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    Summer is ending and, in the tech world, it’s update season. Windows 10 came out in late July; iOS 9 will be available to Apple’s smartphones and tablets on September 16; and we’re expecting major new releases of the Mac and Android operating systems in the coming months. Individual applications get updates, too, which can improve or degrade accessibility to assistive technology.

    At the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, patrons often ask us whether it’s a good idea to update to the latest new software release. Many of us remember an update that had dramatic, negative consequences, such as the release of iOS 8, which made BARD difficult to navigate with Voiceover. For those of us who use assistive technology such as magnification, speech, braille or switch controls, it’s especially important to do some research before we update, so we’ll know if the update we’re considering will change or break our access to the tools we need. We hope this post helps you think through your options and make the best decision you can.

    Questions to ask yourself

    • Am I happy with the software I have? New features are exciting, but remember: they’ll be there waiting when you’re ready to update, whether you do so in five minutes or five months. If you’re generally happy with the way your computer or mobile device is working for you right now, you might decide to wait and see how other people fare with an update before you get yours. If you can’t think of a particular feature you’re excited to use right away, waiting may be your best strategy.
    • Do I have time to slow down and learn about changes to my device right now? Updates are all about change, and change takes work. You’ll need to set time aside to study and learn how to use new features, and the things that are second nature to you now—from how icons and menus look to the gestures you used to get around on a tablet—may be different once you update. I’ve had the best update experiences on vacations and slow weekends; and I’ve had some memorably bad ones during business trips and right before important deadlines.
    • Do I have another device for getting things done if this update goes south? Owning or having access to another computer or mobile device while you update another is helpful in a couple of ways. It gives you time to transition to updated software at your own pace; and ensures that, if updated software is glitchy or hard to learn, you can use that backup device to do the tech tasks (like paying the bills or finishing assignments) that can’t wait. If you don’t own a second device, our library is a great place to use an accessible computer, iPad or iPod Touch; just make sure you know how to access those important tasks from a public computer, and keep any important personal documents stored on a flash drive or cloud-based service like Google Drive or Dropbox so that you can get to them no matter what’s happening with your update.

    If you’re excited about an update, have time to dedicate to learning what’s new and have a backup device on hand in case your update path gets rocky, it’s time to do some research. You’ll want to know whether the update can be done without sighted assistance, how long it takes, and how it might affect the assistive technology you use. Thanks to the wonders of the Web, far-flung correspondents from the worldwide community of assistive tech users write about what’s great, what’s wrong and what to consider when new software is released. Taking the time to tap into this information will help you avoid problematic updates and approach favorably received ones with wisdom and confidence.

    A web search that includes the name of the update you want and the assistive and mainstream technology you’re using is a good place to start. For example, I might do a search for "Windows 10 and NVDA." Remember that individual applications and assistive features can also be affected by updates, so one search might not cover everything you need to know. Even after a thorough web search, it’s probably a good idea to wait a week or two (at least) after an update and then check out some assistive technology websites to see what people are saying about their update experiences. Here are a few we use:

    • AFB Access World is a monthly publication that covers tech for people with low or no vision. Its July issue has an in-depth review of Windows 10.
    • AppleVis is a community-powered hub created by and for people with visual impairments that covers all things Apple. Visit this site to read in-depth coverage of Apple’s updates to the Mac and iOS operating systems, as well as updates to individual apps.
    • Blind Bargains is a blog that carries breaking news in the world of assistive tech, along with a weekly podcast that summarizes the biggest AT stories. Contributors cover Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, as well as specialized note-takers, book readers and other tech.
    • Inclusive Android is a community of Android users with disabilities who post news and reviews about Google’s mobile operating system.
    • The NFB Access Technology Blog highlights new technologies with a focus on accessibility features for people with low or no vision, including major software updates and overviews

    It’s also a good idea to check directly with the manufacturer or developer of the magnification software, screen reader, braille display or other assistive tech you use before you upgrade. A quick web search that includes the name of the manufacturer and the product you use will usually turn up the manufacturer’s website, which may have an article posted about the update you have in mind and will certainly have the manufacturer’s contact information should you wish to speak with someone directly.

    If you have questions about how BARD will work with a particular update, you can reach out to NLS’s tech support team by emailing or, if you prefer, call the Andrew Heiskell Library’s assistive technology staff at (212) 621-0627.

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  • 09/15/15--11:11: A Website Coding Starter Kit
  • For most people, the Internet is a necessity when it comes to locating or sharing information. It is not surprising that there are over a million websites in existence today. Platforms such as Google Sites make it easy to create a webpage of your own from a template and sites such as allow you to customize using widgets. However, there is something very satifying in creating a website from scratch and knowing that it will turn out exactly the way that you want. It also allows you to register a unique domain name that does not include the Google or Wordpress domain in your web address. By following a few easy steps and making use of free resources and software, anyone can learn to create a website of their own.

    Step 1. Choose which programming languages to learn

    For basic webapges with static content, one only needs HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets.) This will allow you to structure the site and format it with colors, fonts, and graphics. Websites containing dynamic (interactive) content will require a scripting language such as JavaScript or jQuery. The language Python is gaining popularity for its effectiveness and simplicity. Choose this langauge if you are also interested in application development.

    Step 2. Get the right software

    An internet browser

    In order to test your code, you will need at least one internet browser. It is more advantageous to test it in multiple internet browsers, as the website might look slightly different in each one. Options are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, or Safari.

    A text editor

    One can write code with nothing more than a simple text editor. Most operating systems come with a standard editor such as Notepad on PCs or TextEditor on Macs. All you need to do to start coding to enter the code into the program and save it with the correct file extension such as ".html", ".css" or ".js." If you prefer to use something more advanced you can download a free text editor such as Notepad++ for Windows machines or TextWrangler for Macs. These programs have an interface specifically designed for coding and allow you to easily run your code in an internet browser. If you do not want to add any additional programs to your machine, consider an online sandbox program such as JS Fiddle, Pastebin, or Codepen. These websites are free to use and only require an email address to create an account. You view your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code side by side and see an instant preview of how your site will look. You also have the option to save and share your programs with other users.

    An FTP (File Transfer Program)

    If you are creating content for a personal website with a registered domain, you must transfer your files full of code from your own computer to a web server in order for it to be viewed by the public. Filezilla and Cyberduck are file transfer programs that can be downloaded for free.

    Step 3. Take advantage of free resources


    The official website of the World Wide Web Consortium. The site contains extensive lists of tags, functions, and other standard information for various langauges. It also includes the HTML Validator, which can check uploaded files for errors.

    Project <code>

    A free 10-week course in computer programming offered by the New York Public Library.


    A series of self-paced online tutorials in a variety of programming languages. All you need to sign up is an email address.

    Another great set of interactive lessons and tutorials, accessible for free to all New York Public Library members.

    The New York Public Library offers many materials to help you further your study. Check out Lauren Lampasone's blog post on computer programming resources or browse NYPL's catalog for books and other materials. Happy coding!

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    To kick off a month of tribute to Hispanic Americans, we’ve compiled a list of our five favorite young-adult books written by Hispanic* authors, whose protagonists are shaping how teens see identity, race, and growing up.


    Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
    A clutch-it-to-your-chest-you-love-it-so-much kind of book. Mexican-American Gabi, a blossoming poet, is trying to make her way in a difficult world, with a father addicted to meth and weight issues, teen pregnancy, sexuality, and much more on her mind.






    Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez
    Frenchie lives just down the street from the grave of Emily Dickinson. As she investigates the suicide of the guy she had a crush on, she retraces the steps of their last night together and tries to make sense of death.






    Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina
    Piddy, a high-school sophomore in Queens, doesn’t even know Yaqui Delgado, but the aggressive bully is ruining her life.







    A Thunderous Whisper by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
    Historical fiction at its best: A Basque girland a Jewish German boy meet just before the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.







    Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
    This coming-of-age story—about two boys’ growing friendship, finding an identity, and accepting your family’s past and unlocking your own future—won a well-deserved array of awards.





    *We’re using this definition of “Hispanic”—someone who speaks Spanish.

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your picks, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend.

    And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for 100 new recommendations every month!

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    Предлагаем нашим  читателям  ряд замечательно изданных  классических произведений.  Иллюстрированные книги из нашей коллекции будут  интересны всем поколениям вашей семьи.

    Pro Fedota

    Про Федота-стрельца, удалого молодца /Леонид Филатов
    Oдна из самых ярких книг XX века наконец-то выходит в замечательном оформлении . Сказка современного классика Леонида Филатова - лучшая книга для семейного чтения.  Половина текста  книги   уже разобрана на афоризмы и анекдоты. Перед вами -первое полностью иллюстрированное издание. 




    Kavkazsky Plennik

    Кавказский пленник : рассказы / Л.Н. Толстой
    Лев Николаевич Толстой - величайший русский писатель, значимость которого в мировой литературе переоценить сложно, как, впрочем, и ценность его произведений, поражающих своей художественной силой, глубиной, выразительностью. Толстой писал достоверно и убедительно, порой шокируя жестокой реальностью, точностью изображения, хлёсткостью. 
    В книгу вошли произведения "Кавказский пленник", "После бала" и цикл "Севастопольские рассказы", проиллюстрированные великолепным художником, мастером рисунка Юрием Николаевым. 

    Na zemle Novgorodskoi

    На земле Новгородской / Виталий Бианки
    Для родившегося в центре Петербурга Виталия Бианки второй малой родиной стала восточная Новгородчина. Он приезжал сюда много лет с семьей, друзьями и учениками; здесь он наблюдал птиц и зверей, собирал материал для сказок, рассказов и научной работы. Эти впечатления легли в основу многих его произведений о русском лесе и его богатстве, и писатель был уверен, что каждый может открыть на Новгородчине свою Страну Див.



    Zapiski Ohotnika

    Записки охотника / И.С. Тургенев
    «Записки охотника» — цикл произведений великого русского писателя Ивана Сергеевича Тургенева. Это сборник рассказов о сельских жителях европейской части России, мелкопоместных дворянах, дворне, крепостных и свободных крестьянах, об их быте и обычаях, сложности характеров: скаредности и бескорыстии, подлости и благородстве, любви и обмане, и  о красоте природы России.



    Legendy Gretisii

    Легенды и мифы Древней Греции / Николай Кун
    Книга Николая Альбертовича Куна, известного историка и педагога, профессора МГУ, Легенды и Mифы Древней Греции  - самое авторитетное собрание легенд и преданий классического эпоса, она является настольной для детей и взрослых во многих странах мира. По материалам книги Н.А.Куна уже долгие годы в учебных заведениях России ведется преподавание истории и культуры Древней Греции. 
    Настоящее издание, впервые в отечественной литературе, содержит великолепные иллюстрации произведений западноевропейских и российских художников и скульпторов, которые позволяют "увидеть" богов, героев и их приключения. В текстах сохранена стилистика автора. 

    Zamechatelnye chudaki i ogiginaly
    Последняя и, по общему признанию, самая веселая  и познавательная книга Михаила Пыляева. Известный литератор и журналист сбивает скучный глянец с русской жизни ,  с образов великих в деяниях и сумасбродных в быту персон. Выдающиеся - Суворовы, Архаровы, Голицыны и Толстые… Другие, уже позабытые князья и графы, дворяне и простолюдины. Все, как на подбор - необыкновенные люди и "причудные игрушки доброго старого времени", стертые в пыль или затерянные в запасниках исторических хранилищ. 

    Оригиналы - русские сумасброды, чудодеи, шальные головы… Перед вами - настоящий кабинет отечественных редкостей. 

    Rossiyiskaya Imperia

    Российская империя / Леонид Парфенов
    Первый том охватывает времена Петра , Анны Иоанновны и Елизаветы Петровны. Основатель империи, великий реформатор, "труженик на троне" - почему он оказался самым почитаемым монархом и до революции, и в СССР, и в нынешней России? Настолько ли вздорной была его племянница Анна, известная потомкам прежде всего из-за Ледяного дома? Как при дочери Петра, "веселой Елисаветe", русский двор обрел свой блеск, и начался расцвет наук и искусств? 
    Том содержит более 300 репродукций, фотографий, рисунков и карт. 

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    Continuing our Library Card Sign-Up Month celebration this September, we’re asking you to share your best #LibraryCardSelfie with us! Whether you’re part of the New York Public Library or a different library system, we want to see you and your card! We’ll repost a few of our favorites to our Instagram and blog, so get creative.

    Here’s how to participate:

    1. Get your library card here or at your local branch if you haven’t already:
    2. Take your best selfie with your library card, whether you've had it for years or it's shiny and new!
    3. Post your photo on your Instagram or your favorite place to share photos and make sure you tag it with #LibraryCardSelfie
    4. Follow @nypl on Instagram to see if we repost your photo.

    That’s it! We took a group shot with our new library cards to kick things off. Check out other #LibraryCardSelfie photos for inspiration!

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    The Throne of Glass of series consists of Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows and two more upcoming untitled books. The series gets better with each book. In Throne of Glass we meet assassin Celaena Sardothien, who has been enslaved in the salt mines of Endovier… she is offered a path way to freedom by Prince Dorian… she must win a tournament and become the king’s champion. Heir of Fire is the beginning of a new adventure for Celaena and her friends.

    In addition, The Assassin's Blade consists of five novellas set before the beginning of the first book in the series Throne of Glass series.

    Heir of Fire was my favorite book in the series until I read Queen of Shadows. In Queen of Shadows Celaena embraces her true identity Aelin Galathynius the Queen of Terrasen and I love it! She has come back to free her cousin, settle old scores with her former master, the king, and anyone who gets in her way. The book was worth the wait.

    Here are some of my favorite quotes from Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas:

    Favorite Quotes

    1. "When you shatter the chains of this world and forge the next, remember that art is as vital as food to a kingdom. Without it, a kingdom is nothing, and will be forgotten by time. I have amassed enough money in my miserable life to not need any more-so you will understand me clearly when I say that wherever you set your throne, no matter how it takes, I will come to you, and I will bring music and dancing." (p. 141)
    2. "She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph." (p. 142)
    3. "Dorian Havilliard offers a better future, but the responsibility also lies with us. With how common people choose to act. "(p. 182)
    4. "I like your fangs" (p. 310)
    5. "We do not look back, Chaol. It helps no one and nothing to look back. We can only go on." (p. 521)
    6. "Let's go rattle the stars." (p. 532)
    7. "They joined hands.
      So the world ended.
      And the next one began." (p. 575)
    8. "The wicked will tell us anything to haunt our thoughts long after." (p. 580)
    9. "What do I do?
      You light up the darkness." (p. 618)
    10. "What was it like?...To Love."
      "It was like dying a little every day. It was like being alive, too. It was so complete it was pain. It destroyed me and unmade me and forged me. I hated it, because I knew I couldn't escape it, and knew it would forever change me." (p. 634)

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    Counting down the days until New York Comic Con? Agonizing over cosplay options? Or busy preparing the perfect conversation opener in case you get stuck in an elevator with Brian K. Vaughan? 

    Here are ten new and ongoing comic book series to get you excited for this year's convention:


    Bitch Planet

    Bitch Planet (2014-present) by Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Valentine De Landro

    Besides being a fun title to say, Bitch Planet has been getting a lot of positive buzz. Published by Image Comics and only five issues in, it's described as a "women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation riff. Think Margaret Atwood meets Inglourious Basterds." 

    In a patriarchally-oppressed dystopian reality, women who are considered "non-compliant" are sent to a prison planet to fend for themselves.

    The first trade paperback is Bitch Planet, Vol 1: Extraordinary Machine and will be out October 7th.



    Blacksad(2000-present) by Juan Diaz Canales and artist Juanjo Guarnido

    To call this a new or ongoing series might be a bit of a stretch. But I've been told (by the Internet) that there will be future issues, and I'm clutching that hope to my chest the way Amazon and Goodreads users have held on to the hope of Hugh Laurie's The Paper Soldier being published since 2009. (I don't think it's going to happen, guys. We've got to let it go.)

    Created by Spanish authors and published by the French publisher Darguard, this series follows private eye John Blacksad as he investigates different crimes, often set in the context of historical events. If you love the Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett tradition of hardboiled crime novels but have always wondered: What if Philip Marlowe was a tough-talking anthropomorphic cat?,  then this, my friend, is the comic series for you.

    Reading order: Blacksad (which collects Somewhere Within the Shadows,Arctic Nation, and Red Soul), A Silent Hell, Amarillo.



    Chew (2009-present) by John Layman and artist Rob Guillory

    Tony Chu is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agent who's able to receive psychic "memories" from what he eats. He uses his cibopathic powers (often reluctantly) to solve crimes in a world where all poultry is outlawed due to a virulent bird flu epidemic. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the food-related supernatural powers inhabiting this world. 

    An animated film adaptation of Chew is also in the works. The main characters Tony Chu, Amelia Mintz, and Mason Savoy will be voiced by Steven Yeun, Felicia Day, and David Tennant, respectively. 

    Reading order: Taster's Choice, International Flavor, Just Desserts, Flambe, Major League Chew, Space Cakes, Bad Apples, Family Recipes, Chicken Tenders, Blood Puddin'. Two more are expected to be released in 2016: The Last Suppers and Sour Grapes.



    Chrononauts (2015-present) by Mark Millar and artist Sean Gordon Murphy

    What happens when two best buds gain the ability to time-travel? Surely, they'll only use their vast scientific knowledge and god-like powers for good?

    Yeah, right. 

    When a time-travel experiment goes awry, Danny Reilly has to travel through the ages to find his best friend Corbin Quinn. And of course, it wouldn't be a proper adventure without a deadly team of agents on their trail. This series takes the buddy film genre and mashes it with Stargate-like time-hopping. The word on the street (Internet) is that a Chrononauts film is being made. I can only hope that there will be a BFF-casting of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in the lead roles. Please, film gods, let it be so. 

    The first trade paperback Chrononauts, Vol 1 was released on September 9th.



    Lumberjanes (2014-present) by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, and artist Brooke A. Allen.

    A fantastic comic series for young and old alike, Lumberjanes follows the adventures of five girls at scout camp. The name of the camp? Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five friends face off against three-eyed foxes, river monsters, arm-wrestling statues, hipster yetis, and overcome other supernatural obstacles as they earn their Lumberjane scout badges.

    Infinitely quotable, I've found myself habitually yelling "What the junk!" and "Oh my Bessie Coleman!" in moments of great distress or excitement. This is a wonderful series for readers of all ages and begins with Lumberjanes, Vol 1: Beware the Kitten Holy.


    The Manhattan Projects

    The Manhattan Projects (2013-2014) and The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars (2015-present) by Jonathan Hickman and artist Nick Pitarra

    Enjoy alternate histories like The Man in the High Castle or The Plot Against America? Try this darkly comedic series that reimagines the Manhattan Project. Featuring Joseph Oppenheimer (Robert Oppenheimer's evil twin), Albert Einstein (and his clone Albrecht Einstein from an alternate reality), a narcissistic Richard Feynman, and disguised extraterrestrial Enrico Fermi, this series is completely mad and twisted but in the best way possible.

    Reading order: Science Bad, They Rule, Building, The Four Disciplines, The Cold War. The series continues with a new format in The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars



    Powers (2000-2012) and Powers Bureau (2013-present) by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming

    Already adapted into a television series, Powers provides a new spin on the police procedural. This comic book series follows homicide detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim as they investigate superhumans, also know as "powers."

    Don't be fooled by the simple, cartoony style and the occasionally text-heavy pages. This series is dark, gory, and completely epic. 

    Reading order: Who Killed Retro Girl?, Roleplay, Little Deaths, Supergroup, Anarchy, The Sellouts, Forever, Legends, Psychotic, Cosmic, Secret IdentityThe 25 Coolest Dead Superheroes of All Time, Z, GodsThe series continues as Powers Bureau in Undercover and Icons.



    Prophet (2012-2014) and Prophet: Earth War (2015-present) by Brandon Graham and artist Simon Roy

    This 2012 revival of the character John Prophet (who first appeared in the 1992 comic Youngblood) takes place 10,000 years in the future. Prophet awakens from hypersleep and has to navigate a treacherous alien city to fulfill his orders. 

    Every page of this beautifully-drawn comic is pure creativity and imagination. I found myself marveling at the incredibly detailed alien landscapes and creatures, often flipping back for a closer look. Things are never quite what they seem, and this is a fantastic series for those looking for a futuristic scifi adventure. 

    Reading order: Remission, Brothers, Empire, Joining. The stories continues in Prophet: Earth War.



    Saga (2012-present) by Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples

    With Saga already winning a slew of awards and topping every best-of list, there's hardly anything more I can say besides READ THIS SERIES. The excellence of Brian K. Vaughan is perhaps only surpassed by the talent of artist Fiona Staples. At the macro level, Saga is about a galactic war between the planet Landfall and its moon Wreath. But at the heart of it, the story is about parenthood and family. Two lovers from opposing sides, winged Landfallian Alana and horned Wreather Marko, attempt to escape the interspecies conflict with their new child, Hazel, while being pursued by soldiers, bounty hunters, and madmen.

    The moment I saw the splash page introducing bounty hunter The Stalk, I was hooked. The series also features robot royalty, monstrous giants with bad hygiene, lying sphinx cats, and lovable harp seals named Ghüs.

    Reading order: Saga, Vol 1, Saga, Vol 2,Saga, Vol 3, Saga, Vol 4. The fifth volume was released September 9.


    Sex Criminals

    Sex Criminals (2013-present) by Matt Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky

    Intended for mature readers, Sex Criminals is another award-winner that's generated a lot of positive reviews. The premise revolves around two characters, Jon and Suzie, who are able to stop time when they sleep together. Discovering this, they decide to rob a bank in order to save Suzie's beloved library. The only problem is that they're being monitored by others like them, the so-called sex police led by the aptly-nicknamed Kegelface.

    Smart and hilarious, this series takes unexpected paths, touching on both the comically absurd but also serious issues like mental illness and depression. This is a fun, entertaining read with likable characters that you'll immediately connect with. (And don't forget to check out the backmatter, "Letter Daddies," where Fraction and Zdarsky answer reader questions about sex, love, and depression with sometimes funny but often insightful responses.)

    Reading order: One Weird TrickTwo World One CopNew issues are ongoing.

    These are just ten out of hundreds of amazing comic book series. What are your suggestions?

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  • 09/17/15--08:16: Board Books with Photographs
  • We love children's book  illustrations and illustrators, but sometimes babies want the real thing.  Here are some board books to bring on those smiles and grabs.

    Pets Cover


    A touch-and-feel book with photographs of cute animals; think bunny fur and baby pig ears. 




    My First Book of Animals

    My First Book of Animalsby Emma Hill

    Bright primary colors with accordion pages introducing babies to farm animals and pets and numbers 1 to 12.



    Rah, Rah, Radishes Cover

    Rah, Rah, Radishesby April Pulley Sayre

    Teach your baby to identify and love their vegetables with rhyming text.




    Creature Colors

    Creature Colorsby Andrew Zuckerman

    Colors and numbers and animals! All set against crisp white backgrounds.




    Things That Go

    Things That Go

    A green scooter and a blue cement mixer provide an opportunity to discuss color as well as ways to get around.



    Global Babies Cover

    Global Babies

    Babies like to look at faces, particularly the faces of other babies. Here are some adorable faces from around the world. 



    A Friend Like You

    A Friend Like Youby Tanja Askani

    Unlikely animal pairs—a pig and a puppy, a deer and a rabbit—and a story about the importance of friendship. 

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to​ be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ​picks! Tell us what you'd recommend: Leave a comment or email us.

    For more recommendations, see our monthly staff picks at

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    NYS Department of Labor, Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation Job Fair, on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 11 am - 3 pm, for all interested jobseekers at the Bronx County Courthouse, 851 Grand Concourse (1st Floor Rotunda), Bronx, NY 10451.

    Enrollment Now Open! SAGEWorks Boot Camp. This two-week long, intensive training course will provide participants with essential skills to lead them toward job placement. The first session starts on MondayFriday, from September 28 to October 9, 9:30 a.m.2 p.m. Participants must attend every day at the SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001.  SAGEWorks assists people 40 years and older in learning relevant, cutting-edge  job search skills in a LGBTfriendly environment.

    FDNY Outreach will present an information session on Thursday, September 24, 2015, 10 am - 2 pm, on career opportunities as: EMT, Paramedic, Firefighter, at Queens Career Center, 168-25 Jamaica Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, New York, 11433.

    IACS Sixth Annual Diversity Career Expo on Thursday, September 24, 2015, 10 am - 3 pm at New York Midtown Hilton, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019.  IACS Diversity Career Expo is a fast-growing Diversity Career event organized in various cities in USA by Indo-American Community Services a nonprofit organization.  Highlights of the Career Expo include an opportunity to meet and talk with over 50 corporate HR and Diversity and hiring managers.

    New York Life Insurance Company will present a recruitment on Friday, September 25, 2015, 10 am - 2 pm, for Financial Services Professionals (5 openings) at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138-60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 111355.

    Job Postings at New York City Workforce 1.

    affiche le pour

    Apprenticeship Opportunities in New York  City.         

    The New York City Employment and Training Coalition (NYCE&TC) is an association of 200 community-based organizations, educational institutions, and labor unions that annually provide job training and employment services to over 750,000 New Yorkers, including welfare recipients, unemployed workers, low-wage workers, at-risk youth, the formerly incarcerated, immigrants and the mentally and physically disabled. View NYCE&TC Job Listings.

    Digital NYC is the official online hub of the New York City startup and technology ecosystem, bringing together every company,  startup, investor, event, job, class, blog, video, workplace, accelerator, incubator, resource, and organization in the five boroughs. Search  jobs by category on this site.

    St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development provides Free Job Training and Educational Programs in Environmental Response and Remediation Tec (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 or call 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.  

    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 eight 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 six weeks and includes test prep and 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, email:, call 212-571-1690, or visit. CMP also provides tuition-based healthcare and business trainings free to students who are entitled to ACCESS funding.

    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 backgrounds.  For information call 212-832-7605.

    Please note this page will be revised when more recruitment events for the week of September 20 become available.

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  • 09/18/15--08:05: Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  • Monster

    “Think about all the tomorrows of your life.” —Walter Dean Myers, Monster

    Walter Dean Myers's Monster is a high intensity, page turning novel about a sixteen year old black male, named Steve Harmon. Steve is in jail after being accused of being an accomplice in a robbery, which ended in the slaying of the drugstore owner. To keep his thoughts from becoming too dark while he awaits his sentencing, Steve decides to take his journal entries and write a screenplay.

    Monster is written entirely in dialogue and fluctuates between the trial and Steve’s journal entries. The journal entries are Steve's thoughts, which pull the reader in, making them feel as if they are right there with him. The journal entries reveal the true thoughts of Steve, humanizing him, removing himself from the 'monster' that the prosecutor is making him out to be. Myers lets the reader decide if Steve is a reliable or unreliable narrator.

    The writing is intense and full of drama, and presents a real world issue: at one point in their life everyone will be presented with a choice that could be considered morally wrong, do you do it or not? What are the consequences and could you possibly live with them?

    If you like this title please consider checking out Kekla Magoon's How It Went Down, and for graphic novel lovers Monster: A Graphic Novel is slated to come out in October!

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  • 09/21/15--08:00: Ask the Author: Ron Rash
  • Ron Rash comes to Books at Noon this week to discuss his latest work, Above the Waterfall.

    When and where do you like to read?

    I read in all sorts of places, but my favorite is by a fireplace in winter.

    What were your favorite books as a child?

    Call of the WildTom SawyerA Jesse Stuart Reader, the Hardy Boys series, Poe’s short stories.

    What books had the greatest impact on you?

    I read Crime and Punishment when I was fifteen. Until then I had entered books; that book entered me. Dostoevsky continues to be as important to me as any novelist. Look Homeward, Angel, which I read when I was eighteen, was very important as well, in part because I grew up in the same region of North Carolina. Other important books early on were The MoviegoerAs I Lay DyingInvisible Man, the stories of Flannery O’Connor.

    Would you like to name a few writers out there you think deserve greater readership?

    Jean Giono (both here and in France), Ann Pancake, Donald Harington, Percival Everett, In poetry, Robert Morgan. His long poem “Mockingbird” is my favorite poem by a living American.  

    What was the last book you recommended?

    I’m always recommending Giono, especially The Song of the World, and also Katherine Anne Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider and Bao Ninh’s The Sorrow of War. A recent novel that I recommend is The Narrow Road to the Deep North by the Tasmanian writer Richard Flanagan.

    What do you plan to read next?

    I’m currently William Finnegan’s surfing memoir, which I’m enjoying very much, and reading a good bit of poetry, particularly Hart Crane.  

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    Lander is the type of person that everyone walks on egg shells around. Including her sister, Miranda. Including her parental units. 

    The family vacations during the summer in a cottage by the river. One day, the two sisters observe two hot guys water skiing. Lander claims the driver as hers, and Miranda takes the skier. Then, Miranda sees something that she was probably not supposed to see. She sees the driver dump the skier into a river in a treacherous spot.

    Despite the warnings of her entire family, Lander strikes up a courtship with the wild driver of the boat, Jason Firenza. She is intrigued and fascinated by his mystique. She gallivants through the forest with him, amongst their many other adventures. Then, Derry, the waterskiier Jason dumped into the river, winds up dead. Lander is shoved into the backseat of a police cruiser, accused of murder. Lander cannot believe that she is living this nightmare. Her family is just as shell shocked as she is.

    Jason Firenza, on the other hand, is nowhere to be found. In fact, police detectives can find no record of anyone by that name living in the state of Connecticut. Miranda is determined to find Jason and make him pay for the crime that she believes that he committed.

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    Jack Reacher is back! Lee Child's Make Me takes the number one spot this week. For fans of Reacher, we have some more cool characters.  

    Make Me Cover

    #1 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Make Me by Lee Child, more cool “Reacheresque” characters:

    Jim Lasiter from Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage

    Parker in Richard Stark’s The Hunter

    The Gunslinger in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower




    The Girl in the Spider's Web

    #2 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz, more Swedish crime fiction:

    The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

    Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg

    Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell




    The Martian Cover

    #3 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Martian by Andy Weir, more survival stories:

    Annihilation by Jeff Vadermeer

    The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro

    Lock In by John Scalzi





    The Girl On the Train Cover

    #4 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, more suspense novels told from multiple perspectives:

    And Then There Was One by Patricia Gussin

    Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

    The Son by Jo Nesbø




    Go Set A Watchman Cover

    #5 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, more Southern gothic:

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

    Nothing Gold Can Stay by Ron Rash

    The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ​picks! Tell us what you'd recommend: Leave a comment or email us.
    For more recommendatons see our monthly staff picks at

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    Subscribe on iTunes.

    Self-described "restaurantrice, forager, teacher, mother, romantic, purist, rebel" Alice Waters has been one of the most instrumental figures in drawing attention to the Slow Food movement. An advocate of considered eating, she is the owner of the restaurant Chez Panisse and the author of several books, including The Edible Schoolyard and The Art of Simple Food. This week on The New York Public Library Podcast, we're happy to present Alice Waters discussing the pleasures of good food and wine.

    Paul Holdengräber, Alice Waters, and Kermit Lynch

    According to Waters, the pleasures of the palate aren't just enjoyment for enjoyment's sake; they offer a gateway to creative thinking and evolution:

    "I had the pleasure of cooking at Jefferson’s house last year or it was the year before last, but the greatest part about it was that I got to go out into the garden and to pick the lettuces that actually were the varietals that he had planted there, and I washed them and it was just a beautiful, beautiful moment. But I think pleasure is what brings you, you know, it really brings you into ideas, and I think it’s really been important to me that the food at the restaurant be something that tasted really good, and I think it’s the reason people have been coming back, and I’m always looking and asking people what they thought and could we make it this way or could we make it better, and it’s just a work in progress, always, it’s—and people who work in the kitchen, they have to be, you know, really able to take criticism, they can’t be feeling like what we’re saying is about them, it’s only about sort of the process of really learning more and getting better at what you’re doing."

    Although primarily known for her work with food, Waters also considers her wine selection carefully. She credits the quality of the wines she loves to the farmers producing the varietals:

    "I think it is just like it is for food, that you realize that what variety, what varietal is planted where is terribly important, that how that vine is taken care of and at the right moment is picked and brought to be made into wine and that part of the whole process is probably 85 percent of the making of wine. And I feel that about food, that it has to be the right seed, and the farmer has to take care of it in the right away, and he knows exactly when to pick it or she does and they bring them to the restaurant and if it that’s all done beautifully then it’s so easy to cook. I mean, it’s really 85 percent of it, and when you’re engaged in the process you can help him, you’re learning how to discern the subtleties of farming by tasting and feedback and it’s—you become partners in this and so you couldn’t image the restaurant without Bob Cannard, who’s the farmer. We dedicated the book to him, because he’s so extraordinary."

    Variety is hugely important to Waters, and she hopes to see greater agricultural variety in the United States. She pinpointed Iowa as a representative example of homogeneity in American farming:

    "Iowa used to be a horticultural state. I mean, we can grow something besides corn there. You know, and it’s that we have not chosen to do that, but we can do that again, and we need to pay the farmers the real price for their food, and we need to support the small farmers who really are taking care of the land. And for me there’s not—it’s just a matter of doing it. We have to do it... you don’t convince the big business, you just have—you buy with intention, you buy from the right people who are doing the right thing. "

    You can subscribe to the New York Public Library Podcast to hear more conversations with wonderful artists, writers, and intellectuals. Join the conversation today!

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    Making smart decisions about money feels great. However, money is easy to spend, but not so easy to save. Everyone has feelings about money: people get happy when they get a raise, feel sad when they lose money, and they feel greedy sometimes and want a lot of money. Managing money and developing good personal finance habits can start when you are young. Kids can use their allowance as their first experience with money.

    If you want a raise in your allowance, offer to do more work. You can let your parents know what your expenses are. You can also go into business for yourself. Think of your interests and how you can utilize them to make money. Perhaps you like kids; then, babysitting may be the business for you. You could also turn an interest in pets into a pet-sitting business, or you could take an interest in fitness to finding people who want their yards mowed or their driveways shoveled. Make sure to always keep your customers happy by doing a little bit of extra work. You also need to market your business by letting people know what you offer at a reasonable price. Above all, have a lot of fun!

    Making money is great, but you also need to retain what you have, and invest it in order to have money later on. Do not buy items that you do not need. Also, pay yourself first. It is important to have savings goals and to meet them. You may be saving for a big purchase, such as a bicycle, or you may want to save for college. Saving for unexpected things can also help. You never know when an emergency might arise. Put your savings in the bank or ask your parents for help with investing in mutual funds. Be aware, however, that investing in funds requires that you do not touch the money for at least 10 or 15 years! Have a good attitude towards saving—this is your future.

    A Smart Girl's Guide: Money: How to Make It, Save It and Spend It by Nancy Holyoke, 2014

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  • 09/22/15--07:38: Origin Stories
  • There are a couple kinds of origin stories. There are the backstories that super heroes have to explain how they got their powers. There are origin stories that describe how some reality came into existence. There is a lot of latitude for interpreting what constitutes an origin story; and our staff recommend some of their favorites here:

    Fates & Furies

    In Lauren Groff's new novel Fates & Furies, we meet Lancelot "Lotto" Sattlewait, the most charismatic man in any room, who was born "in the calm of a hurricane."​ He is tall and handsome and talented and adored and taken care of his whole life. —Lynn Lobash, Readers Services





    Labor Day Cover

    To be totally literal about it, Labor Dayis a fantastic collection of true stories about childbirth experiences from 30+ amazing women writers. Cheryl Strayed, Heidi Julavits, Julia Glass, Lauren Groff... recognizable names lend their voices to this compilation (which is edited by more acclaimed authors, Eleanor Henderson and Anna Solomon). The essays are joyful and tragic and breathtakingly truthful, and the book as a whole provides a valuable, honest look at an experience that's often polished up and packaged too neatly. —Gwen Glazer, Readers Services




    Bowie Cover

    Bowie: the Biography by Wendy Leigh is a biography, of course, but I would include it as an origin story in the comic book sense because the writing wavers between the magical and the gushing. From the cover art that unabashedly changes Bowie's eye colors to the writing that details Bowie's beginnings as being born on the twelfth birthday of Elvis Presley and having a childhood heralded by the sound of rockets, Wendy Leigh skirts the definition of tabloid journalism and creates a mythos around Bowie that is uniquely hers. —Jenny Baum, Jefferson Market




    This past spring I was in the middle of a "big history book" binge and I picked up William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which is a terrific book about the origins (and demise) of Hitler's National Socialist Party. Of course there are more recent studies of Hitler and Nazism that have benefited from better historical resources, but the fact that Shirer was a reporter in Berlin from 1934 to 1940 gives his account a virtual "you are there" aspect. —Wayne Roylance, Selection Team




    The Last Coyote

    Michael Connelly's The Last Coyoteis the fourth Harry Bosch mystery and takes a deep dive into the flawed, tenacious LAPD detective's childhood. Bosch's mother was a prostitute who worked to reclaim her son from the foster system. She was strangled before she could finish this and Bosch, years later, begins the hunt for his mother's killer while he's on psychiatric leave for assaulting his lieutenant. Harry is about to pull down the walls hiding secrets of LA's politically connected and powerful. —Joshua Soule, Spuyten Duyvil





    Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths Cover

    One of my favorite collections of all time is Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. I think this is a must-have in every child's library! Filled with beautiful illustrations, these are the stories of the Greek gods and goddesses we all grew up with—and from which so many stories are descended. When I open this book, I still get that visceral feeling of being a child poring over these stories of adventure, drama, violence, and love. —Susie Heimbach, Mulberry Street




    Tango Cover

    Wickedly funny and eternally endearing, Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heelsby Mx Justin Vivian Bond. Bond developed a huge worldwide following, first as a drag cabaret and concert performer and, more recently, as a transgender nightclub luminary. Tango opens on the awakening of Bond’s sexuality and coming of age. The voice is always Bond’s, which makes for a thoroughly entertaining read, even when the story is bringing us to tears. It will be wonderful to read the next installment, which, hopefully, will not be too long a wait! —Jeff Katz, Chatham Square



    Nothing Like the Sun Cover

    If any author is fit to put the enigmatic life of Shakespeare on the page, it's English novelist, screenwriter, linguist, composer, and comic, Anthony Burgess. Nothing Like the Sun is Burgess's imagination of Shakespeare's life, and focuses intently on the source of the Bard's creativity. (Spoiler: it's sex!) This book will feel delightfully familiar to Shakespeare aficionados, since it's filled with playful, bawdy language that recalls and alludes to many of his plays and poems.—Nancy Aravecz, Mid-Manhattan




    Supergirl Cover

    Supergirl: Last Daughter of Krypton, a graphic novel by Michael Green and Mike Johnson is a classic origin story retold for a modern audience. The story of Kara Zor-El is one of a mysterious past, loss of home, hostile aliens, and all of the things one might expect when reading about teenagers seeking to find their place in the world. Bright colors and a fearless new costume design pop off the page as we come to fall in love with one of our favorite heroines all over again. —Daniel Norton, Mid-Manhattan




    The Affair Cover

    Fans of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels will be delighted by the sixteenth book in the series, The Affair. Set at the crucial moment in Reacher's life when he and the U.S. Army parted company, it reveals the origin of a number of key Reacher leitmotifs, such as the folding toothbrush that was for a long time the only baggage the vagabond hero was willing to be weighed down by. —Kathie Coblentz, Cataloging






    The Sword and the Stone Cover

    The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White, was originally published as a stand-alone fantasy book before an altered version of the story appeared as the first part of The Once and Future King. The Sword in the Stone tells the story of the young boy Arthur, who learns lessons about leadership as the wizard Merlyn helps prepare him for his future role as king. This charming story is full of witty humor and moving portrayals of childhood. —Christina Lebec, Bronx Library Center




    Homeland Cover

    When speaking of fantasy, we can't forget Dungeons & Dragons, and one of the most popular and beloved characters in the D&D world is Drizzt Do'Urden, the dark elf created by R.A. Salvatore for the Forgotten Realms series. In the Dark Elf trilogy, Salvatore explores Drizzt's upbringing in the Underdark and the experiences that turned him into the unique dark elf we all know and love. The first book of the series is Homeland. —Leslie Bernstein, Mott Haven





    There Is No Dog Cover

    In There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff we learn the "real" story of Creation and, lo and behold, it all comes down to the designs of an erratic, self-centered, sex-crazed, eternal teenager named Bob. Who knew? A funny, off-kilter, thought-provoking, utterly brilliant tale by one of the best writers in the world of YA literature. —Jeff Katz, Chatham Square





    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to​ be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your picks! Tell us what you'd recommend: Leave a comment or email us.

    For more recommendations see our monthly staff picks at

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    "Keep it steady and conserve your energy," I tell myself as a few runners eagerly pick up their pace on the downhill portion of the Queensboro Bridge. We're on the Manhattan side of the bridge, and about to turn onto First Avenue. After the lonely and windy Queensboro bridge, the cacophony of cheers, whistling, and heavy breathing of runners next to me feels overwhelming. Swiftly and deftly I begin to pick up the pace on First Avenue. Suddenly, the thought of running my first marathon, the NYC Marathon, crosses my mind.

    As of September 22, there are 39 days left until the TCS NYC Marathon; 39 days until New Yorkers line the streets cheering for 55,000+ runners doing what they love to do. Through recommendations from friends and my own research, I selected a set of books about runners and different running cultures. For children, dreams and goals start when they pick up a book at the library. Even now, I experience the same feelings picking up these running books and still get inspired to set new goals. These stories have given me different point of views on running short and long distances, have motivated me for this year's TCS NYC Marathon, and have brought up emotions I wish to share in this post.

    Unbroken A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    Louis Zamperini has become a new idol for me. A troublemaker in his youth, Zamperini became a track runner after his older brother tried to set him straight. He participated in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany where he impressed Adolf Hitler with a 56 second time for his final lap during the 5000m race. Zamperini also ran a 4:08 minute national collegiate mile record in 1938 which stood for fifteen years.

    Once WWII began, Zamperini became an airmen flying in bombers in the Pacific Ocean. In 1943 his flight crashed and he and the surviving crew drifted in the Pacific Ocean for over a month until the Japanese found them. Tortured and humiliated, he mentally and physically stood his ground as a prisoner of war in secret Japanese camps. He accounts his deep strength and his strong will from the running he did when he was younger, saying that his older brother Pete taught him to never give up in dire situations. 

    Inspirational and uplifting, Unbroken exemplifies the will to overcome the toughest obstacles in life, and to move on to live a better life.

    Don't Give Up, Don't Give in Lessons From An Extraordinary Life

    Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life

    I have been visiting different NYPL branches, and decided to run between a few branches in Harlem. My run took me from Macomb’s Bridge Library, to Hamilton Grange Library, and I finished at George Bruce Library, where I stumbled upon this autobiography from Louis Zamperini and immediately checked it out.

    Zamperini turned to religion after WWII  to better control his life troubled with post-traumatic stress disorder. He learned to forgive his Japanese captors and move on with his life. In this autobiography, Zamperini does not preach about his religion but instead describes how it helped him focus and live his life to the fullest.

    With anecdotes followed by life advices, this is a great autobiography to read after reading Unbroken to find out more about Louis Zamperini.

    Born to Run A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    Probably one of the most popular running books out now, Born to Run explores running through the Tarahumara people, an indigenous Mexican tribe of ultrarunners. Shy and elusive, the Tarahumara people are world-renowned distance runners who run incredible distances through the desert “without breaking a sweat.”

    Christopher McDougall meets Caballo Blanco, an eccentric American who has earned the trust of the Tarahumara, and discovers the running culture that heavily influences the Tarahumara’s daily lives. Along McDougall’s personal running training, he sets out to find why running is so important to man. How and why are we capable of suffering through pain to run a marathon? How are we physiologically built compared to other species that also run? Is barefoot running better than having expensive and backed-by-science sneakers?

    McDougall meets other extraordinary ultrarunners, such as Scott Jurek, and sets up a race against the Tarahumara tribe; a race that McDougall also participates in.

    Born to Run is an inspirational book for runners and nonrunners alike, and a great introduction into the world of ultrarunning. I am of Mexican descent, and this book's introduction to the Tarahumara has been life changing. Discovering this hidden tribe has piqued my interest in ultrarunning—so much so that I'm planning on running an ultramarathon later this year.

    Check out Born to Run on Staff Picks for the month of September.

    Running With the Kenyans Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth

    Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth

    If you look up the winners for recent marathons, there’s a good chance that the winner is from Ethiopia or Kenya. What is it about these people that sets them apart from other long distance racers? This is one of the many thoughts that goes through my head when I'm surrounded by amazing runners during a race.

    Adharanand Finn, called a mzungu in Kenya referring to his European descent, sets up a goal to run a marathon in Kenya while also trying to find the secret to the Kenyans' success in long distance running. Finn read Born to Run, and its revelation of barefoot running interested him—as it does for most runners. Before going to Kenya he also read that all children begin running barefoot and that it helps them naturally develop into amazing runners. When he arrives and starts training, he finds out that this is not necessarily the case. So, what is the secret to their success?

    When read together, Born to Run and Running with the Kenyans juxtapose the impact of running in two vastly different cultures and people, and will make one wonder about the running culture throughout the world.

    Sometimes it's difficult to appreciate how much work a runner goes through to be on top. Running is not just physically taxing but also mentally taxing, and Running with the Kenyans is a great view into a culture of running to be the best.

    You don't have to be a runner to the enjoy the sport. Whether a runner runs on a long, winding road or loops around a track, the hours of dedication, the amount of pain they put themselves through, and their personal reasons for running are enough to appreciate the love for the sport. 

    Even though I have been physically training for a sub-3 hour marathon, I would still not be as prepared for running if I had not read these books. I'm in the middle of another set of running books I took out from NYPL for an upcoming blog post. The next set of books will be the last set of inspiration before the 2015 NYC Marathon, but the next set of inspiration for a lifetime of learning and always improving.

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  • 09/22/15--08:22: Zine Machine
  • Imagine, if you will, a time when photocopiers had supplanted the lowly mimeograph machine, and were the leading technology, as important as many computer companies are today. There's a scene in the movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High where the students all sniff their papers, evidently to smell the mimeograph ink. Some people are nostalgic about this scent, some aren't. The Internet didn't yet exist in its current state and newsletters thrived. This was fertile ground for the zine to come about.

    The word zine is short for magazine, but otherwise has little or nothing to do with them. For me, looking back, the idea that the eagerly anticipated fanzine, Sonic Death, for the group Sonic Youth, would be archived online would have been mindblowing. I think it was quarterly publication, but due to the vagaries of postal mail and the nature of zine publication, its arrival was always a pleasant surprise. Nevertheless, I think I always suspected they would be archived somehow.  

    Also important was Sassy magazine. Sassy often featured zines that teens might otherwise have missed in their glossy pages. Sassy was a great microcosm of all things New York at the time, at least to my limited worldview. I’m not alone in noting their influence and the influence of their editrixes, Jane Pratt and Christina Kelly. In 2007, the book How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time came out.

    Barnard has a list of library zine collections throughout the country, including the DePaul University zine archive featuring zines from the 1994 Underground Press Conference. The University of Iowa even has a vending machine called the Zine Machine.

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    Computers, books, and more

    Macomb’s Bridge Library, situated at the border of Harlem and the Bronx (think Yankee Stadium, which is a stone’s throw away), is part of the Harlem River Houses, one of the first housing projects in the city funded by the Federal government. These houses consist of seven buildings, with 571 apartments housing over 1,000 people. The library is located just at the edge of this massive complex.

    “It’s hard to find,” “don’t pass it!” and “you may miss it” were some common phrases I heard when I mentioned I was heading that way. They weren't joking; it is indeed tucked away. Fortunately, I was able to spot a bright red door with an even brighter library lion emblazoned over itits only current sign of designation as a library. 

    I met with Alison Williams, the Library Manager, on a quiet Monday afternoon: the restful lull between lunch time frenzy and after school hours, when families with small children and students come to visit. "Welcome to Macomb's Bridge Library, the little engine that could!” she exclaims. And she couldn’t have been more right. Painted in a light orange, reminiscent of the Library lion that covers the front door, Macomb’s Bridge Library is a literal one-room wonder: All books, DVDs, classes, events, movie screenings, and everything else is held in this area. What you see is what you get. Though it is smaller in size compared to other NYPL branches, it hasn't stopped Williams from creating a neighborhood library and staff that is resourceful, knowledgeable, and innovative.

    The New York Public Library’s mission is threefold: inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities. For Williams, this third pillar has grounded her vision for making Macomb’s Bridge a more valuable and well-known resource for the neighborhood. Part of this mission began with a strong focus on the adult demographic. While the library is a big draw for pre-k, children, and teens (they’ve started Programs in a Box, part of a STEM program as a way to get students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), Williams wants to reach the adult demographic: “I don’t want them to feel shut out... I really want to focus on the adults.”

    And so far, she’s done an amazing job. This past month, the Library finished a Writers Workshop class series, where author Anthony White came to teach. Through this eight-week course, he walked the students through the process of being a writer: From setting the scene, characters, and plot to sending to the editor and understanding the publishing process as a whole, White created a microcosm of the real publishing world at work. The adults in this class, most coming from the surrounding neighborhood, began to critique each other’s work, slowly discovering each other’s—in many cases similar—backgrounds. Many went to the same schools growing up, or knew friends of friends, and through these connections, they began to form friendships of their own. After the final presentation of work and celebration, the day took on a life of its own, as the class began to celebrate outside of the library and further develop memories, friendships, and connections on their own.

    Williams recalled another fond memory from earlier that week, involving a film series she started at the branch in partnership with the Library for the Performing Arts. Every third Monday of the month, staff show a movie that relates to the Harlem Experience. A few weeks ago, they showed Dance Theatre of Harlem. During the movie, many adults talked and laughed, but Williams remembers one girl walking up to the front of the room, directly in front of the projector. “She just stood right up there, and her mom kept trying to get her to leave, and she wouldn’t budge,” she said. She was captivated. A week later, she returned to the library, exuberant and chatty.

    “Look what I can do!” she yelled  to Williams and the other library staff. She then proceeded to spin, spiral, and pirouette around the room. Watching that movie had inspired the child  so much that the only thing she wanted to do was dance. Anecdotes like these, according to Williams, show success in her goal of having the library provide more meaning to its patrons. She has worked hard to forge and create connections within and around the library.

    As Williams fondly calls it, Macomb’s Bridge is “not just your mother’s library”not just about checking out books, laptops, or Xboxesit’s an experience: it’s a community.

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    NYPLarcade is an opportunity to play, watch, and discuss independent, experimental, and thought-provoking games in a library setting. Think of it as a book club, but for video games. Our fall series will take place at Mid-Manhattan Library and focuses on games utilizing the first-person perspective.

    Rather than examining the undeniably popular first person shooter genre (which includes well-known franchises  such as BioShock, Call of Duty, and Halo), we will look at titles which draw inspiration from these games, but which primarily focus on exploration of a rendered, three-dimensional world. 

    All events listed below take place at Mid-Manhattan Library and begin at 6 p.m. A discussion of the game will follow, starting around 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

    Date and Location Game Developer Year

    Sept 23, 2015
    Mid-Mahattan Library
    1st Floor, Corner Room

    The Long Dark Hinterland Studio Inc. 2014
    Sept 30, 2015
    Mid-Mahattan Library
    2nd Floor, Co-Lab
    Everybody's Gone to the Rapture The Chinese Room 2015
    October 7, 2015
    Mid-Mahattan Library
    1st Floor, Corner Room
    The Vanishing of Ethan Carter The Astronauts 2014
    Oct 21, 2015
    Mid-Mahattan Library
    1st Floor, Corner Room
    Alien: Isolation Creative Assembly 2014

    Please feel free to contact Thomas Knowlton at if you any questions. You can also friend us on Playfire or join our NYPLarcade Steam Group.

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