modify the code of the page you are viewing (in this case, the map interface). GeoJSON.io includes a programming interface (API) that lets you control the map being displayed. The core of this site is MapBoxJS, which is itself built on top of Leaflet, an “Open-Source JavaScript Library for Mobile-Friendly Interactive Maps”. I mention both because, for the most part, whatever works on one of them works on the other (do read the documentation before making any decisions!) and I will be referring to it as Leaflet instead of MapBoxJS.

    In the Console tab you’ll see some text and, at the bottom, a cursor where you can execute JavaScript code. You’ll see some comments from the creator of GeoJSON.io and a row where you can type new JavaScript commands. Type this in that area and press ENTER (refer to the animated GIF below):

    This will center and zoom the map in Bogotá, Colombia, the area covered by the 1891 map. Now type this:

    …and press ENTER. This will add the tile layer itself. Notice that line of code includes the URL you copied in step 1. The end result will look something like this:

    Before and after executing the commands
    A quick “hacking” of GeoJSON.io

    You can now close the development window (not the browser window!).

    Note: You will need to re-apply this code every time you load GeoJSON.io since it doesn’t save modifications made via console. You can save the data you add to the map by logging in.

    Adding data to GeoJSON.io

    Now we will use this modified version of the map as a base to properly geo-locate the CSV list of presidents.

    Drag the CSV file you downloaded on the map:

    drag and drop magic
    Drag and drop magic in GeoJSON.io

    You will notice how the data is immediately converted to GeoJSON (right pane) and the map zooms in to show the points that represent each president (left pane). You can see a small green message (top left) showing seven features were imported.

    But the 1891 map disappears! No worries. This just means that the map is zoomed in “too close to the ground” and the tile URL template does not have images up to that level. Zoom out a bit and you will see the 1891 map appear again.

    Moving the points around

    The points in the CSV are all geo-located on top of each other on the same point in Bogotá’s Plaza de Bolívar. We need to move them to their proper location. If you click the gray pin you will see the additional data for the topmost one (General Rafael Reyes). His address at the time was 50, Calle 16 (50 16th Street). We need to find that address in the map.

    Finding the address will be relatively easy since each block has its starting and ending address numbers written on the corners. You will notice that “Carrera” (vertical-ish streets) numbers increase northward with odd numbers east and even numbers west while “Calle” (horizontal-ish streets) numbers increase westward with odd numbers south and even numbers north:

    Address numbers

    We will place the point in the approximate location between corners in a given block. To do so, activate editing mode by clicking the Edit icon icon. Pins will have a pink outline and you can move them around. Place the pins in the desired location and click “Save” to commit the changes:

    Moving points around

    There are some tricky addresses but this task can be quite enjoyable since you literally get lost in 1891 Bogotá. An interesting aspect of this map is that government buildings are colored with the Colombian flag. When you place Rafael Núñez Moledo, the sitting president at the time, you will notice that his address matches one of those flag-colored buildings (the Casa de Nariño).

    Saving the GeoJSON

    Now we must generate the final GeoJSON that we will use to create our interactive map. Simply select Save > GeoJSON in the editor menu. A file called map.geojson will be generated and downloaded to your computer. You can also just download the one I did, cheater!

    3) Creating a 2014 custom map (optional)

    We want to be able to compare this 1891 map with present day Bogotá so we can see how things have changed over time. We need a “base map” which is basically what GeoJSON.io has when you load it: a (hopefully accurate) “plain vanilla” street map of the present day world. You could use the standard OpenStreetMap tiles or use a service such as MapBox to produce a completely custom map (MapBox uses OSM data). MapBox is quite powerful: it lets you change colors, customize what gets shown (streets, buildings, parks, etc.) and even use satellite imagery!

    I’m not going to describe how to create your own map in MapBox. I will leave that to their excellent tutorial. When you’re done, you will need to write down the Map ID which looks something like username.k53dp4io. You can use the MapBox projects page to see all your maps and easily copy the ID to clipboard:

    MapBox Map ID

    NOTE: If you don’t want to go through the process of customizing your map, you can use an example MapBox ID later.

    4) Final assembly

    We now have all the assets required to assemble our interactive map:

    • map data in GeoJSON format
    • a tile template for the 1891 map
    • a tile template or MapBox ID for the 2014 map

    We will prototype the interactive map in JSFiddle, a tool that lets you quickly create and test HTML/JavaScript/CSS code. Check out this quick tutorial to familiarize yourself with the interface.

    JSFiddle has four main panes:

    • HTML code (top left)
    • CSS code (top right)
    • JavaScript code (bottom left)
    • The end result (bottom right)

    JSFiddle takes care of assembling the three code components into the result every time you click “Run” (in top, blue bar).

    HTML & CSS

    In this example the HTML and CSS parts are very simple. We only need a rectangular area in the page that will display the map and all its controls.

    We need an HTML element where the map will go. Type or copy/paste this in the HTML pane:

    With this code we create a div element whose identifier is map and, as you can imagine, it will contain the map. We now need to “style” the element (give it a width and a height and, if you want to, borders and other attributes). Styling is controlled with CSS. Type or copy/paste this in the CSS pane:

    This applies a width and a height of 400 pixels to the element whose identifier is map (the # prefix means “id” in CSS). Of course you can make the rectangle bigger (if your monitor is big enough) and apply other attributes between those { } brackets (e.g.: background-color: #f00; for a red background if you want to see the element with no map) but I just wanted to keep it very simple.

    If you click “Run” now you won’t see much (unless you added a background color or a border to the element). That’s all the HTML and CSS you will need for now.

    Adding MapBoxJS

    To present the map and make it interactive we will need some external assets and JavaScript. I mentioned Leaflet and MapBoxJS before. We are going to need them in order to present and control the map. Leaflet is included in MapBoxJS so we just need to worry about the latter. MapBoxJS is composed of two separate files: a JS file and a CSS file. You already have an idea of what the CSS file does. The JavaScript file contains all the interactive mapping magic. These are the URLs to the files in question (note that it is not the latest MapBoxJS version but no worries, it will work):

    CSS file:
    http://api.tiles.mapbox.com/mapbox.js/v1.5.0/mapbox.css

    JavaScript file:
    http://api.tiles.mapbox.com/mapbox.js/v1.5.0/mapbox.js

    In the left column in JSFiddle find the “External Resources” section. You need to copy those URLs and paste each in the JavaScript/CSS URI box and click the + button. You will see something like this after you do it:

    jQuery in JSFiddle
    Your “fiddle” once you add the two MapBoxJS files

    This will make JSFiddle load those files the next time you click “Run” and from then on.

    Hello map!

    Now comes the part we’ve been waiting for! Let’s write some JavaScript so we can see the 1891 map. Write this in the JavaScript pane:

    …and click “Run”. This is what you should see:

    Hello map
    You first web map!

    Thanks to Leaflet, it’s that easy to work with web maps.

    Note: I’m not going into details here about the different aspects of the Leaflet or MapBoxJS APIs. They each have their own tutorials and examples. I will instead give some code snippets and superficially explain what they do. You will copy, paste and click “Run” and magic will happen5. You will later figure out how to do more awesome things on your own.

    Managing multiple tile sets

    You may notice that the map is all white except for the 1891 map and that is good. The tile set URL only has the rectified map on it and nothing else. We need to have an additional 2014 tile set to compare (I will use an example MapBox Map ID, in case you did not create your own in step 3 above). We will replace the JS code with new one that will contain:

    • some attribution information for the map (useful for when you want to, you know, attribute data in the map)
    • the 2014 tile set
    • a control that will let us swap one tile set for another

    This code should replace your previous JS:

    If you look throught this code you will notice it is quite similar to what we had before. The main differences are the addition of attributions and MapBox tile sets (via the map ID). The control itself is two lines: one to create a baseMaps variable that will hold the tile sets (you can add as many tile sets as you want) and another to create the control and add it to the map. Behold the control in action:

    Tile set magic
    Notice how the attribution changes when you toggle the tile sets

    We’re almost there! We now need to display our data. Leaflet makes this process quite easy since it natively supports GeoJSON. The process is just a few lines, but first remove the map zoom functionmap.setView([4.598056, -74.075833],14). Now paste this code at the bottom of the JS pane:

    You need to copy the GeoJSON output from the text file you downloaded from GeoJSON.io and paste it where you see 'paste_geojson_here_keep_quotes'. Make sure you keep those quotes! That line should end up looking something like:

    We replaced the zoom function with map.fitBounds(geolayer.getBounds()). This makes the map “smarter”: instead of us typing longitude, latitude and zoom level by hand we let Leaflet calculate the bounding area for the set of points provided with getBounds() and pass that as a value to the map’s fitBounds() function. Voilá, the map now zooms to show all the points in the set. If you add more points the bounds will change automatically!

    You can also add the points and any other data overlay to the layer toggler. You just need to create a variable similar to the one you created for the tile sets and update the control creation code:

    You will see something like this when you click “Run”:

    Hello pins
    Your map with custom data on it

    Note: Make sure to move the control creation code L.control.layers to a point below where the GeoJSON is being parsed. The geolayer variable needs to exist for it to be added to the overlays. Refer to my JSFiddle result for details.

    Another important line is the one with the L.geoJson() function. This function parses all the features described by the map.geojson. Leaflet/MapBoxJS have default blue pin icons for point features which you can customize if you want. L.geoJson() will also let us add some interaction to the pins. Right now clicking them does nothing.

    Making the pins come alive

    We want to click on the pins and show a popup box with the data we have associated to it (in the feature’s properties). We need to do two things:

    1. a function that will build and present the popup for a given feature (point)
    2. modify the L.geoJson() call to use this function

    Leaflet’s bindPopup() layer function does just that: draws a box with text next to a given layer. This text can be marked up with HTML. Copy/paste this code below all you have so far:

    This showPopup() function receives a feature, the piece of GeoJSON that contains all the information (geometry and properties), and a layer, the same GeoJSON as displayed by Leaflet (in our case, the blue pin). These two parameters are passed automatically by the L.geoJson() function. showPopup() then loops through each property in the feature (name, address, etc.) and builds an HTML string. This string is used as the markup for the popup.

    We have not connected showPopup to anything. Modify your current L.geoJson line as follows:

    …you are just adding , {onEachFeature: showPopup} after geodata. This tells Leaflet to apply the showPopup function for each feature in the GeoJSON.

    Note: If your GeoJSON contains multiple types of features (e.g.: points, lines and polygons) you need to keep in mind the same function will be applied to all of them. For example, polygons have bounds but points do not. You will need to check to see if the feature being clicked has bounds before trying to fitBounds the map.

    Running the map and clicking on a pin will result in something like this:

    A popup!

    This is nice and all but wouldn’t it be better to actually see the photo and maybe link that page number to the directory itself? Let’s do just that! Replace the showPopup function with this one:

    We just added a check in the loop: if key equals “Page” we build a link to the directory and if key equals “Photo” we build an image tag and constrain the height to 150 pixels (just in case the image is too big).

    This is how Mr. Núñez looks like now:

    Rafael Núñez bio

    …worthy of a president!

    And we’re done!

    Wrapping it all up

    You will want to compile these three code snippets in an HTML page to publish your new map somewhere. Worry not, below is a code snippet that has the requisite spots for you to paste CSS, HTML and JS. Save all the code as a .html file and publish it somewhere:

    You can see the finished map here. I made minor modifications to the CSS to fill the browser window.

    Hope you found this tutorial useful. Drop me a line if you have any comments or questions!


    1. Similar to what happens with music when converted from CD quality to MP3.
    2. Read this explanation for a better introduction on how web map tiles work.
    3. I did not thoroughly research the names in question so it may be (however unlikely) that they are homonyms.
    4. From GeoJSON.org
    5. Everything should work this way!

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  • 01/06/15--08:16: NYC Literary Haunts
  • Madeline
    Bemelmans Bar in The Carlyle hotel continues to attract tourists with its Art Deco style and paintings. Image ID: 1105863

    Recently, a discussion among colleagues about the most egregiously overused book review clichés brought up the word "haunted," as in, "the haunting prose of this novel" or "this poem left me feeling a haunting sense of remorse." I got to thinking about other uses of this word, in association with literature, such as "literary haunts"—places writers frequented when they were or weren't writing.

    The New York Public Library branches themselves are, of course, examples of these. Luckily, many other historic literary sites remain standing in the boroughs of New York City. The following are some links to literary haunts, some are bars or hotels that were frequented by the likes of Dorothy Parker or Jack Kerouac, some are more unexpected. There are a few places online that offer walking tours of these locations.

    Fodors.com, "10 of New York City's Most Storied Literary Haunts"

    You May Be Wandering, "A Literary Tour of NYC"

    The Australian, "The Literary Hothouse New York Hotels and Haunts of Great Writers"

    The Edgar Allen Poe Residence on W 3rd street in Manhattan was dismantled in 2001, but a facade was created to reassemble how the house would have looked in 1845. Poe lived here and revised and published "The Raven" before moving to the Bronx with his wife and mother-in-law. The Raven and Poe's other works continue to inspire new works to this day, such as the Nevermore play, which will be performed at the New World Stages.

    Poe House, located near Grand Concourse in the Bronx, was where Poe spent the last years of his life, from 1846 to 1849. Poe and his wife Virginia moved to the cottage in the Bronx, known then as Fordham Village, when Virginia fell ill with tuberculosis. The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage was moved from across the street and now sits in a recently renovated park.

    Eugene O'Neill
    Still image of Eugene O'Neill. Image ID: TH-41966

    The site in New York City where playwright Eugene O'Neill was born is now a cafe near Times Square, but the Eugene O'Neill theatre on W 49th carries on his name on their marquee. O'Neill, wrote a Time reviewer, could "seize a blasé Broadway crowd and wring it dry, half from fatigue, half from an emotional buffeting that no other American playwright ever inflicted on an audience. [He] could do what only a major artist can do: make his public share in the life of his private demons." (source: Contemporary Authors online database)

    Find guidebooks to Literary Landmarks of NYC in the catalog.

    Previously:Literary Landmarks in the Village: Goodnight Moon, Literary Landmarks in the Village: Where the Wild Things Are, Edgar Allan Poe in the Bronx


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    The Stranger

    Welcome to the Reader’s Den, January 2015! This year the Reader’s Den will focus its selections on books with a hero/anti-hero theme. And, as we all expect a typical hero to have a few basic qualities: courage, honesty, on the side of the just. What do we expect from the more complex anti-hero: an ability to stick to his convictions, maybe a few relatable flaws, or even a sense of humor? Can we relate to a figure who shuns society’s mores?

    Albert Camus’s  1942 novel, The Stranger introduces Meursault who falls into this bright light, as in, “The sky was already filled with light. The sun was beginning to bear down on the earth and it was getting hotter by the minute” p. 15.

    I hope you will find it a relief to spend January reading a novel that takes place in the full sun of the Algerian summer, although the story may not bask so lazily in your mind. Also, it is a novella, so it won’t be too difficult to stick to your New Year’s resolution to read more (says the librarian). You will finish it in no time at all. The sentences are short and exact, simply bundling the complexity of their ideas with precise words. The philosophy of Absurdism that drives the protagonist, Meursault, will prove, as Sartre states in his essay “Camus’s ‘The Outsider’”, “All the sentences of his book are equal to each other, just as all the absurd man’s experiences are equal.” Meursault’s actions will pull you quickly through the story.

     1573119
    Algiers. Image ID: 1573119

    I’ll be reading the 1989 English translation by Matthew Ward, but you can find copies in the original French, and it is available as an e-book, or an audio book, or online (English Stuart Gilbert translation or French). To read more about the translation consider Ryan Bloom’s essay from the New Yorker about the iconic first line, “Aujourd’hui, maman est morte.”

    “Maman died today.” And, so we begin…


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    This blog post was way harder to put together than I’d ever anticipated. I knew I’d have no trouble putting together a list of 10—there are a lot of book-related feeds out there that I love. Then we spent a week asking for nominations via captions in 6 different Instagram posts, and boy, you are all super passionate about this as well! We received mentions of 70 total accounts from 111 nominations. That amounts to 26 public libraries, 12 personal feeds, 11 book shops, 10 universities, 5 publishers, 3 reference/archives, and 3 other. To see the full list of follower-nominations (plus reasons why) see here.

    Without further ado, here are the 10 best book-related Instagram accounts!

    10. Books 4 Kids(2,250 followers, 369 posts*)
    This feed of children’s book recommendations is appropriately run by a children’s book librarian. She covers a wide range of ages and interests. Her captions remind me of our #reviewontues posts, just that they are all recommended reads.

    9. The Morgan Library & Museum (1,651 followers, 177 posts)
    The Morgan always has great inside looks into the collections, we are especially fond of whenever they post early illustrations of beloved authors such as Jean de Brunhoff’s Babar the Elephant or Beatrix Potter furry animals. Plus their posts in support of their recent exhibition Handmade were really engaging and humorous.

    8. Strand Bookstore (13,942 followers, 966 posts)
    Strand’s #staffpickfriday video series is great. It is nice to put a face to the staff recommendations list. It’s fun when their resident dog Gizmo (he has his own Strand employee nametag) helps sometimes with posts. Bonus: They post photos of celebrities book shopping!

    7. US National Archives (2,615 followers, 339 posts)
    With the tagline “the nation’s record keeper,” it is no surprise that the US National Archives’ posts are always timely and on point. We especially enjoyed their recent Christmas-related posts, from an analysis surrounding the facts on Santa from the Office of War Information to a photo of Nancy Reagan on Santa’s (Mr. T’s) lap. We love consuming their tidbits of history—the captions are sometimes crazy-long, but always worth the read.

    6. Harper Perennial (1,936 followers, 421 posts)
    The feed for one of Harper Collins’ paperback imprints. Their captions range from existential to quirky—we particularly love their series where they show just a sliver of a book and focus on the atmosphere in which it is being read. We also get a funny glimpse into their office life, whether it is an editor sitting in a sunbeam or a broken fridge, no post ever seems out of place. For a book publisher, it is refreshing to see their feed is less self-promotion and more general book-loving. Bonus: They sometimes feature a cute dog named Charlie who loves to read (or at least stick his snout in a book.)

    5. Jefferson Market Library - NYPL (598 followers, 375 posts)
    Not to be biased, but the Jefferson Market branch of NYPL is really fun. We love their chalkboard quotes and other views of the branch. They also have a really fun way of finding the perfect photos from their books to illustrate current and historic events. Photos of their gorgeous building and surrounding neighborhood are much appreciated as well.

    4. American Antiquarian Society(4,266 followers, 1,716 posts)
    American Antiquarian is the founder of some of our favorite hashtags, particularly #marbledmonday (a beautiful look at end papers) and #frankenbooks (exactly what it sounds like). They do a wonderful job of displaying their vast archives, and always make sure to give some great background information. They also do an excellent job of engaging followers in the comments.

    3. University of San Francisco Gleeson Library (1,652 followers, 433 posts)
    We first met Gleeson Library in the week leading up to last year’s inaugural #libraryshelfie day. They forever endeared themselves to us in helping to promote our challenge to post shelfies (selfies but of your bookshelf!), and even sent us buttons with photos of their students participating. They are really great at mixing student/campus information, looks behind the scenes, and gorgeous shots from their campus.

    2. LeClaire Library (113,873 followers, 305 posts)
    Coming off a well-deserved run on Instagram’s Suggested User list, LeClaire Library is a fantastic example of small libraries doing great things. Their mascot, Stretch T. Giraffe, appears in most of their photos, and adds amazing personality to the feed. They always have good recommendations on what to read/watch next, and celebrate all the weird holidays (from National Science Fiction Day to National Wear a Plunger on Your Head Day) in funny fashion. Stretch even came to visit last February as part of a #mascotexchange program, and helped us with our posts for a full week.

    1. Burlingame Public Library(1,232 followers, 307 posts)
    Burlingame is the undisputed King (Queen?) of #bookfacefriday. For those of you unfamiliar with bookfaces, the basic concept is to take a book with a body part on the cover—usually a face—and hold it in front of your own face to line up. Every week we post our favorite submission to the NYPL Instagram account, and every week I blindly end up picking their entry. Their feed is creative and fun and thoughtful, and I admire the way they seamlessly mix in video.

    Honorable Mentions: Other Favorite Hashtags (that aren’t ours, of course)
    #tinytuesday - Fisher Rare Book Library. Little figurines accentuate posts.
    #libraryken - Melbourne University Library. A Ken doll dressed up like a librarian goes on adventures around campus.

    Did I miss your favorite book-related Instagram? Is there an amazing hashtag out there that everyone should know about? Let us know who you love and why in the comments.

    *All follower/post counts are from the time I wrote this post


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    Whole Foods Market - Accepting Applicants for New Store Opening , 240 openings.  Recruitment  will be held  Sunday, January 11 and Monday, January  12 at  9 am.  Interested candidates must apply online in order to be considered for this position.  Candidates will be invited to group interview sessions via email and given additional details on location, dates and times at that time.  Contact: Natalie Cespedes.  Phone: (917) 493- 7072.

    Enrollment is Now Open--SAGE Works Boot Camp.  SAGE Works assists people 40 years and older in learning relevant, cutting-edge job search skills in a LGBT-friendly environment.  Enrollment workshops will be held Monday,  January 12 ,  9:30 am - 2 :00 pm at The SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10001.

    New Partners, Inc. will present a recruitment for both  Certified and Non-CertifiedHome Health Aides (F/T & P/T) (5 openings on Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 10 am - 1:30 pm,  at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138-60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355.

    Americare Inc. will present a recruitment for both Certified and Non-Certified Home Health Aides (F/T & P/T), (10 openings) on Wednesday, January 14,  2015, 10 am - 2 pm at Flushing  Workforce 1 Career Center, 138-60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355.

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    Americare, Inc. will present a recruitment for both Certified and Non-Certified Home Health Aides (F/T & P/T) (15 openings) on Thursday, January 15, 2015, 10 am - 2 pm at Staten Island Workforce 1 Career Center, 120 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island, NY 10301.

    FreshDirect will present a recruitment for Delivery Rep - Route Drivers (25 openings) on Friday, January 16, 2015, 10 am - 3 pm at the Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 E. Fordham Road, 8th Floor, Bronx, NY 10458.

    St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development  provides Free Job Training and Educational Programs in Environmental Response and Remediation Tech (ERRT), Commercial Driver's License , Pest Control Technician Training (PCT), Employment Search and Prep Training and Job Placement, Earn Benefits and Career Path Center.  For  information and assistance,  please visit St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development, 790 Broadway, 2nd Fl., Brooklyn, NY 11206.   718-302-2057 ext. 202. 

    Brooklyn Workforce Innovations helps jobless and working poor New Yorkers establish careers in sectors that offer good wages and opportunities for advancement. Currently BWI offers free job training programs in four industries: commercial driving, telecommunications cable installation, TV and film production, and skilled woodworking.  BWI is at 621 Degraw Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217.  718-237-5366.

    CMP (formerly Chinatown Manpower Project) in lower Manhattan is now recruiting for a free training in Quickbooks,  Basic Accounting, and Excel.   This training is open to anyone who is receiving food stamps but no cash assistance.  Class runs for 8 weeks, followed by one-on-one meetings with a job developer.  CMP also provides Free Home Health Aide Training for bilingual English/Cantonese speakers who are receiving food stamps but no cash assistance.  Training runs Mondays through Fridays for 6 weeks, and includes test prep then taking the HHA certification exam.  Students learn about direct care techniques such as taking vital signs and assisting with personal hygiene and nutrition.   For more information for the above two training programs, please Email: info@cmpny.org, call 212-571-1690 or visit 70 Mulberry Street, 3rd Floor, NY, NY 10013. CMP also provides tuition-based healthcare and business trainings for free to students who are entitled to ACCESS funding.  Please call CMP for information.

    Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) trains women and places them in careers in the skilled construction, utility, and maintenance trades. It helps women achieve economic independence and a secure future.  For information call 212-627-6252 or register online.

    Grace Institute provides tuition-free, practical job training in a supportive learning community for underserved New York area women of all ages and from many different background.  For information call 212-832-7605.

    Please note this blog post will be revised when more recruitment events for the week of January  11  are available.


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    The winter solstice marked the beginning of a new season, one perfect for staying indoors with the companionship of a good book. The wind may bite. The snow may fall. And your stoop may be a treacherous ziggurat of ice. But there's no reason to get cabin fever this year. Instead, pick up one of these books with "winter" in the title and read until you don't remember you're cold anymore.

    If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
    If on a Winter's Night a Traveler tells the story of a reader trying to read a book of the same title. Yet every chapter is "interrupted" by a new book. Have too many books you want to read? Here's looking at you.

    The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare
    Before there was Hermione Granger, there was Queen Hermione, and in this Shakespearean plot-twister, her adventures include sexual scandal, conquering death, and even forgiving one deranged husband.

    Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories by Simon Van Booy
    As the title implies, Love Begins in Winter brims with heart enough to charm even the coolest customers. And in Van Booy's short fiction, love doesn't just begin; it surprises.

    Winter's Tales by Isak Dinesen
    In Dinesen's hand, seasons may change but stories comprise the bedrock of human experience. As she writes, "The world itself, like a big old book, fell open, and slowly, on its own, turned one leaf after another."

    The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
    Steinbeck may have titled The Winter of Our Discontent  in reference to the first line of Richard III, but it was to be the author's last novel. The story of a Long Islander trying to make a buck, this moral drama about the pitfalls of greed and ambition is as timely now as it was at its time of publication over fifty years ago.


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    The Atlanta. Image ID: 3963122

    One of my life’s ambitions which has yet to be actualized is my desire to speak fluently in at least several languages. My father possessed quite a flair for languages, demonstrated by his ability to converse in the respective native tongue of people hailing from a variety of locales around the globe, as well as his ability to accurately translate dialog from World War II movies prior to the corresponding English sub-titles appearing on the screen. I possess a fairly good grasp of the Spanish language, and a smattering of German. My paramount ability to speak Spanish as opposed to German is based on the fact that I lack the opportunity to practice the German language, whereas I not infrequently encounter people who speak solely Spanish. Several years ago, I was afforded the opportunity to watch soap operas presented in the Spanish language (“novellas”). I would not describe myself as an ardent devotee of soap operas, but I can truthfully state that straining to figure out why Juan was virtually incandescent with rage at his business partner, Luis, who Juan had selected to be the godfather of Juan's son just a week ago, or why the stunningly gorgeous twenty-something couple, Julio and Maritza, were electing to dissolve their romantic union definitely served as an added impetus to augment my knowledge of the Spanish language (until the matter was clarified for me, I mistakenly thought Julio testily informed Maritza that he was leaving her for “the old women” of “the world.” In my defense, “viaje” ("to travel") and “viaja” ("old woman") are phonetically close! Hope springs eternal…)

    The New York Public Library has a rich history of assisting those who are aspiring to master the English language, whether in verbal or written format, via ESOL classes conducted at various NYPL locations, the Adult Learning Centers (assists those who speak at least an intermediate level of spoken English with reading and writing skills in the English language) which is also presented at various NYPL branches, English conversation classes which convene at several NYPL branches, the Mango database which is free of charge to use for NYPL card holders in addition to a literal plethora of books, DVDs and audio CDs focusing on instructional material to become fluent in the English language. The NYPL has now added another pedagogical facet in its language acquisition educational programs, the “We Are New York” (“WANY”) program. According to WANY’s website, “We Are New York is an Emmy Award- winning half hour t.v. show created to help people practice English…WANY was created by the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education and the City University of New York, Office of Academic Affairs. It is now part of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.”

    Patrons wishing to enhance their ability to converse in the English language via WANY may avail themselves of the opportunity presented at nine of the NYPL’s branches scattered throughout Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. The Great Kills branch is one of the nine branches selected to offer free access to the WANY episodes. Staring on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 from 5-7 p.m., individuals (16 years old and above) may view the selected WANY episode for that particular date on a walk-in basis, with no registration required, every Wednesday, through April 29, 2015. Participants may also wish to discuss the selected WANY episode following the viewing of said episode with other participants at the branch in an effort to augment their respective English fluency skills.

    According to the page on the NYPL website about this event, “…This program works best for people who speak some English already and want to practice.” The WANY website currently lists ten episodes in which common situations encountered in reality are scripted and dramatized by actors. The episodes run the gamut from The Storm, which provides information via the dialog that occurs between the characters on the proper procedures to adhere to during a storm or a disaster, to Stop Domestic Violence. The episodes are translated from English into five different languages (Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Russian and Spanish). A magazine of each episode is available from the WANY website. The WANY website also contains a “low level reader guide,” “a study guide” and a list of words featured in the pertinent episode.

    Intonation and body language vary from culture to culture. The WANY programs also provide a window for non-native English speakers to view the normally acceptable intonation and gestures in the American culture in different situations. These subjects represent an integral component of non-verbal communication that are ancillary to the verbal exchange occurring between individuals. In the book, What Every BODY is Saying, author and former FBI Special Agent Joe Navarro stresses the importance of properly analyzing body language both within a culture (for example, for ascertaining veracity in law enforcement investigations) as well as cross-culturally (explaining the abrazo, a form of an embrace common and socially acceptable between men in South American and Latin American countries). Immigrants to America must not only contend with familiarizing themselves with “American” customs but with the traditions of immigrants from other nations. In terms of different social interpretations being applied to various forms of body language, one example is the fact that a “thumbs-up” gesture that is viewed as a positive form of communication in our culture and many others may be perceived as an act of aggression by those of a different culture.

    Comprehending idiomatic expressions as well as the vernacular in a language are vital to acquiring mastery of said language. Becoming better acquainted with these facets of a language is achieved in a more facile fashion with the combined visual and audio aid of a DVD. In addition to accomplishing the foregoing, the WANY episodes are not “wooden” in terms of substance nor delivery but are rather engaging (for example, after viewing a segment of the No Smoking WANY DVD, I rushed to the telephone with the inspired intent to dial 311 in order to obtain a free nicotine patch, only to remember that I have never smoked!) Finally, certain values pervasive in our society, such as the unacceptable nature of domestic violence, is conveyed to viewers of the WANY episodes. So, whether you are an ESOL teacher, an entity seeking to improve his/her English language skills or someone who wishes to become better acquainted with the WANY episodes, please feel free to visit any of the NYPL locations offering access to WANY on the relevant dates and times! Additionally, please find a sample listing below of materials contained in the NYPL's Circulating collection that should assist those striving to obtain mastery of the English (or German, Swahili, Russian, etc.) language!

    Books

    Audio

    DVDs

    Websites


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    The Fire Next Time cover

    The name James Baldwin is sure to be known in most readers' minds. The two usual responses are: "I think I read him in high school?" or "Yeah he wrote that one and some others, but I never read him." Does anyone stop to think, why not read (or reread) him? He has a breadth of writings to discover: fiction, essays and even plays and poetry. And though many words have been said in the past and present about him, it is hard not to want to add another paean of gratitude for his works.

    While it is difficult to say he is unknown, it is seemingly more that he is under appreciated, not just for his historical importance, specifically in defining a race conscious United States and writing about the difficulties faced by many groups that are marginalized and "othered," but his books also shine with literary feats of beauty. His writing is both sublime and alluring, that his thoughts flow straight into you and make you visualize and believe every word he writes. Whether he is writing a partial autobiography, or a complete work of fiction, or essays about his, and others', experiences in the United States and abroad, he writes with a candor and strong sense of affirmation in the future to be defined as one with less discrimination, his writing shows his belief in a possibility to live in a more just society.

    Unfortunately, his writings are as necessary today as we seek to find comfort in anything that can help us figure out why there are such large disparities among people still. There is a continuously nascent idea that "this time is the time" and yet somehow we remain still drowning in discontent. James Baldwin knew, as many others did and still do, that inherent within the system in place, namely capitalism and what drives and protects capital, is a racist and discriminatory set of rules that does not allow for change or for the ability for already displaced communities to work towards a more equal share in the system. Without needing a history lesson, one only needs to look at the long history of the United States and even within the last 50 years do we see these stories continually play out, one of the few continually wielding power against those who have none.

    In a post meant to honor one of the best writers to come from the United States, as well as anywhere else, one cannot overlook these essential ideas, for it is these essential ideas that is what he sought to change and what he fought for.

    His writings, while focusing on these harrowing critiques of capitalist society at large, also play towards a much more personal side as well. His books contain stories of everyday heartbreak as well as love, they are stories in which we all can find something that mirrors our own lives, that we can relate to in a way that we cannot help but feel for the characters. His stories deal with the questions and constant rediscoveries that come every day, and with the opposing factors that try to limit our freedoms. The constant reexamination of ones' self through the eyes of the strangers, communities, friends, families and lovers that we try to identify with.

    If Beale Street Could Talk cover

    In If Beale Street Could Talk we find ourselves crying with Tish as she struggles to help out Fonny, her husband who is wrongly imprisoned, while trying to maintain her life and have her child. It is every character in this book that we can see play out in real life, and people that make us cry, laugh, smile, feel angry and sad but most of all, human. It is also this story which helps us to understand the lives that are lived by everyone, all around us.

    In writing Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone, Baldwin is set to define the black artist's experience in New York, and through meeting many different characters that Leo Proudhammer has in his life, we recognize the diversity and multitude of people and experience that are provided through the variety of characters we allow in our life.It is our destiny to seek our own ways and paths that contain influences wide-ranging and yet try in our own way to, and this is what all of Baldwin's books focus on, survive in a world that continually divides and separates.

    Giovanni's Room, Baldwin's only book to not involve a focus on race, but rather involves a personal look at romantic relationships and discovered sexuality. This book invokes discrimination felt at trying to discover sexuality, namely the love between two men, and the woes of having to constantly question ourselves and our choices.

    Another Country cover

    The story and pains of Rufus Scott dominate the story of Another Country, in which once again the struggle of living in a divided world, and the story of trying to make it as an artist comes to the epicenter of Baldwin's commands. He novelizes the struggles that are faced in being at the forefront of society and yet, held back because of a constant, uncomfortable feeling. Many questions are posited in this book, but most importantly, is it possible to get past the hurdles we have set up for ourselves and others and be able to love one another.

    Many of Baldwin's essays are seeking to reach out and explain his passions, his want for a different world. In the first part of The Fire Next Time he is writing in the form of a letter to his nephew about race in the United States. While the second half deals with his experience and lessons engaging with religion and race. Similarly, Notes of a Native Son, Baldwin's first book of collected essays, deals heavily with the notion of race and the United States, He speaks to literature, to his own experience and to the world outside, both in the United States and beyond.

    James Baldwin wrote even more collections, more poetry and plays that are all worth seeking out. Some ideas or styles might resonate with you as a reader more than others, but they are all impacting and seek to comfort us in times of our own questioning, our own problems and our own eventual answers. He seeks to provide clarity, and does so. Mostly though, he provides a sharp and thoughtful critique to the modern systemic problems that we have, and like Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X and many others both before and after, he added a voice of consciousness to the public, which retains its power and intensity after all of these years.


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    2014 has come and gone. The holiday gift giving season has passed. Things are beginning to settle into place in 2015. Now is the time to sit back and assess what the best books of the previous year were. And lucky you, a team of committed, hardworking children's librarians have already culled through the mountains of content in 2014 and produced what I can only describe as the world's most beautiful book list you will ever have a chance to see. Yes, it's the 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing list for 2014. Now in its 103rd year, the list does a beautiful job of presenting kids with an array of topics and treats of every subject.

    Now if you're a children's librarian, you're aware that books for kids aren't the namby-pamby babyish fare you might expect. No sir, we are in a veritable golden age of great books for kids right now. So good, in fact, that little elements you might NOT expect can be found on some of the pages of the most seemingly innocuous books. Don't believe me? Here's a little something surprising from each of the categories we explored on our list:

    Picture Books (for children ages 2-6)

    Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeoverby Josh Schneider

    Princess S

    Have you ever wished that there was a book out there that showed what would happen if you combined a sweet little tea party/princess title, all sugary and happy dappy with, oh I dunno, FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER? This is one of those books that seems like it's going in one direction and then makes a sharp right turn and swerves into entirely new territory. Basically, it's awesome, but you'd never know it from the title.

    Stories for Younger Readers (for children ages 6-8)

    Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka. Illustrated by Brian Biggs

    Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor

    Did you know that the taser was named after a children's book character? Yep, good old Tom Swift and his electric rifle proved to be the inspiration. Don't remember Tom Swift? Well back in the day it was one of the most popular book series being published. Chock full of space travel and adventure and inventions. Even folks today are inspired by the books, and that includes former National Ambassador of Children's Literature Jon Scieszka. In his new Frank Einstein series Jon combines good old-fashioned science fiction with wackiness. The name of the book's hero? Frank Einstein. And the name of his arch rival? The guy who rips off other ideas at the drop of a hat? Edison. Add in a chimp who likes to snack on ants from a private box and wear finely tailored suits and you've got yourself one heckuva kooky book. Funny too, for that matter.

    Stories for Older Readers (for children ages 9-12)

    The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinisterby Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, and Emma Trevayne. Illustrated by Alexander Jansson

    The Cabinet of Curiosities

    If 2014 could be called anything maybe it would be The Year of the Icky, Creepy, GAH Books. Boy, oh boy, there were a lot of them published for kids. Some were good. Some were bad. And some were just bloody blooming awful. Fortunately for all parties concerned, The Cabinet of Curiosities was one of the best. It is, however, a creep-fest. I sure hope you like tales of carnivorous trees, kids being compelled to eat cakes that look like themselves, adaptations of some of Hans Christian Andersen's most out there tales, and mirrors that should NOT be in bedrooms because this book has it all. Good luck going to sleep after reading some of these tales to yourself tonight!

    Graphic Books

    Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood by Nathan Hale

    Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood by Nathan Hale

    So say you wanted to write a graphic novel for kids about WWI. Yeah. Good luck with all that. Aside from being woefully complex (how much did YOU retain from your junior high history classes?) the Americans don't even come into it until the end. Fortunately, cartoonist Nathan Hale figured out the perfect solution. It goes something like this:

    Step One: Turn each nation into a different animal. The English = bulldogs, The Australians = Kiwi, The Americans = Cute Fluffy Bunnies (wait . . . what?).

    Step Two: Break the war up into different years. Show the escalation. Pinpoint distinct battles.

    Step Three: Let 'er rip.

    Don't think it could possibly work? Then check it out for yourself. And prepare to be amazed.

    Folktales and Fairy Tales

    The Fox and the Crow by Manasi Subramaniam. Illustrated by Culpeo S. Fox

    The Fox and the Crow

    Imagine an Aesop fable rewritten by Alfred Hitchcock. Need I say more?

    Poetry

    Food Trucks! by Mark Todd

    Food Trucks

    Honestly it was only a matter of time before they started making children's books about food trucks. Happily, this book just sort of revels in the wonders of international cuisine. Best of all? The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck gets a shout-out!

    Nonfiction

    At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui by Christine Liu-Perkins. Illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen.

    At Home In Her Tomb

    A show of hands. How many of you could name the world's most perfectly preserved ancient corpse? No? Did you even know it was from China? That it dated back to the Han dynasty and that the body in question, Lady Dai, was so perfect when they found her that her joints were still loose and her skin still soft? This book doesn't just go into bloated corpse matters (though there's plenty of that on hand) but also the crazy treasures they found in her burial site. Seriously, this book is good reading for every age. Why should kids have all the fun?

    That's just a sampling of some of the titles on our list. So go check 'em out! The library has plenty of copies of each and every one. There's no telling what other facts and details you'll locate when you dive in. Check out the full list online or  download the PDF.

    Happy reading!


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    On view at the Mulberry Street Library on the Children's Floor are the whimsical illustrations of artist Hsaio-Chi Chang. Her work references known classics such as The Little Prince as well as her own vivid imaginarium of characters inspired by animals and dreams. I spoke with the artist recently about her work. 

    Your work seems very inspired by children's books—are there any books in particular that have a special meaning for you? 

    I love stories and get inspired by them a lot. The books and stories that I love usually communicate a big idea in a very simple way. One of the books that I enjoyed the most when I was a kid is The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein. Both the illustrations and concept are very simple, but it tells of a situation that we may all encounter in life, whether we are children or adults. Another book that inspired me a lot is The Little Prince. The first time I read it I was 12 years old. I have read it many times since then and each time I find new and different ideas.

    Who are some of your favorite artists and illustrators?

    Paul Klee, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Oliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen, Nelleke Verhoeff, Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi and more.

    You have a series of "Little Animals" illustrations—what motivated this series? 

    This series was a project for a toddler’s game app. It was a matching card game for toddlers. While I was doing this project, I tried to illustrate all the animals in a cute and symbolic way while expressing my own style in the individual animal characters.

    What kind of message do you hope your artwork communicates to children and to adults? 

    I always have a strong desire to express my emotions through stories, shapes, composition, and all the elements of art. I also try my best to see things in a simple and sincere way, as I did as a child. In other words, I am trying to remind adults of how simple things can be if we stop being “adults” for a while.

    What are your feelings about your artwork being shown in a public library? 

    It is a great pleasure to have a show in a public library the second time. As an artist, I am very happy to see people have the opportunity to enjoy art everywhere in the city, outside of galleries. I find that I always need a rest after doing a lot of reading. And for me, enjoying works of art is a great way to take a break from words. I really appreciate having this opportunity to share what I love to do with people in the community.

    What books are you reading right now?

    The Little Prince, A Wrinkle in Time, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte’s Web, Where the Sidewalk Ends and more.


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