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    The Medical Assistant Course for English Language Learners offered by LaGuardia Community College, the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (NYACH), and the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), is now open for enrollment.

    This intensive,  year-long evening and weekend course is designed to train advanced, English language learner New York City residents to become certified as medical assistants and to obtain employment in the healthcare field.  This course is free of charge for eligible New York City residents.

    The Fall ESOL Bridge course will be held at Washington Heights and the Winter-Spring  training session will be held at LaGuardia Community College, Queens. 

    The program includes:  ESL Healthcare Bridge Program; evening and weekend classes; phlebotomy;  EKG; and Clinical Medical Assistant certification, a paid medical assistant internship in a medical office, medical vocabulary courses in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish; job placement assistance; books and lab materials.

    For more information and to register for an upcoming information session, visit LaGuardia Community College on Facebook.

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    Subscribe on iTunes.

    Laurie Anderson is one of the great pioneers of American art, combining and redefining various media, including film, music, spoken word, and performance art. She has collaborated with artists ranging from William S. Burroughs to Lou Reed. For this week's episode of the New York Public Library podcast, we're proud to present Laurie Anderson discussing Herman Melville, turning books to opera, and her attraction to uncategorizable and mysterious art.

    Laurie Anderson
    Laurie Anderson LIVE from the NYPL

    Prior to her LIVE from the NYPL event, Laurie Anderson visited the Library's Special Collections, where she saw a piece of paper handwritten by Herman Melville on which he took notes for his masterpiece story, "Bartleby the Scrivener." Anderson spoke of it as one of two great books about labor written in the nineteenth century:

    "There were two books written right in the middle of the last century, the nineteenth century, not the century before this one, about work, and one was The Communist Manifesto and one was 'Bartleby the Scrivener.' And, you know, I really for me these are the two you know questions about why we work. I mean, I think before that point, nobody really asked, 'Why do I work?' You work because you work, you have to work for your living and so on. So here’s Bartleby who is, 'I prefer not to,' and the Communist Manifesto that is, you know, 'workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains.' And 'a specter is haunting Europe.' I mean one of the greatest mystery stories ever written, you know, it’s such a beautiful book, but the polar opposite, and so when you see these books together in just all collected in a huge place like this, it really is mind-boggling."

    Anderson's love of Melville is well-documented. Her opera, Songs and Stories of Moby Dick, was critically lauded, but she advised against composing on opera based on a beloved book:

    "I did write an opera based on Moby-Dick, and I just have one thing to say about that. If you fall in love with a book, don’t write a multimedia opera based on it. Just a tip, you know, because you have to—you know, I mean I fell in love with that book in way that you know, it’s music. What a story, it’s like, and it works the way your mind works, made of jump cuts, you know, just zoom zoom zoom zoom, and I loved it so much and but if you’re writing something like that and you’re changing things around, you know, you have to be a little bit rough, you can’t—and my white gloves were on, I was really kind of afraid of it. Also, I live not so far from where Melville lived and worked, and I thought he was going to come and find me and kill me, you know. 'My book does not need to be a multimedia opera, thank you so much. It’s fine as a book,' you know."

    Anderson spoke of other artists besides Melville that she admires. One was the performer Andy Kaufman, who she described as an artist capable of imbuing his work with uncategorizable mystery:

    "Andy was a really complicated guy. I saw him first in a club in Queens. He was—a friend said, “just check out this guy, he’s playing bongos.” And I was like, 'Bongos? Okay, I’m not really into bongos.' I went there and he was playing bongos on and on, you know, and then he starts crying a little bit and he suddenly starts crying a lot, sobbing, and playing, and everybody in this club was like, 'Why am I here? This is not funny, I don’t know what it is, it’s not music, I don’t know what it is,' and I was like, 'I am in love with this guy' ... [I loved] the, oh, God, well, the hilarity. The making something so mysterious that people didn’t know how to—they didn’t automatically go into their, you know, way of evaluating, is that interesting, is that good? They were like, 'I don’t know what it is!' I go for that. I live for that, of not really knowing what it is. And he was doing that and I was just—so I followed him around and we did a lot of things together. We would go out and I was kind of his, like sidekick, kind of. We would go for example to Coney Island, and he knew exactly which moment was really filled with a combination of hope and fear, which I really appreciated."

    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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    Everything old is new again this week, as a 2003 Nicholas Sparks book regains a spot in the top five.

    black widow

    #1 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Black Widow by Daniel Silva, more juicy spy series:

    The John Corey series, starting with Plum Island, by Nelson DeMille

    The Stone Barrington series, starting with New York Dead, by Stuart Woods

    The John Wells series, starting with The Faithful Spy, by Alex Berenson




    girl train

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

    And Then There Was Oneby Patricia Gussin

    Murder on the Orient Expressby Agatha Christie

    Fates & Furiesby Lauren Groff




    me before you

    #3 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, more British love stories:

    Other People's Childrenby Joanna Trollope

    One Dayby David Nicholls

    The House We Grew Up Inby Lisa Jewell




    before the fall

    #4 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, more intricately plotted suspense:

    The Whites by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt

    And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

    What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman





    #5 Recommendations for readers who enjoyedThe Guardian by Nicholas Sparks, more romance with a suspenseful twist:

    Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

    Into the Fire by Suzanne Brockmann

    Prey by Linda Howard





    Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

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  • 07/26/16--07:35: Latin: The Divine Chore
  • Dearest Death

    "Do one thing or the other—amuse yourself or learn Latin; but don't try to do both."
    —Gertrude, Paul’s mother, Sons and Lovers

    After a fast life as an editor in the New York publishing world, Ann Patty moved to the country—yet, this in itself did not prove to be the respite she needed. At age 58 she became terrified that she would follow in the footsteps of her mother, leading a life in slow decline. In her memoir published June of this year, Living with a Dead Language, Patty says,

    "I had watched my mother live that death-in-life trio for the last ten years of her life. If I followed her path, I'd be dead in eight years.”

    For Patty, the remedy for inactivity was to take up Latin—to audit classes at Vassar and Bard, attend workshops, whatever it took to challenge her mind. And given that her mother studied the language in Catholic school, it seemed a fitting choice of hobby. Fitter still, Latin gave Patty an opportunity to gain a more intimate understanding of the English language, which as a former editor was irresistible. Still, one wonders what the use of studying Latin as a 58-year-old  might be—or as a schoolgirl, even. Let’s face it, Latin lacks the utility of Spanish or Mandarin. Yet, the enjoyment that Patty, myself, and others have found studying the language bears consideration. With an infinity of choices, why study Latin?

    Francois Rabelais
    Francois Rabelais, author of Gargantua and Patagruel. Image ID: 1819017

    Certainly, one answer alone does not exist. There is something about its manner, its economy, the way it sounds, which casts a spell on the listener. Latin! The language of learning, the church, of poetry, &c.. Years ago, when education was rare, Latin was the gold standard in Western education. To Rabelais, it was not only the language of the Law, but of the gentleman—

    “How then could these old dotards be able to understand aright the text of the laws who never in their time had looked upon a good Latin book, as doth evidently enough appear by the rudeness of their style, which is fitter for a chimney-sweeper, or for a cook or a scullion, than for a jurisconsult and doctor in the laws?”

    Latin could be a ticket out of your limiting class background, as in the case of Julian Sorel in Stendahl’s Red and the Black. Jude in Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure is a less successful of example of this. The spell which Latin cast on Jude is familiar to the contemporary student of Latin—Jude fashioned Latin to be both an obscure fascination and a ticket out of the doldrums to a life of opportunity and scholarly pursuits. However sincere his interest, Jude the novice was momentarily disappointed in the labor which Latin required. Having received his first Latin textbook by post, Jude finds that,

    “[…] there was no law of transmutation, as in his innocence he had supposed […], but that every word in both Latin and Greek was to be individually committed to memory at the cost of years of plodding.

    Jude flung down the books, lay backward along the broad trunk of the elm, and was an utterly miserable boy for the space of a quarter of an hour. As he had often done before, he pulled his hat over his face and watched the sun peering insidiously at him through the interstices of the straw. This was Latin and Greek, then, was it this grand delusion! The charm he had supposed in store for him was really a labour like that of Israel in Egypt.”

    Though the charm of Latin is a strong one, is it strong enough to stand the test of endless declensions and ablative absolutes? Not in all cases.

    True, Latin is no longer the educational fixture par excellence. But the fact that Latin has become more of a choice rather than an educational requirement may work in favor of its enjoyment. Many literary luminaries and figures of the past have had an absurd relationship to the language when it occupied an inestimable place in the gentleman’s education. Indeed, Latin was often a tool of punishment as we see in Victor Hugo’s Confessions. Gilbert Highet in his brilliant work, The Classical Tradition, says that at school at the age of sixteen, Hugo,

    “[…] was looking forward to a day's excursion with the janitor's daughter; his attention wandered; his master jumped on him, making him stay in all Sunday and write out 500 lines of Horace; and, in his lonely attic, he poured out curses on the jailers who distorted Horace, who made Vergil a load for children to drag like oxen, and who

    '...have never had a mistress, or a thought.’”
    Playing fields of Eton
    Latin—no longer just for Eton schoolboys. Image ID: 101415

    Hugo may count himself lucky as one who knew the worth of study, understanding that such tactics only served to sour the student’s relationship with Latin. Tom Tulliver in George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss was not so lucky to have this perspective. Tom was forced by his father to study the language in order to get on in the world as an educated man and procure employment. Indeed, like many schoolboys of yore, Tom had no idea as to why anyone would study Latin, or what Latin was, for that matter—

    “It is doubtless almost incredible to instructed minds of the present day that a boy of twelve, not belonging strictly to "the masses," who are now understood to have the monopoly of mental darkness, should have had no distinct idea how there came to be such a thing as Latin on this earth; yet so it was with Tom. It would have taken a long while to make conceivable to him that there ever existed a people who bought and sold sheep and oxen, and transacted the every-day affairs of life, through the medium of this language; and still longer to make him understand why he should be called upon to learn it, when its connection with those affairs had become entirely latent.”

    Of course, it was Tom’s sister, Maggie, who’s mental talents were far more fertile a field for the “gentleman’s education,” much like Jenny Jones in Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones who had,

    “[…] obtained a competent skill in the Latin language, and was, perhaps, as good a scholar as most of the young men of quality of the age.”

    Tom, in his impudence, would hear none of it, going so far as to deny help from his sister Maggie—

    “‘You help me, you silly little thing!" said Tom. "I should like to see you doing one of my lessons! Why, I learn Latin too! Girls never learn such things; they're too silly.’

    ‘I know what Latin is very well,’ said Maggie confidently. ‘Latin's a language. There are Latin words in the dictionary. There's bonus, a gift.’”

    Highet argues that the worst transgressors of the beauty of the language were often its protectors—those who during the European Renaissance sought to purify it from vulgarities in order to revive a more tasteful and faithfully classical practice of the language. What followed were drills upon poisonous drills. In such an environment, an organic love for the beauty of Latin is surely a rare thing.

    In the twenty-first century our Anne Patty is, of course, under no pressure to learn the language to prove herself a proper scholar or a gentleman. Her connection with Latin is a personal one—it began as a way of avoiding making the mistakes her mother made, but became so much more.

    "When I embarked on this Latin journey, I was running away from her legacy; but instead, I had run right into her. I was doing something she would have wished me to do, something she herself had loved.”

    Through various authors, Patty is able to learn more about herself and her habits, to live the language through the lessons of Catullus, Lucretius, and Horace. For Patty it embodied both her relationship with her mother as well as established a distance with her mother that her mother herself would have wanted. And on a practical level, Latin gave her the structure and discipline she needed at that crucial transitional period of her life.

    As for me? I think it’s hard to give a reason, especially one reason, why Latin appeals to me. It is a language among many, it’s true. The routine of study plays a part, as does heritage, and maybe there’s even a bit of pride involved from knowing the roots of many English words, and so on. Yet, all of these ‘reasons’ fall short. Let’s admit a few things—I’ll probably never find myself in conversation with anyone nor will I ever be an incredible Latinist. I am, all told, a very poor student of Latin.

    Nevertheless, this I know—in a culture of bottom lines, of utility, of quid pro quo (har har), there’s something distinctly settling about exploring the ossa Latinitatis. In the classical spirit one finds something you don’t find on Facebook or Youtube or any other media machine. We call Latin a dead language—I will not contest this. But Gilbert Highet’s summary of the classicist’s relationship to death may make us thing twice about the value of what is dead—

    Gilbert Highet
    Gilber Highet, the eminent classicist. Image ID: TH-20868
    “[…] for the Greeks death was as natural a process as birth : mournful, no doubt, but not to be resisted, not to be hated and vainly shunned. Its symbols were not the crowned skeleton, the corpse crawling with maggots, the dust-covered chapfallen skull, but the quiet urn, the marble relief on which the dead and the living clasp hands with an affection too deep and tranquil for any display of lamentation. Among the most beautiful funeral monuments ever created are the fifth-and-fourth-century gravestones from Athens, on which young wives and daughters, although dead, are depicted as they were when they lived, immortalized in that lovely serenity which in later ages appears only in statues of the saints and of the Madonna.”

    Those most ardently anti-dead-language may reasonably ask, “what good is it to master a dead language?” I admit, the benefits are not quantifiable, or immediately tangible. But Highet is surely on the mark when he reminds us that in any healthy, functioning relationship, a distance must be maintained, that mastery is never the key. Sometimes, those who benefit most richly from Latin, Greek, or any language considered past its sell-by date, are not the scholars, the academics, the masters, whose relationship with the dead can be a sort of fallow, scientific morbidity. It is, rather, those whose grasp of the language brings them up short, those who in their “misinterpretations” foster a whole new era of imagination. As Highet says,

    “Classical culture always produces its finest effects in the modern world when it penetrates to the ordinary people and encourages a Rabelais to teach himself Greek, puts Chapman's Homer in the hands of Keats, or makes Shakespeare enthusiastic over Plutarch.”

    Let’s not forget, it is misinterpretation that is responsible for much of what we call ‘original.’ The distance between the student and the language of the dead—therein lies the true seeds of originality. So, despite our differences in age, background, gender, &c., I cannot help but heartily agree with Patty when she says,

    "Perhaps the great Virgil is correct, and the seeds of our future are contained in the distant past. The future waits for the unknowing past and present to catch up to me.”

    To some, the past is a graveyard to be observed, protected, or neglected. To to others, it is a garden to be tended. The way in which we regard the past determines the kind of future we will build. Is history something dead and gone, something final, something laid out before us to shrug our shoulders at and dismiss as “old hat?” Or is it a vital, rich soil, where the struggles and suffering of those that have come before us are waiting to be redeemed by the choices we make? The philosophy of the former, an essentially conservative outlook, has never been of interest to me.

    Works to Read From This Post

    Living With a Dead Language
    The Classical Tradition
    Jude the Obscure
    Gargantua and Pantagruel
    The Mill on the Floss

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    The 2016 City of New York Tech Job Fair will be held on Monday, August 1, 2016, 10 AM - 6:30 PM at the Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Sq. South, New York, NY 10010.

    nyc.govThe City of New York is looking for talented and innovative tech professionals.  With hundreds of positions available across multiple City agencies, NYC is hosting the first ever Citywide Tech Job Fair.  You will have a chance to interview directly with hiring managers, learn more about what it's like to work in NYC government, and get more information about the City's excellent comprehensive benefits packages.  For a list of available tech positions, visit the City's jobs website and check out the City's tech jobs site to learn what it's like to work fot the City.  Meet with hiring managers from multiple NYC agencies in the areas of:

    • Application Development
    • Application Support
    • IT Infrastructure
    • IT Operations
    • IT Security
    • IT Service Management 
    • Project Services
    • Quality Assurance
    • Wireless Technologies
    • Emergency  Communications Transformation Program
    • And more

    Participating Businesses:

    • NYC Administration for Children's Services
    • NYC Civilian Compliant Review Board
    • NYC Department of Finance
    • NYC Department of  Investigation
    • NYC Department of Sanitation
    • NYC Environmental Protection
    • NYC Fire Department
    • NYC Health
    • NYC Information Technology & Telecommunications
    • NYC OPA
    • NYC School Construction Authority
    • NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission

    Admission is free.  Must bring photo ID for building entry and multiple copies of your resume.

    HELPFUL HINTS: Do your research about the organization and which positions you're interested in prior to the Career Fair, review the job responsibilities, preferred skills and qualification requirements, strengths, and tech experience and knowledge.

    Equal Opportunity Employer

    More information at City of New York Dept.  of Information Technology and Telecommunications

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    On July 1, 2016, 225 individuals from 55 countries became United States citizens at the New York Public Library! We were one of one hundred naturalization ceremonies going on around the country as part of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' celebration of the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and our nation's birthday. Watch the ceremony via Facebook Live below and read on to learn more of their stories.

    Newly naturalized citizens were asked about their experiences and what made them want to become United States citizens, and here are a few of their responses:

    Sow, Immigrated from Guinea

    "I’m excited that I’m going to be able to vote. This is an important election. A lot could change. People have very different ideas" —Sow, Immigrated from Guinea 

    William, Immigrated from Ghana

    “This is the best moment that any immigrant can experience. I feel like a very huge gate has been opened to me. Now I feel that I belong to this country.” —William, The Bronx, immigrated from Ghana

    Alejandro, Immigrated from Guatemala

    "There are so many opportunities here. I come from a really poor family. Where we lived, there are no schools. I would have had to take a bus for two hours to get to school. And that ride is really dangerous. There’s gang violence, so the ride wouldn’t have been safe at all. Here, I was able to go to public school, and then to college. I got a soccer scholarship. That would have never happened where I was. I would definitely not have gone to college…That’s the biggest blessing to me right now. That I can feel safe with my family here. That I know they will have these opportunities, and I can give them this life. I can enjoy them and not worry. I’m engaged, we’re going to get married this year. I mean. What can I say? This year’s been the greatest.” —Alejandro, Washington Heights, immigrated from Guatemala

    Jose Cano, Immigrated from the Dominican Republic

    “I don’t even know what to say right now, I’m so happy… This country has given me and my family so many opportunities. It’s a great day. Robby, he’s so happy. He called me and said, ‘You finally got it!" —Jose Cano, MLB player and former Yankee Robinson Cano’s dad, immigrated from the Dominican Republic

    The New York Public Library welcomes people with diverse cultural backgrounds and celebrates the rich multicultural diversity that builds New York City. We offer a series of programs and services that lend a hand to recent immigrants so they can find their way in the city. Services include free programs and workshops on money matters and computers, English classes, our World Languages Collections, and more.

    Find out more about our immigration resources on the Immigrant Services page.

    There are an estimated 8.5 million people living in New York City, and approximately 37% of that population—over three million people—are born outside of the United States. Approximately 6 in 10 New Yorkers are immigrants or the children of immigrants.  The Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island—the three boroughs served by The New York Public Library—are home to one-third of the city’s immigrant population.

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    “Mama, Mary and Anthony went to Morris Town — Mama has not been very well for some time past, and she has gone to try if change of air will be of service to her”—Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker, July 27, 1803

    “there is some talk of the Fever — a Vessel has been suffer’d to come in to the Dock, from the West Indies — one or two persons who had been on board have died” —Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker, July 28, 1803

    “in the afternoon James mov’d his family out of Water Street to Mama’s — several persons have died near him with the fever” —Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker, July 30, 1803

    Diary 1
    Bleecker Diary entries, July 1803

    “I believe it has been traced that almost every one that has died, has had some connection with the Vessel from the West Indies”—Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker, August 1, 1803

    “in the afternoon, I went to William’s — his wife was very sick with the cholera”—Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker, August 4, 1803

    “Papa and Mama return’d from Morris Town”—Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker, August 4, 1803

    Bleecker diary entries, July-August 1803

    Everyone was sick or in danger of getting sick. So it probably seemed to Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker during this one week in the summer of 1803. But Bleecker’s family was better off than most because they had the means to avoid fast-spreading diseases.

    Early American cities were densely populated, connected by commerce to tropical climates, and possessed inadequate public health apparatuses. Diseases thus easily found their way to American cities. When they did, they could quickly turn into epidemics. This was a fact of life. It is why those who could afford to, often sent their children to school in more rural settings, with more "salubrious" climates. Many Americans thought the hinterlands were not just less unhealthy than cities, but actually ameliorative.

    When Bleecker's “Mama” got sick, she fled the city for New Jersey and a "change of air," which the family hoped would make her feel better. Whatever ailed her certainly paled in comparison to the other virulent threats New Yorkers encountered that summer. Cholera was scary, though no major outbreak afflicted New York until the 1830s.

    Yellow Fever was another story. Outbreaks of “the Fever,” as Bleecker called it, was a perennial threat for much of her early life. In 1793, yellow fever tore through Philadelphia, killing 5,000 people, or some ten percent of the city’s population. New York City shielded itself that year by refusing to take in refugees and quarantining goods and people from the City of Brotherly Love. In 1795, though, New York contended with a yellow fever epidemic of its own, which claimed the lives of hundreds. (Another recently digitized collection documents the experience of a doctor who treated yellow fever patients at Bellevue Hospital). A major outbreak hit the City yet again in 1798.

    These entries from Bleecker’s diary capture the very beginning of the 1803 yellow fever epidemic. By the following week, Bleecker concluded that the spread of fever had become “allarming.” The next day, August 9th, she noted that “a great many people are moving out of town.” And on the day after that, Bleecker took a stage coach and escaped the City to Bedford, north of Manhattan in Westchester County. Other New Yorkers were not so lucky. Over 500 people died in the City before the epidemic finally ended in October.

    Bleecker diary entries, August 1803

    Bleecker's diary is undoubtedly an important source for understanding early New York City. Yet as her and her family's comparatively easy encounter with the 1803 season attests, Bleecker's experience was far from typical.

    This is one of a series of monthly posts highlighting entries from the Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker Diary. Previous installments include a broad overview description of the diary, a post about the election of 1800, and another about lotteries in early New York.

    Further Reading

    For more on public health in early American cities, see John Duffy, A History of Public Health in New York City, 1625-1866, Vol. 1 (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1968); and Simon Finger, The Contagious City: The Politics of Public Health in Early Philadelphia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012). For a more contemporary account, see James Hardie, An account of the yellow the city of New York, in the year 1822, to which is prefixed a brief sketch of the different pestilential diseases, with which this city was afflicted, in the years 1798, 1799, 1803 & 1805...(New York: Printed by Samuel Marks, 1822).

    About the Early American Manuscripts Project

    With support from the The Polonsky Foundation, The New York Public Library is currently digitizing upwards of 50,000 pages of historic early American manuscript material. The Early American Manuscripts Project will allow students, researchers, and the general public to revisit major political events of the era from new perspectives and to explore currents of everyday social, cultural, and economic life in the colonial, revolutionary, and early national periods. The project will present online for the first time high quality facsimiles of key documents from America’s Founding, including the papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Drawing on the full breadth of the Library’s manuscript collections, it will also make widely available less well-known manuscript sources, including business papers of Atlantic merchants, diaries of people ranging from elite New York women to Christian Indian preachers, and organizational records of voluntary associations and philanthropic organizations. Over the next two years, this trove of manuscript sources, previously available only at the Library, will be made freely available through

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    When Alina Baez became a mother, she signed up for the Family Literacy Workshop at the Bronx Library Center and started discovering tips for building a strong platform for language and learning. She loves to share books with her daughter and takes her to Baby & Me story times at the library center. Already, Alina says she sees her daughter gaining a greater understanding for language. She understands, too, that she is her daughter's most important teacher.

    Library Stories is a video series from The New York Public Library that shows what the Library means to our users, staff, donors, and communities through moving personal interviews.

    Like, share, and watch more Library Stories on Facebook or YouTube.


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    Browder, Bill.  红色通缉令:一个俄罗斯外资大亨如何反击普丁的国家级黑帮。台北:大写出版社,2015。

    布劳德在拿到了史坦福大学的商业管理学位后,立志往东欧发展。因缘际会,正好遇上了苏联解体,出售国有企业。作者说服了西方头资大亨,招募股本,在1996年创办了“Hermitage Capital” 抓住了在俄国投资的黄金机会,为投资人赚入了1500%的获利。但也由此衍生出与俄国当局的生死搏斗。公司所任用的俄籍律师被滥权抓捕,瘐死狱中。 当局在俄国缺席审判作者。把作者资料传送国际刑警组织,列为国际通缉犯。而作者在伦敦,华盛顿各地奔走,控诉克里姆林宫的暴行,并呼吁国际社会制裁非法逮捕刑拘的俄国人士。

    这是一本传记,作者以自己的生命与俄国当权者做生死搏斗,内容比小说更为翔实精彩。讽刺的是作者的祖父Earl Browder正是当年美国共产党的领袖,曾于1936与1940年代表美共参选总统。


    Kim, Suki.  没有您,就没有我们。台北:脸谱出版, 2014。317 p.

    英文原书名是” Without you, there is no us: my time with the sons of North Korea’s elite.”



    了平壤科大,专门教导北韩270名权贵子弟英文。教员们不但完全被禁止传布基督教义,亦不得有日常宗教行为。 作者虽非基督教徒,但在2011年7月到12月厕身其中教导英文写作。 这本书是她在课余冒着危险,暗地里记录下当时的生活情况,将其在北韩的教书情况与日常生活公诸于世。


    邵玉铭。 保钓风云。台北:联经出版社, 2013。234 p.


    近来南海风云闹得沸沸扬扬,1970年代在美国中国留学生中曾掀起一次空前的政治运动 - 保护钓鱼台列岛国土运动, 简称为“保钓运动”。 当时在美国各大学念书台湾来的同学们或多或少的

    都投入了此一运动。 1970年中华民国政府与日本发生钓鱼台列屿的主权纠纷,留美的台港留学生及美籍学人开始游行示威。1972年美国将战后托管的硫球及钓鱼台归还日本,但在钓鱼台


    2011年正值保钓运动40周年。作者就当初亲身的经历加上广泛的研究资料,著成此书。 此书分为三大部分:1。美国华人的保卫钓鱼台运动,2。 台湾的保卫钓鱼台运动,3。展望与总结:今后保钓的方向。



    周匀之。 漫谈美国总统兼谈喜莱莉。新北市:采薇出版社,2015。



    作者为一资深华文报业记者,足迹遍及40多个国家地区。经验丰富,文笔老到,其“记者生涯杂忆”及“江湖奇人桂钟彻” 皆值得一读。 

    Special thanks goes to Hung-yun Chang at Mid-Manhattan Library with this blog post.

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  • 07/27/16--15:07: Free Citizenship Resources

    Ellis Island



    Being an American citizen, following the naturalization process to become a US Citizen, provides several benefits as well as rights and responsibilities.



    An American citizen in the United States has the rights to:




    • Freedom to express yourself.

    • Freedom to worship as you wish.

    • Right to a prompt, fair trial by jury.

    • Right to vote in elections for public officials.

    • Right to apply for federal employment requiring U.S. citizenship.

    • Right to run for elected office.

    • Freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

    • Support and defend the Constitution.

    • Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.

    • Participate in the democratic process.

    • Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.

    • Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.

    • Participate in your local community.

    • Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.

    • Serve on a jury when called upon.

    • Defend the country if the need should arise.


    There are several resources that are free and available to become an American Citizen. To verify if you qualify, visit United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  online which provides information on the different ways to obtain a U.S Citizenship, and where you can also download the Application for Naturalization form N-400. You can also verify if you qualify for an exemption from the Citizenship Application fees through the  Application Fee Waiver I- 912  

    USCIS also offers online materials to study.

    Below is a brief selection of resources available at the New York Public Library to assist you during your naturalization process and to help you prepare for the citizenship exam and interview. 

    Please search for: "Citizenship Classes" for information on classes and programs on citizenship in the Library.

    Each of the 89 Library branches have a "New Americans Corner", a dedicated space that has circulating materials and informational resources on citizenship and other immigration-related topics, all available for free, including copies of the form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

    Some of the materials that you will find on the New Americans Corners are: 

    For  more information please visit your local library.

    Aditionally,  if you need help applying for citizenship we have the NYCitizenship program through a partnership with the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. NYCitizenship provides free legal assistance with citizenship applications. As part of NYCitizenship, you can:

    • Meet 1-on-1 with a free, trusted lawyer
    • ​Apply for citizenship easily
    • Find out if you can apply for free
    • ​Get free, confidential financial counseling

    An appointment is required to receive these services. Make your appointment today: Call 311 and say “Citizenship appointment” or call 212-514-4277.

    For additional resources please visit: Citizenship Resources
    For information in Spanish, please visit: Recursos gratis para la ciudadanía.

    Below some resources available in other languages:

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  • 07/28/16--07:27: Literary Bad Boys
  • In preparation for Emily Bronte’s birthday, we’re thinking of Wuthering Heights’ quintessential romantic anti-hero: Heathcliff.

    Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff. Image ID 156736

    In his honor, we asked our book experts here at The New York Public Library: Who’s your favorite literary bad boy and why? The more tortured, the better.

    Literary Fiction


    I am currently crushing on the mysterious, unattainable Jake in Stephanie Danler’s Sweetbitter. Jake—tall, golden-eyed, effortless, moody, ethereal, philosophy reading, partially hidden tattoos. Here’s to all the bartenders in all the restaurants where I waited tables who were way out of my league. Cheers, boys! —Lynn Lobash, Readers Services





    special topics

    In Special Topics in Calamity Physics, author Marisha Pessl writes a prep school murder mystery. Pessl's character, Blue Van Meer, loves to cite literature and pop culture. She learns Spanish so she can communicate with the handsome Peruvian gardener her father hired. 

    “...I couldn’t let go of the thought that it had, in fact, been he, restless and moody Heathcliff. Day after day, he floated through all the Wal-Marts in America, searching for me in a million lonely aisles.” 

    While Blue and the other characters in STiCP are not anti-heroes per se, rebels abound in the text: “I was next to Amadeus and some sad kid who was the spitting image of Sal Mineo (see Rebel Without a Cause).” —Jenny Baum, Jefferson Market

    Young Adult & Children


    What adolescent girl didn’t fall in love with all of the guys from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders? And even though the movie was fairly mediocre, it was full of 80’s heartthrobs, which totally redeemed it. Stay gold, Ponyboy. —Rebecca Donsky, 67th Street






    city bones

    I can’t think of anyone more tortured and twisted than Jace Wayland of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. A skilled demon hunter who can protect you, a tragic family history that just gets progressively worse, and brooding for days. —Lauren Bradley, 53rd Street





    Photo from Flickr.

    I have to go with Severus Snape, the very unpleasant anti-hero of the Harry Potter series. Tortured already by a life-long love that was never to be realized, he was bullied relentlessly by the person who stole his love away. The anger that built from his tormented childhood urged him to join the dark side, until the Potters were murdered by the same dark wizard that Snape worshiped. Readers only find out Snape’s critical role in the series at the very end, and by that point, we understand how deeply he loved Lily Potter, how important that love was for, and how good a guy he really was. You hate to love him, but you can’t help it. —Katrina Ortega, Hamilton Grange


    Photo from Fandom Transparents.

    I completely agree with Katrina about Snape, and I’d like to add Draco Malfoy to this list. He’s the bad boy who had no choice but to be bad. His father was evil. He literally had Moldy Voldy living in his house. He didn’t realize he had the choice not to be bad until it was too late. Draco is the character that most intrigued me in the Harry Potter series because I always wondered what he could have been if he had not been bogged down by his father’s philosophy. He never had a chance until it was too late. —Grace Loiacono, St. George



    holden caulfield

    Holden Caulfield, the narrator and protagonist of the J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Kicked out of prep school and in New York by himself, Holden is constantly brooding and on alert for phonies. He’s the quintessential misanthrope, yet he craves the connections he avoids. Mixed signals… typical “baby boy” behavior. *rolls eyes* —Jhenelle Robinson, Morrisania





    Graphic Novels


    Cowboy. Criminal. Vampire. Skinner Sweet, the eponymous antihero of Scott Snyder’s graphic novel series American Vampire, is an antihero vampire for a new generation.  —Emily Merlino, Yorkville







    My immediate thought is Wolverine from the X-Men comic franchise. He is tortured (literally), hard to read, has crazy wild hair, and rides a motorcycle. (Plus, he and Jean Grey from Dark Phoenix are star crossed lovers!) —Amie Wright, MyLibraryNYC








    I’ve always had a thing for the boys with red eyes. First it was Dark Heart, from Care Bears II (100% dating myself here), but then I found Steerpike. Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast anti-hero is intelligent, devious, twisted, and absolutely the kind of bad boy you know is all wrong but can’t help falling for anyway. —Kay Menick, Schomburg Center






    Ferdinand Bardamu from Celine’s Journey to the End of the Night is a relentless, exultantly cynical and pessimistic nihilist and misanthrope whose character is only fully realized when surrounded by war, illness, and death. The ultimate “bad boy.” —Lauren Restivo, 115th Street







    Hands down, Humbert Humbert, of Lolita fame. Nabokov’s most scandalous and salacious narrator, H.H. is movie-star handsome, professorial, and hopelessly hilarious--for a liar, kidnapper, murderer, and pedophile. He plays delicious word games with his readers, and seeds his narrative with clues, cues, and letter-Q’s, all distractions from the pain and suffering his desires inflict upon poor Dolores Haze. I can’t recommend Alfred Appel’s Annotated Lolita enough! —Nancy Aravacz, Jefferson Market





    My BBBF (best bad boy forever) is Macheath—a.k.a., Mack the Knife—in Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera. Charming and cold-blooded, a genuine sociopath, he’s completely indestructible. And you have to listen to Kurt Weill’s songs from the famous Theatre de Lys production to get the full effect. —David Nochimson, Pelham Parkway-Van Nest






    Dean Moriarty from Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. Dean’s clearly a very persuasive character, and his judgment is not always the best. His reckless behavior and suggestions don’t always bode well for some of the book’s more gentle characters like Sal and Ed. —Joseph Pascullo, Grand Central





    Jack London’s protagonist, Martin Eden. Not sure if he counts as exactly a rebel, per se. But he’s certainly tortured and brooding. That guy always made me swoon. How can any librarian not love the way he pored over books in the library till the wee hours, forcing himself to read and write past his comfort level in order to converse with Ruth Morse?! Be still, my heart!—Anne Barreca, Battery Park City

    Science Fiction & Fantasy


    Jacqueline Carey’s follow up series to the first three Kushiel’sLegacybooks comes Prince Imriel’s saga in Kushiel’s Scion. Son of a traitor, but scion to a great house, Imriel faces the ridicule of court. It doesn’t matter to him though, he’s faced worse. However, things start to go awry when he falls for the crown princess Sidonie. Though she returns his love, it not one that is accepted and he marries another in hopes of doing what’s best for Sidonie. But is it really for the best? —Chantalle Uzan, Francis Martin






    My immediate thought was to Lestat, the narrator in Anne Rice’s long series beginning with Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat. He revels in being Bad with a capital B.  Drinking in blood and life in equal measures, he leaves a wake of destruction in his path. However, as he develops relationships with people and vampires over the centuries, he winds up accidentally doing much more good than bad. —Erin Arlene Horanzy, Francis Martin


    Mystery, Horror, Romance


    One of my favorite bad boys is Pietro “Bearclaw” Brnwna, from Josh Bazzell’s Beat the ReaperPietro is the ultimate bad boy with a heart of gold. He’s a former mob hitman turned doctor extraordinaire hellbent of avenging the deaths of his beloved grandparents.  —Annie Lin, Mulberry Street






    Perhaps not a romantic choice, but I am a huge fan of Hannibal Lecter. Yes, yes, he is a cannibal and villain, but he is also brilliant and engaging. You can find him in Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising. As the series progresses, you are able to fully delve into his complex, elegant, and sinister mind and see Lecter evolve from antagonist to protagonist. —Alexandria Abenshon, Yorkville






    dark tower

    My first thought is definitely Eddie Dean from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Hes an ex-heroin addict from NYC with a heart of gold and a great shooting hand. Too bad he falls for another gunslinger throughout the course of the series... —Alessandra Affinito, Chatham Square







    I have a thing for rakes, rogues, and romance. One of my favorite romance writers is Jo Beverley and I wrote a whole blog post on my love for her “Company of Rogues” series and all the companion novels that go along with it. The lead rogue is Nicholas Delaney and he’s a rogue spy, seducing women for information when he’s not rescuing damsels in distress in An Arranged Marriage. The second book, An Unwilling Bride, has haughty rogue Marquess of Arden forced to marry an independent schoolteacher to save his inheritance. But my absolute favorite is The Devil’s Heiress, which finds brooding rogue Major George Hawkinville returning from Waterloo only to discover that his estate has been inherited by the quiet and plain Clarissa, fiancé of the unscrupulous Lord Deverill. —Anne Rouyer, Mulberry Street



    Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

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    Schomburg Center's Communications Intern, Kiani Ned, concludes her series on the Black Aesthetic in this final blog post in the series that examines the significance of black self-expression through fashion and style:

    To centralize the experiences and creative worlds of black people in portraits (as explored in our previous Black Aesthetics post), paintings, literature, and poetry is to engage in black aesthetics. Black aesthetics extend, too, to fashion and personal style. Black fashion and personal style are forms of self imaging—the crafting and understanding of one’s image and identity. This kind of self imaging, especially when perceived by other black people, is exceptionally powerful when none exists in mainstream media. It is but the quotidian covering—the dressing and undressing, of blackness that happens every day.

    In February 2015, the Schomburg Center invited the community to celebrate the dressing—in honor of New York Fashion Week and Black History Month—with the panel discussion From Dapper to Dope: The Exquisite and Enduring Style of Harlem Men. Michaela Angela Davis, Bevy Smith, Emil Wilbekin, Guy Wood, and Dapper Dan chatted about the nuances of culture, identity, and personal style. Beautiful photographs by Mangue Banzima of men’s street style in Harlem were exhibited throughout the event. The discussion extended to the Dapper to Dope tumblr page, where folks were, (and still are!), encouraged to submit photos of themselves at their most dapper and their most dope.

    Those who fail to understand what it means to exist inside of a black body may ridicule, criticize, and write off the self-imaging of black folks as “loud,” “unprofessional,” “garish,” or “thuggish”—as if those aren’t legitimate ways to exist and express one’s self. They are legitimate.

    I understand much of black personal style to symbolize means of survival and world-making. Existing on a spectrum of a dedication to visibility— “you will acknowledge my pain,” “you will acknowledge where I come from,” “you will be face to face with what keeps me up at night,” to attempts at invisibility—“I’d like you to see all this black cloth and not all this black skin,” “I wear white tee shirts and blue jeans, just like you,” “Look… I’m on the way to my J. O. B.”

    It is no coincidence that I catch my breath when a black woman with thick locks piled on her head like a crown, emerges from the subway dressed head to toe in flowing white cloth. Her presence seems to announce a newcoming. She dressed herself unaware of my belief in angels. Behind her, a young kid in blood red sneakers and black baggy pants jogs out onto 135th. Another reckoned.

    If you’re interested in Black Aesthetics expressed through fashion and personal style, check out these resources in our Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division:

    Additional images from our February 2015 program, "From Dapper to Dope:  The Exquisite and Enduring Style of Harlem Men" (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, photographer: Terrence Jennings) 

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    In the 1990s, libraries put significant effort into building web guides—curated and vetted lists of Web resources. 10 years later, web guides went out of fashion and patrons were referred to Google, whose algorithms had grown so sophisticated vetting the web seemed unnecessary. Fifteen years later, these trusted algorithms have learned so much about our personal preferences that they may be getting in the way of our ability to see differing views on critical problems in society. In this particularly polarizing election cycle and in a time when social networks mingle so closely with news reporting, we need to be mindful of what Eli Pariser coined “the filter bubble.”

    The Filter Bubble

    The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You by Eli Parser

    In a recent article in The Guardian, Katharine Viner, describes an alarming consequence social media has had on reporting.

    Algorithms such as the one that powers Facebook’s news feed are designed to give us more of what they think we want – which means that the version of the world we encounter every day in our own personal stream has been invisibly curated to reinforce our pre-existing beliefs. When Eli Pariser, the co-founder of Upworthy, coined the term “filter bubble” in 2011, he was talking about how the personalised web – and in particular Google’s personalised search function, which means that no two people’s Google searches are the same – means that we are less likely to be exposed to information that challenges us or broadens our worldview, and less likely to encounter facts that disprove false information that others have shared.

    Pariser’s plea, at the time, was that those running social media platforms should ensure that “their algorithms prioritise countervailing views and news that’s important, not just the stuff that’s most popular or most self-validating”. But in less than five years, thanks to the incredible power of a few social platforms, the filter bubble that Pariser described has become much more extreme. (Viner, Katherine. “How Technology Disrupted the Truth.” The Guardian. July 12, 2016)


    Eytan Bakshy and Solomon Messing, two members of Facebook’s data science team take on part of the “filter bubble” theory in a 2015 article for Science magazine. Here is what they had to say about social media and exposure to differing viewpoints:

    Although these technologies have the potential to expose individuals to more diverse viewpoints, they also have the potential to limit exposure to attitude-challenging information, which is associated with the adoption of more extreme attitudes over time and misperception of facts about current events. This changing environment has led to speculation around the creation of “echo chambers” (in which individuals are exposed only to information from like-minded individuals) and “filter bubbles” (in which content is selected by algorithms according to a viewer’s previous behaviors), which are devoid of attitude-challenging content.

    Within the population under study here, individual choices more than algorithms limit exposure to attitude-challenging content in the context of Facebook. Despite the differences in what individuals consume across ideological lines, our work suggests that individuals are exposed to more cross-cutting discourse in social media than they would be under the digital reality envisioned by some. Rather than people browsing only ideologically aligned news sources or opting out of hard news altogether, our work shows that social media expose individuals to at least some ideologically crosscutting viewpoints.  (Bakshy, Eytan and Messing, Solomon. “Exposure to Ideologically Diverse News and Opinions on Facebook.” Science. August 13, 2015.)

    The Wall Street Journal also experimented with Facebook's filter: "Blue Feed, Red Feed: See Liberal Facebook and Conservative Facebook, Side by Side".

    Filter bubbles and echo chambers have not escaped the imagination of fiction writers. Here are a few cautionary tales about search engines and social media platforms becoming omniscient:

    The Circle

    The Circle by Dave Eggers

    A chillingly plausible vision of a near-future in which social media and self quantification go monopolistic.





    Infomocracy by Malka Older

    It's election year in a society where national boundaries have been broken down and replaced with a global network of microdemocracies, each consisting of 100,000 like-minded individuals. Control of each “region” is contested by various political parties and brokered by Information--an all powerful search engine.



    I Am No One

    I Am No One by Patrick Flanery

    A thriller for the digital age that raises trenchant questions about privacy and identity.






    Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations! 

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    Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC),Inc.'s mission is to serve the Chinese-American, immigrant and low-income communities in New York City by providing services, skills and resources leading to economic self-sufficiency.

    As one of the largest Chinese-based social services agencies in the northeastern United States, the Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. provides culturally sensitive programs for all ages.  CPC currently serves over 8,000 people daily through 50+ contracted programs in 33 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

    BuildingWorks banner

    BuildingWorks is a pre-apprenticeship training that prepares interested candidates for careers in the building trades.  In partnership with the NYC District Council of Carpenters Labor Technicla College, the 3 month training is tuition-free and provides both classroom instruction and hands-on experience preparing you for success in a union apprenticeship.  Participants in BuildingWorks gain experience from a wide range of courses, including job readiness, industry related math, health and safety, as well as hands-on instruction in shop classes under the supervision of journey-level union carpenters.

    Certifications received during the training may include:

    • OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety
    • 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Worker
    • Scaffold User

    A first year apprenticeship in the Carpenters Union earns $20/hour while receiving on the job training and technical classroom instruction.  For more than a decade, BuildingWorks has successfully trained hundreds of candidates most of whom who have joined -- and are completing--unionized apprenticeships....and are building careers in skilled trade.  Together we are helping to build the future of organized labor.

    Candidates for the Fall 2016 BuildingWorks Pre-Apprenticeship Training must:

    • Be 18 years of age at time of enrollment
    • Have a High School  Diploma or GED, and pass a basic skills test at 8th  grade level
    • Be either unemployed or underemployed
    • Be physically able to work 
    • Be legally eligible to work in the U.S.
    • Pass a drug test
    • Commit to completing the entire, full-time, 3 month training with classes running from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

    Open House at Chinese-American Planning Council at 165 Eldridge Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10002 on

    Monday, 8/1/16,  8/8/16,  and  8/15/16  at 9:30 AM  (No one will be admitted after that time).

    For more information call (212) 941-0041.

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    During the week, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. On Fridays, though, we suggest kicking back to catch up on all the delightful literary reading the internet has to offer. Don’t have the time to hunt for good reads? Never fear. We’ve rounded up the best bookish reading of the week for you.

    watermelon boy
    Image ID: 1668047

    We Read...

    Little-known facts about the Harry Potter movies from the guy who played Percy Weasley and found out which books to take on a hike. But walking without catching Pokémon? No way. In search of lost Squirtles, we went on the prowl for Pokémon Doppelgängers in our Digital Collections. But we weren't just looking for Poke-Twins; we also went behind the scene to learn howphotography materials are conserved. Speaking of photography, we loved thesewacky food photos just because. Why yes, naturally, those are tennis balls made of Anne Boleyn's hair amongst the theCullman Fellows' books. Hamilton star Daveed Diggs explained howpoetry makes people listen. In our headphones, we played the parenting and reading talk. Did you know that where your kids live affects their literacy? Finally, we got some permission to relax. Laurie Anderson told us you don't have to turn your literary faves into operas. Phew!

    Stereogranimator Friday Feels:

    GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator


    No need to get up! Join our librarians from the home, office, playground — wherever you have internet access — for book recs on Twitter by following our handle @NYPLrecommends from 10 AM to 11 AM every Friday. Or, you can check NYPL Recommends any day of the week for more suggestions.

    What did you read?

    If you read something fantastic this week, share with our community of readers in the comment section below.

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    What are people reading around the world? In May when we took a look at the bestseller lists in Germany, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, and Russia, we discovered a lot of love for Jojo Moyes, as well as for homegrown authors, some of whom are not available in English. This month, from bestseller lists in France, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, and Sweden, we saw that The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante are popular reads in other languages, and the love of crime novels and thrillers, translated or in the original language, is international. And Han Kang’s acclaimed novel, The Vegetarian, is still a bestseller in her native South Korea.

    The Girl on the Train is currently available to borrow from NYPL in English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, French, Polish, Italian, and Hebrew, and as an e-book in German.

    My Brilliant Friend [L’amica geniale] the first book in Italian author Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan cycle, is available to borrow in the original Italian, in English, French, Spanish, and Polish.

    More bestsellers from France, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, and Sweden below:


    These bestsellers for the week of July 18 were reported on the fiction & paperback lists in Livres Hebdo.

    Central Park by Guillaume Musso

    Works by French author Guillaume Musso (L’Instant présent, La fille de Brooklyn) topped the fiction and paperback lists last week according to Livres Hebdo. Several of Musso’s thrillers, such as Central Park, are set in New York, but few of his books have been translated into English. His popular page-turners are currently available to borrow from the library in many other languages, however, including the original French, Russian, Korean, Polish, Italian, Arabic, and Spanish.

    Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend [L’amie prodigieuse] is on the French list. Other works translated into French include The Lightkeeper’s Wife [La mémorie des embruns]  by Australian author Karen Viggers, and The Lion Tamer [ Lejontämjaren /  Le dompteur de lions], the ninth entry in Camilla Lackberg’s Fjällbacka crime series. NYPL has El domador de leones in Spanish, but it has not yet been translated into English. Various Camilla Läckberg novels are available to borrow in English, Spanish. Polish, Italian, Russian, and Albanian.



    Paula Hawkins and Jojo Moyes were also bestsellers at the bookseller Librerías Gandhi this month as reported in Dinero en Imagen on July 16. The Girl on the Train [La Chica del tren] and Me Before You [Yo antes de ti] were among the top fiction titles, along with Laura Esquivel’s latest, El diario de Tita [Tita’s Diary] and classics by Julio Cortázar and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

    In El diario de Tita, Laura Esquivel returns to the world of Like Water for Chocolate / Como agua para chocolate. El diario de Tita was published in Spanish in May 2016. It has not been translated into English yet. Como agua para chocolate is available to borrow in the original Spanish, in English,and in Russian, as are other novels by Esquivel in Spanish and English.

    Rayuela [Hopscotch] by Argentine writer Julio Cortázar (1914–1984), originally published in Spanish in 1963 and in English translation in 1966, is also high on Librerías Gandhi’s list of bestsellers this month. Rayeula is available to borrow in Spanish and English from NYPL. Many other works by Cortázar are available to borrow in Spanish and English, as well as a couple in Russian.

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s beloved classic Cien años de soledad[One Hundred Years of Solitude], originally published in Spanish in 1967 and in English in 1970, can also be found on Mexico’s bestseller list this month. Cien años de soledad has been translated into more than 30 languages, and is currently available to borrow from the library in the original Spanish, English, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Gujarati.


    The bookseller Kinokuniya’s Singapore division lists its bestselling books in three languages: English, Japanese, and Chinese. Some of the titles listed last week are described here.

    	 The art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye

    The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye presented by Sonny Liew, a graphic novel looking back at the career of a (fictional?) comic book artist and 50 years of Singapore’s history, topped Kinokuniya’s English bestseller list last week. You can borrow this in print or as an e-book from NYPL.

    Other English language bestsellers at Singapore’s Kinokuniya last week were Me Before You and After You by JoJo Moyes, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, winner of this year's International Man Booker Prize, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which won the Pulitzer Prize this year, and The Course of Love by Alain de Botton. The Vegetarian, translated from the Korean, is currently available to borrow from NYPL in English, The Sympathizer and The Course of Love are also avaialble in English.

    Kinokuniya’s Japanese and Chinese bestseller lists include many authors whose work has not been translated into English. The bestselling book on the Japanese language list is Tax Haven [Takkusu heivun] by Akira Tachibana. The Chinese translation of this "business novel”避稅天堂 / Bi shui tian tang—is available at NYPL. If Cats Disappeared from the World [Sekai kara Neko ga Kieta nara] by Genki Kawamura, which was adapted into a film this year, is in the second spot on the list. 

    Award-winning Japanese crime fiction writer Keigo Higashino is also on the top ten list of Kinokuniya Singapore’s Japanese language bestsellers. Mugen Hana [Dream Flower] has not been translated into English, but many other books by Higashino can be borrowed from NYPL in the original Japanese, in English, Chinese, Korean, and a few in Russian, and Spanish.

    The Vegetarian by Han Kang is on the list of Chinese language bestsellers.

    South Korea

    These fiction bestsellers from July 16–22 were listed on the Kyobo Books website.

    The VegetarianThe Vegetarian topped the bestseller list in author Han Kang’s home country last week. Another notable fiction entry on the list is The Origin of Species, a crime novel by Yu-Jeong Jeong, whose previous novel Seven Years of Darkness was included on the German newspaper Die Zeit’s list of 10 best crime novels of 2015. Yu-Jeong Jeong’s work has not yet been translated into English.

    Authors in translation are also popular. Jojo Moyes is a bestseller in South Korea, too. The library currently has Me Before You [Mi bip'o yu] in Korean. Namiya Zakkaten no Kiseki [Miracle in the Grocery Store] by Japanese author Keigo Higashino is also on the Kyobo Books bestseller list. This title is currently available in Japanese and Korean at NYPL. It has not been translated into English.


    Looking at the bestseller list at Sweden’s Akadmibokhandeln site, we find a mixture of Swedish authors and authors in translation. The Girl on the Train [Kvinnan på tåget], After You [Arvet efter dig], and My Brilliant Friend [Min fantastiska väninna] are in the top twelve with the latest by Swedish author, Mats Strandberg at the top of the list.

    Snow White Must Die (SW)Farjan [The Ferry], a horror novel set on a cruise ship, has not been translated into English yet. Some titles in Strandberg’s Engelsfors fantasy trilogy, co-written with Sara B. Elfgren, are available to borrow in English and Spanish.

    The first novel by Swedish author Lars Myttin, Simme med de drunknade[Swim with the Drowned], is also near the top. Mytting’s previous book, the nonfiction bestseller Norwegian Wood, a guide to “chopping, stacking, and drying wood the Scandinavian way,” is available to download as an e-book.

    German crime fiction author Nele Neuhaus and Swedish crime writing team Roslund and Hellström are also in the top twelve. Crime novels by Neuhaus are available to borrow in English, Spanish, Korean, and Russian. You can find novels by Roslund and Hellström in English, Russian, and Italian.

    Do you check the bestseller lists from any other countries? Let us know in the comments.

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    The Republican and Democratic National Conventions are over, and the presidential nominations from the two major U.S. political parties are official: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. With the general election a hundred days away, here are resources to help you get ready to vote.

    U.S. Capitol. Image ID: g90f091_015f

    November 8, 2016 General Election Deadlines

    MAIL REGISTRATION (N.Y. Election Law Section 5-210(3))
    Applications must be postmarked no later than October 14 and received by a board of elections no later than October 19 to be eligible to vote in the General Election.

    IN PERSON REGISTRATION (N.Y. Election Law Sections 5-210, 5-211, 5-212)
    You may register at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year but, to be eligible to vote in the General Election, your application must be received no later than October 14.

    CHANGE OF ADDRESS (N.Y. Election Law Section 5-208(3))
    Notices of change of address from registered voters received by October 19 by a county board of elections must be processed and entered in the records in time for the General Election.

    For more information and New York absentee ballot information, visit

    If you're not from New York, check qualifications, ID requirements, and polling locations at Can I Vote? If you're a citizen living outside the U.S., see the Federal Voting Assistance Program. If you're temporarily away from your home state, check Long Distance Voter for information about absentee ballots.

    Voter Qualifications

    To register to vote in the City of New York, you must:

    •     Be a citizen of the United States (Includes those persons born in Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
    •     Be a New York City resident for at least 30 days.
    •     Be 18 years of age before the next election.
    •     Not be serving a jail sentence or be on parole for a felony conviction.
    •     Not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.
    •     Not claim the right to vote elsewhere (outside the City of New York).

    Register to Vote

    Not sure if you're registered? Check voter status at NYSVoter Public Information - Voter Registration Search.
    Register to vote in New York for the first time, or update name, address, or party affiliation.
    In PersonBy MailOnline

    NYS's Voter Bill of Rights from

    Sample ballot for a given address available through
    Sample ballot for a given address available through Poll Site Locator

    Find Your Polling Place

    Find Your Districts 
and Current Representatives

    Who Represents Me? from the Graduate Center, City University of New York by the Center for Urban Research in partnership with the League of Women Voters of the City of New York.
    Enter your address to find your local, state and federal representatives.

    Federal The White HouseU.S. SenateU.S. House of Representatives

    State NY State GovernorNY State Attorney GeneralNew York State ComptrollerNew York State SenateNew York State Assembly

    City-WideNew York City MayorNew York City Public AdvocateNew York City ComptrollerNew York City Council

    Boroughs Bronx Borough PresidentBronx District AttorneyManhattan Borough PresidentManhattan District AttorneyStaten Island Borough PresidentStaten Island District Attorney

    Research the Issues

    Vote Smart bills itself as "the voter's self-defense system." It contains voting records, biographies, issue positions, interest group ratings, speeches, and campaign finances for all politicians. It also features "VoteEasy," a tool that lets you compare your personal views to those of candidates running for office.

    Vote Easy
    Compare and contrast with Project Vote Smart's VoteEasy, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters that aims "to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics." The site monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.

    Public Agenda aims to help communities and the nation solve tough problems through research, engagement and communications.

    Scout is a project from Sunlight Foundation (more on them below) that lets you search for keywords for issues that matter to you in state and federal legislation (here's Libraries, for example.) Create an alert to notify you of new additions matching your search query.

    The Opposing Viewpoints series (available in print and online with your library card) contains information on nearly 5,000 current social topics in the forms of primary source documents, statistics, websites and multimedia.

    Research the Candidates

    New York City Campaign Finance Board
    The Campaign Finance Board is a "nonpartisan, independent city agency that enhances the role of New York City residents in elections. The CFB’s mission is to increase voter participation and awareness, provide campaign finance information to the public, enable more citizens to run for office, strengthen the role of small contributors, and reduce the potential for actual or perceived corruption."

    Compare platforms side by side and make yourself a cheat sheet to take to the polls with Vote411
    Compare platforms side by side and make yourself a cheat sheet to take to the polls with Vote411

    Vote411 - the online voters' guide from the League of Women Voters allows you to type in your address to see the races on your ballot. Candidates' positions can be compared side-by-side, and you may print out your preferences as a reminder and take it with you to the polls on Election Day.

    The Internet Archive launched TV News Search and Borrow in 2012 "to enhance the capabilities of journalists, scholars, teachers, librarians, civic organizations and other engaged citizens" by repurposing closed captioning "to enable users to search, quote and borrow U.S. TV news programs." It contains 1,074,000 news programs collected over 4+ years from national U.S. networks and stations in San Francisco and Washington D.C.

    Research Campaign Finance and Government Information

    Federal Election Commission "administers and enforces the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) - the statute that governs the financing of federal elections. The duties of the FEC, which is an independent regulatory agency, are to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to oversee the public funding of Presidential elections." Center for Responsive Politics is "a nonpartisan guide to money's influence on U.S. elections and public policy." is an effort by the state Attorney General’s office to "promote citizens' right to know and to monitor governmental decision-making. It allows you to easily access statewide government information, which until now has been scattered or difficult to retrieve."

    Sunlight Foundation has numerous project websites and apps to help you track influence, discover the inner workings of congress, and track legislation and public policy.

    Follow the Money: The National Institute on Money in State Politics - "nonpartisan, nonprofit organization revealing the influence of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy in all 50 states. Provides a campaign-finance database and issue analyses." Encourages "transparency and promotes independent investigation of state-level campaign contributions by journalists, academic researchers, public-interest groups, government agencies, policymakers, students and the public at large."

    Congressional Universe Database provides comprehensive access to U.S. legislative information from Congressional Information Service, Inc. and is available on-site at the research libraries. Contains Congressional Publications, Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws, Members & Committees, Regulations, and Daily Congressional Record & Rules.

    Find Election Results

    FederalNew York StateNew York City

    White House, North Front. Image ID: g90f098_008f

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    Chelsea Clinton, daughter of newly official Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton, took the stage at the Democratic National Convention last night.

    Her speech was relatively quick, but Clinton managed to mention multiple books and give a shout-out to the local library of her childhood. Here are the books:


    Chugga-Chugga Choo-Chooby Kevin Lewis

    Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
    (NYPL also has this book in Spanish and as sound or video recordings)

    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

    Pride and Prejudice (OK, technically she was referencing the movie, but come on, it’s Jane Austen)


    Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

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    Hannah Lawrence Schieffelin was, in many ways, an exceptional woman. A prodigious poet, she used her talents to provoke the British by depositing, anonymously, her mocking, anti-British poem in front of Trinity Church. At twenty-two, she rebelled on the domestic scale, renouncing her family’s Quaker faith in order to marry Jacob Schieffelin, a young British officer. Less than three months later, the newlyweds left New York for Detroit, beginning what would be a seven-month journey through Canada. Along the way, Schieffelin recorded her observations of the Canadian wilderness, its fledgling cities, and its rough-hewn inhabitants. Her literary talents make the narrative a compelling, rich historical source. The account covers a wide range of topics, from Native American lifestyle, to modes of traversing icy rivers, to etiquette at British garrisons. Notably, the account also describes a number of the women Schieffelin met along the way, including French- and British-Canadian women, women from a variety of tribes living around Quebec and Detroit, and female missionaries. As in every primary source, these accounts are colored by the author’s own perceptions, perceptions which can tell us about both the author and the time period in which she lived. For Hannah Schieffelin, appearance, character, status, and the connection between these three attributes were most important in describing and evaluating the women she encountered.

    Molly Brant 

    Molly Brant (c.1736-1796) is the most recognizable of the women Schieffelin encountered. Coming from a politically powerful, Anglicized Mohawk family, Brant’s position was further elevated by the military status of her brother, Joseph (c.1743-1807), and her long relationship with Sir William Johnson (c.1715-1774), the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs from 1756 to 1774. Johnson and Brant met in the late 1750’s, and began a relationship that would continue until his death in 1774. They lived together during this time, and had a total of nine children.  During the Revolutionary War, Brant exerted her influence to aid the British.

    Description of Molly Brant from Hannah Lawrence Schieffelin's Narrative. Image ID: 5444261

    Hannah Schieffelin met Molly Brant in November 1780. Schieffelin was excited to see Brant, “this female Indian, whose wealth and influence, as well as the decent propreity [sic] of her conduct, procure her a degree of respect nearly equal to that of a legal Relict (widow).” The way in which Schieffelin accounts for Brant’s status is telling. By beginning with Brant’s “wealth and influence,” Schieffelin acknowledges Brant’s connections to the more “masculine” worlds of politics and warfare. However, she quickly moves on to Brant’s manners and conduct, traditionally more “feminine” markers of character. Further, though Schieffelin is technically correct, in that Brant and Johnson never married, Brant was widely accepted as his partner. It is interesting, then, that Schieffelin qualifies the respect Brant received as “nearly equal to a legal Relict,” and indicates the importance to Schieffelin of formal titles and marital status.

    Description of Molly Brant from Hannah Lawrence Schieffelin's Narrative, continued. Image ID: 5444262

    Schieffelin also describes Brant’s appearance and person. Brant “is below the middle size, as the Indian women generally are, her countenance not displeasing, though grave, and her manner sedate, her complection [sic] is fairer than most of her Nation.” Whenever she encounters Native American women, Schieffelin pays particular attention to the shade of their skin color, noting those who are “lighter” or “fairer” due to their mixed parentage. She often described these lighter skinned women as more attractive, and in turn more socially acceptable. Continuing her description of Brant, Schieffelin references the lyrical and gentle sound of Brant’s voice, a characteristic she cites as common amongst Mohawk women, and reflected in their “extremely mild and modest” countenances. However, this ostensible compliment is merely a set-up to contrast the appearance of these women with their alleged “savagery”: “nor could we suppose from appearance, that those gentle pleasing creatures, become the furiest of furies, when the chance of war subjects an ill-fated captive to their mercy.” Though Schieffelin concludes that Brant’s behavior is “conformable to our modes of politeness,” and seems pleased with her overall appearance, her racialized conceptions of beauty and character show her wariness of the woman, and of Native Americans in general.

    The Farmer’s Daughter

    Though briefer than the passage on Brant, Schieffelin’s description of a wealthy farmer’s daughter follows many of the same themes, and is similarly revealing in understanding Schieffelin’s conceptions of womanhood.

    Description of Wealthy Canadian Farmer's Daughter, from Hannah Lawrence Schieffelin's Narrative. Image ID: 5444254

    Early on in their journey, the Schieffelins stayed with a wealthy farming family outside of Quebec City. The farmer and his wife had one daughter who Schieffelin describes in the same backhanded manner she used on the Mohawk women, contrasting appearance with character. The farmer’s daughter “might have been esteemed rather pretty,” Schiefflin says, “if the extreme of vulgarity and indelicacy, had not proved more repulsive, than her person was attractive.” She ties the lost potential of the daughter to the appearance of the family’s home, which “though large and delightfully situated… had a neglected appearance.” She extends this metaphor to Canadians in general, as “the misery observable in their looks, dress and habitations, is the more surprizing [sic] when we reflect that the fertility of the soil is remarkable.”

    Description of Wealthy Canadian Farmer's Daughter, from Hannah Lawrence Schieffelin's Narrative, continued. Image ID: 5444255

    That Schieffelin extends this appearance vs. character standard of judgment to a people as a whole indicates that the standard is not completely gendered.  Nonetheless, though she describes many men in depth, including Joseph Brant and British General Frederick Haldimand, she never directly compares their appearances to their characters. 

    The Northwestern frontiers of the Revolutionary War were rife with marauding armies, bitterly cold weather, and disease. Life there was difficult. As Hannah Schieffelin’s narrative reveals, it was particularly difficult for women. Women were expected, despite the circumstances, to conform to social norms—no easy task, and one that even Hannah Schieffelin herself was not exempt from.  

    About the Early American Manuscripts Project

    With support from the The Polonsky Foundation, The New York Public Library is currently digitizing upwards of 50,000 pages of historic early American manuscript material. The Early American Manuscripts Project will allow students, researchers, and the general public to revisit major political events of the era from new perspectives and to explore currents of everyday social, cultural, and economic life in the colonial, revolutionary, and early national periods. The project will present online for the first time high quality facsimiles of key documents from America’s Founding, including the papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Drawing on the full breadth of the Library’s manuscript collections, it will also make widely available less well-known manuscript sources, including business papers of Atlantic merchants, diaries of people ranging from elite New York women to Christian Indian preachers, and organizational records of voluntary associations and philanthropic organizations. Over the next two years, this trove of manuscript sources, previously available only at the Library, will be made freely available through

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    U.S. Census Bureau - Ongoing Recruitment on Monday August  1, 2016, 8 am - 5 pm for Field Representative (100 P/T Temp openings).  Please contact the Recruitment Department  of the U.S. Census Bureau (212) 584-3495 or E-mail: regarding testing for position.  Location, dates, and times will be given upon applying.

    2016 City of New York Tech Job Fair on Monday, August 1, 2016, 10 am - 6;30 pm, at the Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Sq. South, New York, NY 10010. Admission is free.  MUST bring photo ID for building entry and multiple copies of your resume.

    Adecco Staffing for Cirque du Soleil will present a recruitment on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 10 am - 2 pm, for Janitor (5 Short Term openings),  Runner (5 Short Term openings),  Costume Dresser (5  Short Term openings), Box Office Clerk (5 Short Term openings), Usher (5 Short Term openings), Merchandising Clerk (5 Short Term openings), Food & Beverage Clerk (5 Short Term openings), VIP Host (5 Short Term openings), Receptionist (5 Short Term openings), Production Office Assistant (5 Short Term openings), Kitchen Chef (5 Short Term openings),  Dining Room Attendant (5 Short Term openings), Prep Cook (5 Short Term openings), Dishwasher (5 Short Term openings) at Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 E. Fordham road, Bronx, NY 10458.

    New York & Company will present a recruitment on Thursday, August 4, 2016, 10 am - 3 pm for Sales Associate (15 P/T openings) at NYC Workforce 1 Career Center, 215 West 125th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10027.

    Basic Resume Writing  workshop on Friday, August 5, 2016, 1:30 - 3 pm at Brooklyn Workforce 1 Career Center, 250 Schermerhorn  Street,  Brooklyn, NY 11201.   Participants will learn the purpose of a resume, chronological and combination resumes and select the appropriate type for their specific needs.

    Job Postings at New York City Workforce 1.  Job Search Central

    Apprenticeship Opportunities in New York City.

    Brooklyn Community  Board 14: Available jobs

    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 July 31  become available.

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