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    Maggie Nelson is a writer of poetry and auto-theory, including Bluets, The Art of Crueltyand, most recently, The Argonauts. Recently she joined Wayne Koestenbaum, a prolific writer, visual artist, and musician, at the New York Public Library. The two share a long friendship, dating back to when Koestenbaum was one of Nelson's professors. For this week's episode of the New York Public Library Podcast, we're proud to present Nelson and Koestenbaum discussing clarity, procedures to approach cruelty, and how a book is like a ribbon thrown into the wind.

    Maggie Nelson and Wayne Koestenbaum
    Wayne Koestenbaum and Maggie Nelson

    Elaborating on a sentiment expressed in The Argonauts, Nelson discussed the way that she views herself as a writer. She described herself as invested in the magic of clarification:

    "I don’t feel like a very creative person; I feel like a clarifier, and I think via the act of clarifying the magic is that you may end up making something... [T]his kind of idea of writing or via clarity you could show yourself you know, offer the thread that leads back out of the labyrinth so that you got back to someplace before you became trapped seems to me the whole game, you know, and I think what’s amazing about it, and this is the amazing thing about words is that well, I always think about this Robert Creeley quote where he said, 'in poetry I’m trying to express something very, very specific, it’s just not the same as saying, I’ll be back in five minutes or I have to go to the bathroom, but it’s still something specific that you’re trying to say.'"

    Responding to the notion that perhaps a person has only one memoir "in" her, Nelson described a book as like a ribbon thrown into the wind:

    "A whole book to me seems like a ribbon thrown into the wind, and it does what it does and then it falls and I think there’s something really living, and I guess all of which is to say yes of course people in my family or anywhere are going to appear differently because it’s just brutal and deadening and horrible to have life offer you one narrative and one thing and one focus."

    While Nelson and Koestenabaum's work do find commonalities, Koestenbaum noted a procedural difference between the two writers:

    "I feel like that there’s a difference in our temperament and it has to do with maybe the difference between the procedure in The Art of Cruelty and my procedure in Harpo. It’s like I set up a kind of conceptual endurance test, that I have a curiosity of some kind and I’m going to make myself the experimental subject and I’m going to make myself annotate everything Harpo did, even though I know it courts inanity, idiocy, it’s not the proper way to think. But it’s taking for granted that I want a certain amount of claustrophobia mentally and that I’m going to either aestheticize that or re-mine it as an aesthetic principle to keep me going. And you put yourself also in claustrophobic spaces but it’s with the intent, it’s sort of like Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty, it’s not to step back into the feedback loop of the Theatre of Cruelty, it’s to step outside it and figure out why would people including yourself want to even be at that carnival. And that seems like whether it’s that I’m more of a masochist, I’m less lucid, I’m more compulsive. It’s just it’s a different way of looking at the rigor and confinement that is consistent thinking and writing... [W]e hold between us as the third thing a sense of procedural rigor and a certain like hungry logorrheic patience, but just we’re going to do it, but your aim and I think it has to do with something Buddhist, something Eve Sedgwick–like—and gratitude, that you’re interested in expressing gratefulness to others, and I’m not so sure I am. I think it’s a different mission."

    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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    Woman in a Hat
    Woman in Hat and Shawl in Times Square Station. Image ID: 5038704

    I decided to write a companion post on the MTA Conductor exam because I have received so many questions from readers in my other post on studying for the test (which can be found here). This is an effort to help people figure out what comes next.

    So, first things first: Relax!  You've studied and taken the exam so the hardest part is over. Now starts the second hardest part, waiting for results. Below are some of the questions posed by readers of my post in regards to what happens after the test and my answers (most of which are courtesy of the testing institution, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority).

    I bought a copy of the study guide and no longer need it, what do I do with it?

    If you just want to donate it, then the library can always use more copies. You can donate to any location. If you want to get money back, you may want to put it for sale on Amazon or Ebay. Just remember, the book is only in demand when an exam comes out so now that it has finished I doubt there will be much interest. You may want to hold onto it until the next one comes out and people really need it.

    How do I find the answer key for the test I took? What is my score?

    Visit the answer key page.

    There you will find the answers for various MTA exams. Please look for Conductor, Exam No. 6601, then look for the date you took the test. You will see exact dates, as well as whether it was AM or PM for that day.

    As for figuring out your score, you can try a simple math formula. To calculate a test score, you divide 100 by the amount of test questions there are. Once you do that, you get what each question is worth. Take the number of questions that are wrong and multiply it by the worth of each question. Subtract that figure from 100 and you will know your score.

    I checked my answers and it looks like I scored pretty well on the test. When can I expect to hear from the MTA?

    Remember thousands of people have taken the exam, so there is no way to tell offhand what your position will be on the list. You can assume that the less you got wrong the better off you are but you will have to wait until you receive your actual number to know for sure. As for finding out your place on the eligibility list,that information is not yet available. According to the MTA:

    At this time, we do not have an expected month in which this list will be made public or established. Once the list is established, you will receive your official Notice of Results in the mail. " 

    Please check their information page for any updates!

    You will receive the results in the mail so make sure your contact information is accurate. To update your address, you may do one of the following:

    • Visit the MTA Exam Information Center located in the lobby of 180 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Mondays through Fridays, between 9 AM – 3 PM
    • Email them at
    • Fax them at (347) 643-8110

    I didn't score so great on the test, will I get called?

    In order to pass the exam you had to get a score of at least 70, but be mindful as I mentioned above that thousands of people have taken the exam. Therefore those who scored highest are most likely to get called. Wait for the results and see your place on the eligibility list before writing it off.

    Is there such a position as an assistant conductor, and if so how would I apply for that position?

    I can find no evidence that the MTA uses assistant conductors in New York City. I did come across mention of this position for both the Metro North Rail Road and Long Island Rail Road. If you are interested in seeing if and when this position opens up, please visit the MTA employment page. There you can click on the specific branches of the MTA and see what jobs are available.

    I missed the test, how long do I have to wait before it is given again?

    Usually these exams are given every four years, but as with many city agencies much depends on funding as well as whether positions open up (i.e., employees retiring or moving on to other positions). So there is no concrete answer for when it will happen again, but at the most it would be four years.

    I'm interested in taking exams for other MTA positions, how do I go about that?

    The MTA usually has a full list of upcoming exams for the year posted on their website with the dates of when they will be. When registration opens you will see a button that says Apply Now. Visit the MTA page for the list.

    Disclaimer: I do not work for the MTA and have answered these questions to the best of my ability with the information provided from the MTA. If you have more question in regards to the exam I suggest contacting them directly via email,, or their Information Center in Brooklyn. 

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    Mentors can assist you with charting your career path, but you must remain at the helm of your life and career. After all, you know yourself better than anyone you meet during the course of your work. It is your responsibility to make goals for yourself and take steps to achieve them.

    Some surprising conclusions about the workplace include:

    • Mentors, with their own motives, can disrupt and even harm your career. 
    • Bad body odor or bad breath will interfere with your career success.
    • Rather than indiscriminately network on social media outlets such as LinkedIn, selectively respond to a few contacts who can help you in particular. Then, build and maintain relationships with the interested parties.
    • Sponsors are as important as mentors to your career development; they champion your cause and talk about how great you are because you have been helpful to them with no agenda of your own. Sponsors can help you get promoted.
    • Everyone has the same amount of time; use it wisely to optimize your life. 
    • If you are getting mediocre performance reviews, it may be time to start looking for another job. One common mistake is that people remain at a job for too long. 
    • When obtaining an education, consider the career prospects for any degree that you might earn.
    • Hard work alone will not necessarily get anyone's attention; you need to advocate for yourself and ask for what you want and need. 
    • Being physically fit makes you more healthy and energetic in the workplace (also, lower healthcare costs).
    • Failure is necessary in order to achieve success. It is painful, but it allows for personal growth. Like your work more than you hate failure. 

    "Remember: it's boring to be average, so go ahead and light the world on fire." —Debby Carreau

    The Mentor Myth: How to Take Control of Your Own Success by Debby Carreau, 2016

    This is awesome book. Although I was initially skeptical, I managed to look beyond the title and give this book a try. I love my mentor, and I enjoy mentoring others.

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    Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified as law. It was not an easy fight. Female activists were force-fed in prison. Many were arrested for nonviolent picketing outside the White House. And at times, women's suffrage was plagued by partisanship. Yet the work of these bold activists has made it possible for women to participate in the American political process. In celebration of equal voting rights, show off how well you know your history of suffrage.

    suffrage quiz large

    To take the quiz, simply click "start" below.

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    The Department of Education (ED) offers internships for students interested in seeking valuable work experience in government and federal education policy and administration.  Volunteers have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the Department's mission to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.  

    Types of Internships 

    The Department works to tailor each intern's experience to the interests, and skills of the interns against the needs of Department Offices.  In the past, students have completed projects focusing on:

    • EDPolicy analysis and evaluation
    • Research
    • Finance 
    • Public affairs and communications
    • Community outreach
    • Intergovernmental relations
    • Legislative affairs
    • News media
    • Legal work
    • And  other projects

    While ED cannot provide compensation or housing for the internship program, all interns are eligible for Metro Transit benefits to  cover transportation to and from work.  Students receiving outside funding (such as a grant) or school credit for the internship are encouraged to apply.


    • Be at least 16 years of age.
    • Attend an accredited educational institution, including but not limited to; high school, trade school, technical or vocational institute, junior college, college, university, or graduate school.  A recent graduate is ineligible to apply unless he/she is currently enrolled to participate in internship program
    • Be enrolled not less than half time in a course of study related to the work to be performed.

    ED is accepting applications for Winter/Spring 2016 internships through October 1, 2016 (11:59 pm EST)

    Apply here.

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    The First Business Financing Fair took place at SIBL on August 17, 2016. Representatives from both traditional (bank, federal credit union) and alternative (not-for-profit, crowd funding/lending) sources of funding were present to answer questions from start-ups and established businesses.

    The idea was to provide information about the process, timeline and requirements of each organization, so that business owners could make an informed decision as to what source of funding is best for their business. Each lender briefly presented their organization to all participants and after these presentations lots of networking occurred at the exhibitors' tables. 

    The fair was open to startups, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and those interested in learning the various options to finance a startup or small business—and it  was free of charge (no cost to exhibitors or attendees). A number of business owners thanked our staff both during and after the Financing Fair, with comments such as "bringing in so many lenders and financing programs together in one space was a fabulous idea." Many asked when the program would be repeated.   

    Exhibitors included:

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    More than half a century ago, Jorge Luis Borges created mazes both real and imagined in Labyrinths: Selected Stories, his classic book of metaphysical, mind-bending fiction.

    In honor of Borges’ spirit of ingenuity (and his August birthday), we created a labyrinth of our own: a flowchart of books about winding paths, fantastical mazes, and twisty corridors of the mind.

    Clicking the image below will open the full labyrinth in a new tab. Trace your route and click on the title you end on to open a link in the catalog. Wander at your own risk!

    An illustrated labyrinth that leads you to various book titles used on your decisions. All books are listed below.

    Labyrinth Books for Kids

    Elementary school:
    Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio or Mazes Around the World by Mary D. Lankford

    Middle school:
    Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman or Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

    High school:
    The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. LeGuin orThe Maze Runner by James Dashner

    Labyrinth Books for Adults

    The Vorrh by Brian Catling

    Hopscotchby Julio Cortázar

    The Magus by John Fowles

    Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune by Mary Jo Ignoffo

    The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

    The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein

    The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

    Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

    (Thanks to Richert Schnorr for the amazing graphic design and Meredith Mann for help with the book recommendations!)


    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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    Max Hubacher (1900-1989) took a more or less straightforward, no-frills approach to photographing his surroundings. A prolific amateur photographer and local historian, Hubacher documented New York City and its environs with a seemingly objective eye, the typed or handwritten captions on the verso of each photograph often markedly specific in terms of date and location. (Thursday, April 3, 1952, noon. View from a dirt hill at foot of Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y., reads the back of one image.)

    View from the roof of Ex-Lax Inc.
    View from the roof of Ex-Lax Inc., 1945

    The result is a strikingly candid record of the city during the 1940s–1960s, particularly Hubacher’s photographs of and around the neighborhoods of Downtown and South Brooklyn. His photos of the Brooklyn skyline and Williamsburgh Bank Building—taken from the roof of the Ex-Lax factory in Boerum Hill where he worked as a research chemist—are notable standouts, visual time capsules of an area that has undergone considerable development and transformation in recent years.

    Hubacher captured the borough’s ever-changing nature on camera, photographing the demolition of houses near Borough Hall, new construction on Atlantic Avenue, the expansion of Abraham & Straus on Livingston Street, and conversely, nearby Loeser's "Going out of Business" sale. He also photographed the old LIRR terminal on Flatbush Avenue as well as the city’s elevated subway trains and now defunct streetcars, often taking pictures of the same lines and routes over and over again. (As even a cursory glance at Hubacher’s work makes clear, the man really dug trolleys.)

    While occasionally Hubacher could be rather playful—his compositions at times idiosyncratic (spectators in Long Island seen from beneath the bleachers), his titles uncharacteristically whimsical (Nostrand Avenue streetcar on the last day of its life)—for the most part he photographed the city as he found it, letting his subject matter speak for itself.

    View from the roof of the Ex-Lax factory after sundown
    View from the roof of the Ex-Lax factory after sundown, 1945. Image ID: 5817662

    Hundreds of Hubacher's New York images—just a fraction of the thousands of photographs belonging to the Milstein Division’s Max Hubacher photographic archive—have recently been digitized and are now available online at NYPL’s Digital Collections site. Below are some highlights:

    Brooklyn Bridge on a cold, dreary winter day, 1955
    Brooklyn Bridge on a cold, dreary winter day, 1955. Image ID: 5667226
    Streetcar on DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn, N.Y., 1947
    Streetcar on DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn, N.Y., 1947. Image ID: 5817702
    Grass fire at Gilgo Beach, Long Island, 1952
    Grass fire at Gilgo Beach, Long Island, 1952. Image ID: 5652694
    Borough Hall of Brooklyn, 1943
    Borough Hall of Brooklyn, 1943. Image ID: 5652650
    Old red brick house in downtown Brooklyn, 1952
    Old red brick house in downtown Brooklyn, 1952. Image ID: 5667066
    Myrtle Ave. Elevated in Brooklyn, NY, 1960
    Myrtle Ave. Elevated in Brooklyn, NY, 1960. Image ID: 5667156
    Unknown family watching the Firemen's competition at Hewlett, L.I., 1950
    Unknown family watching the Firemen's competition at Hewlett, L.I., 1950. Image ID: 5667402
    Under the West End subway line, 1954
    Under the West End subway line, 1954. Image ID: 5817474
    View from the Smith Street subway station, 1952
    View from the Smith Street subway station, 1952. Image ID: 5652588

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    The National Park Service turns 100 this year! Find Your Park: learn about centennial events near you, share your stories, and find your next park destination.

    The library is full of resources for you to plan your visit to or learn about the history of the National Parks. Below find an alphabetical listing of all 59 national parks along with related catalog items and digitized images. Further below are multimedia offerings, fiction and nonfiction related to the parks, and maps from the Map Division. Search the catalog and visit or Wikipedia for more information on all 413 units of the National Park Service.

    What is your favorite National Park or monument? Share your stories in the comments.


    Hiking Acadia National Park

    "Covering most of Mount Desert Island and other coastal islands, Acadia features the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast of the United States, granite peaks, ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes. There are freshwater, estuary, forest, and intertidal habitats." —Wikipedia
    Classic Catalog | Encore



    American Samoa

    National Geographic guide to national parks of the United States.

    "The southernmost national park is on three Samoan islands and protects coral reefs, rainforests, volcanic mountains, and white beaches. The area is also home to flying foxes, brown boobies, sea turtles, and 900 species of fish." —Wikipedia
    Classic Catalog | Encore




    Fodor's the Complete Guide to the National Parks of the West

    "This site features more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the famous Delicate Arch. In a desert climate, millions of years of erosion have led to these structures, and the arid ground has life-sustaining soil crust and potholes, which serve as natural water-collecting basins. Other geologic formations are stone columns, spires, fins, and towers." —Wikipedia
    Classic Catalog | Encore



    Insiders' guide to South Dakota's Black Hills & Badlands

    "The Badlands are a collection of buttes, pinnacles, spires, and grass prairies. It has the world's richest fossil beds from the Oligocene epoch, and the wildlife includes bison, bighorn sheep, black-footed ferrets, and swift foxes." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Big Bend

    "Big BendNamed for the prominent bend in the Rio Grande along the US–Mexico border, this park encompasses a large and remote part of the Chihuahuan Desert. Its main attraction is backcountry recreation in the arid Chisos Mountains and in canyons along the river. A wide variety of Cretaceous and Tertiary fossils as well as cultural artifacts of Native Americans also exist within its borders." —Wikipedia
    Classic Catalog | Encore


    Frommer's Florida

    "Located in Biscayne Bay, this park at the north end of the Florida Keys has four interrelated marine ecosystems: mangrove forest, the Bay, the Keys, and coral reefs. Threatened animals include the West Indian manatee, American crocodile, various sea turtles, and peregrine falcon." —Wikipedia
    Classic Catalog | Encore



    Black Canyon of the Gunnison

    "The park protects a quarter of the Gunnison River, which slices sheer canyon walls from dark Precambrian-era rock. The canyon features incredibly steep descents, and is a popular site for river rafting and rock climbing. The deep, narrow canyon, made of gneiss and schist, is often in shadow and therefore appears black." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Bryce Canyon

    Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks

    "Bryce Canyon is a giant geological amphitheater on the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The unique area has hundreds of tall sandstone hoodoos formed by erosion. The region was originally settled by Native Americans and later by Mormon pioneers." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore




    Hiking Canyonlands and Arches National Parks

    "This landscape was eroded into a maze of canyons, buttes, and mesas by the combined efforts of the Colorado River, Green River, and their tributaries, which divide the park into three districts. There are rock pinnacles and other naturally sculpted rock formations, as well as artifacts from Ancient Pueblo peoples." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Capitol Reef

    Capitol Reef National Park

    "The park's Waterpocket Fold is a 100-mile monocline that exhibits the earth's diverse geologic layers. Other natural features are monoliths, sandstone domes, and cliffs shaped like the United States Capitol." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Carlsbad Caverns

    "Carlsbad Caverns has 117 caves, the longest of which is over 120 miles long. The Big Room is almost 4,000 feet long, and the caves are home to over 400,000 Mexican free-tailed bats and sixteen other species. Above ground are the Chihuahuan Desert and Rattlesnake Springs." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Channel Islands

    "Five of the eight Channel Islands are protected, and half of the park's area is underwater. The islands have a unique Mediterranean ecosystem originally settled by the Chumash people. They are home to over 2,000 species of land plants and animals, and 145 are unique to them, including the island fox. Professional ferry services offer transportation to the islands from the mainland." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    "America's natural places. South and SoutheastOn the Congaree River, this park is the largest portion of old-growth floodplain forest left in North America. Some of the trees are the tallest in the Eastern US. An elevated walkway called the Boardwalk Loop guides visitors through the swamp." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Crater Lake

    "Crater Lake lies in the caldera of an ancient volcano called Mount Mazama that collapsed 7,700 years ago. It is the deepest lake in the United States and is famous for its vivid blue color and water clarity. There are two more recent volcanic islands in the lake, and, with no inlets or outlets, all water comes through precipitation." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Cuyahoga Valley

     	Cuyahoga Valley National Park handbook

    "This park along the Cuyahoga River has waterfalls, hills, trails, and exhibits on early rural living. The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail follows the Ohio and Erie Canal, where mules towed canal boats. The park has numerous historic homes, bridges, and structures,[21] and also offers a scenic train ride." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore

    Death Valley

    "Death Valley is the hottest, lowest, and driest place in the United States. Daytime temperatures have topped 130 °F and it is home to Badwater Basin, the lowest elevation in North America. A diversity of colorful canyons, desolate badlands, shifting sand dunes, sprawling mountains, and over 1000 species of plants populate this geologic graben. Additional points of interest include salt flats, historic mines, and springs." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Fodor's Alaska

    "Centered on Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, Denali is serviced by a single road leading to Wonder Lake. Denali and other peaks of the Alaska Range are covered with long glaciers and boreal forest. Wildlife includes grizzly bears, Dall sheep, caribou, and gray wolves." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Dry Tortugas

     	Snorkeling the Florida Keys

    "The islands of the Dry Tortugas, at the westernmost end of the Florida Keys, are the site of Fort Jefferson, a Civil War-era fort that is the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere. With most of the park being remote ocean, it is home to undisturbed coral reefs and shipwrecks and is only accessible by plane or boat." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Everglades National Park

    "The Everglades are the largest tropical wilderness in the United States. This mangrove and tropical rainforest ecosystem and marine estuary is home to 36 protected species, including the Florida panther, American crocodile, and West Indian manatee. Some areas have been drained and developed; restoration projects aim to restore the ecology." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore

    Gates of the Arctic

    "The country's northernmost park protects an expanse of pure wilderness in Alaska's Brooks Range and has no park facilities. The land is home to Alaska natives, who have relied on the land and caribou for 11,000 years." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Glacier National Park

    "The U.S. half of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, this park hosts 26 glaciers and 130 named lakes beneath a stunning canopy of Rocky Mountain peaks. There are historic hotels and a landmark road in this region of rapidly receding glaciers. The local mountains, formed by an overthrust, expose the world's best-preserved sedimentary fossils from the Proterozoic era." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore

    Glacier Bay

    Glacier Bay

    "Glacier Bay has numerous tidewater glaciers, mountains, fjords, and a temperate rainforest, and is home to large populations of grizzly bears, mountain goats, whales, seals, and eagles. When discovered in 1794 by George Vancouver, the entire bay was covered in ice, but the glaciers have since receded more than 65 miles." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Grand Canyon

    "The Grand Canyon, carved by the mighty Colorado River, is 277 miles long, up to 1 mile deep, and up to 15 miles wide. Millions of years of erosion have exposed the colorful layers of the Colorado Plateau in countless mesas and canyon walls, visible from both the north and south rims, or from a number of trails that descend into the canyon itself." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Grand Teton

    Grand Teton

    "Grand Teton is the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. The park's historic Jackson Hole and reflective piedmont lakes teem with unique wildlife and contrast with the dramatic mountains, which rise abruptly from the sage-covered valley below." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Great Basin

    Great Basin

    "Based around Nevada's second tallest mountain, Wheeler Peak, Great Basin National Park contains 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines, a rock glacier, and the limestone Lehman Caves. It also enjoys some of the country's darkest night skies. Animals which call the park home include Townsend's big-eared bat, pronghorn, and Bonneville cutthroat trout." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Great Sand Dunes

    Great Sand Dunes

    "The tallest sand dunes in North America, up to 750 feet tall, were formed by deposits of the ancient Rio Grande in the San Luis Valley. Abutting a variety of grasslands, shrublands, and wetlands, the park also has alpine lakes, six 13,000-foot mountains, and old-growth forests." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Great Smoky Mountains

    "The Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains, span a wide range of elevations, making them home to over 400 vertebrate species, 100 tree species, and 5000 plant species. Hiking is the park's main attraction, with over 800 miles of trails, including 70 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Other activities include fishing, horseback riding, and touring nearly 80 historic structures." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Guadalupe Mountains

    Hiking Texas

    "This park boasts Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas; the scenic McKittrick Canyon filled with bigtooth maples; a corner of the arid Chihuahuan Desert; and a fossilized coral reef from the Permian era." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore





    "The Haleakalā volcano on Maui features a very large crater with numerous cinder cones, Hosmer's Grove of alien trees, the Kipahulu section's scenic pools of freshwater fish, and the native Hawaiian goose. It is home to the greatest number of endangered species within a U.S. National Park." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Hawaii Volcanoes

    "This park on the Big Island protects the famous Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, two of the world's most active geological features. Diverse ecosystems range from tropical forests at sea level to barren lava beds at more than 13,000 feet." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Hot Springs

    Hot Springs

    "Hot Springs was established by act of Congress as a federal reserve on April 20, 1832, as such it is the oldest park managed by the National Park Service. Congress changed the reserve's designation to National Park on March 4, 1921 after the National Park Service was established in 1916. Hot Springs is the smallest and only National Park in an urban area and is based around natural hot springs that flow out of the low lying Ouachita Mountains. The springs provide opportunities for relaxation in an historic setting; Bathhouse Row preserves numerous examples of 19th-century architecture." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore

    Isle Royale

    "The largest island in Lake Superior is a place of isolation and wilderness. Along with its many shipwrecks, waterways, and hiking trails, the park also includes over 400 smaller islands within 4.5 miles of its shores. There are only 20 mammal species on the entire island, though the relationship between its wolf and moose populations is especially unique." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Joshua Tree

    Joshua Tree

    "Covering large areas of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts and the Little San Bernardino Mountains, this exotic desert landscape is populated by vast stands of the famous Joshua tree. Great changes in elevation reveal starkly contrasting environments including bleached sand dunes, dry lakes, rugged mountains, and maze-like clusters of monzogranite monoliths." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore




    America's 58 national parks

    "This park on the Alaska Peninsula protects the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, an ash flow formed by the 1912 eruption of Novarupta, as well as Mount Katmai. Over 2,000 grizzly bears come here each year to catch spawning salmon. Other wildlife includes caribou, wolves, moose, and wolverines." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Kenai Fjords

    "Near Seward on the Kenai Peninsula, this park protects the Harding Icefield and at least 38 glaciers and fjords stemming from it. The only area accessible to the public by road is Exit Glacier; the rest must be viewed from boat tours." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Kings Canyon

    King's Canyon

    "Home to several giant sequoia groves and the General Grant Tree, the world's second largest, this park also features part of the Kings River, sculptor of the dramatic granite canyon that is its namesake, and the San Joaquin River, as well as Boyden Cave." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Kobuk Valley

    Alaskan Camping

    "Kobuk Valley protects 61 miles of the Kobuk River and three regions of sand dunes. Created by glaciers, the Great Kobuk, Little Kobuk, and Hunt River Sand Dunes can reach 100 feet (30 m) high and 100 °F (38 °C), and they are the largest dunes in the Arctic. Twice a year, half a million caribou migrate through the dunes and across river bluffs that expose well-preserved ice age fossils." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Lake Clark

    Alaska Cruises

    "The region around Lake Clark features four active volcanoes, including Mount Redoubt, as well as an abundance of rivers, glaciers, and waterfalls. Temperate rainforests, a tundra plateau, and three mountain ranges fill in the remaining landscape." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Lassen Volcanic

    "Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world, is joined by all three other types of volcanoes in this park: shield, cinder dome, and composite. Though Lassen itself last erupted in 1915, most of the rest of the park is continuously active: numerous hydrothermal features, including fumaroles, boiling pools, and bubbling mud pots, are heated by molten rock from beneath the peak." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Mammoth Cave

    "With more than 400 miles of passageways explored, Mammoth Cave is by far the world's longest cave system. Subterranean wildlife includes eight bat species, Kentucky cave shrimp, Northern cavefish, and cave salamanders. Above ground, the park provides recreation on the Green River, 70 miles of hiking trails, and plenty of sinkholes and springs." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Mesa Verde

    "This area constitutes over 4,000 archaeological sites of the Ancestral Puebloan people, who lived here and elsewhere in the Four Corners region for at least 700 years. Cliff dwellings built in the 12th and 13th centuries include the famous Cliff Palace, which has 150 rooms and 23 kivas, and the Balcony House, with its many passages and tunnels." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Mount Rainier


    "Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano, is the most prominent peak in the Cascades, and is covered by 26 named glaciers including Carbon Glacier and Emmons Glacier, the largest in the continental United States. The mountain is popular for climbing, and more than half of the park is covered by subalpine and alpine forests. Paradise on the south slope is one of the snowiest places in the world, and the Longmire visitor center is the start of the Wonderland Trail, which encircles the mountain." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore

    North Cascades

    North Cascades

    "This complex encompasses two units of the national park itself as well as the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas. The highly glaciated mountains are spectacular examples of Cascade geology; popular hiking and climbing areas include Cascade Pass, Mount Shuksan, Mount Triumph, and Eldorado Peak." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore




    Olympic National Park

    "Situated on the Olympic Peninsula, this park straddles a diversity of ecosystems from Pacific shoreline to temperate rainforests to the alpine slopes of Mount Olympus. The scenic Olympic Mountains overlook the Hoh Rain Forest and Quinault Rain Forest, the wettest area in the continental United States." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Petrified Forest

    "This portion of the Chinle Formation has a great concentration of 225-million-year-old petrified wood. The surrounding Painted Desert features eroded cliffs of wonderfully red-hued volcanic rock called bentonite. There are also dinosaur fossils and over 350 Native American sites." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore




    "Named for the eroded leftovers of a portion of an extinct volcano, the park is famous for its massive black and gold monoliths of andesite and rhyolite, which are popular with rock climbers, and a hiker's paradise of quiet trails crossing scenic Coast Range wilderness. The park is home to the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) and one of the few locations in the world where these extremely rare birds can be seen in the wild. Pinnacles also supports a dense population of prairie falcons, and more than 13 species of bat which populate its talus caves." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    "This park and the co-managed state parks protect almost half of all remaining coastal redwoods, the tallest trees on earth. There are three large river systems in this very seismically active area, and 37 miles of protected coastline reveal tide pools and seastacks. The prairie, estuary, coast, river, and forest ecosystems contain a huge variety of animal and plant species." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Rocky Mountain

    Rocky Mountain

    "Bisected north to south by the Continental Divide, this portion of the Rockies has ecosystems varying from over 150 riparian lakes to montane and subalpine forests to treeless alpine tundra. Wildlife including mule deer, bighorn sheep, black bears, and cougars inhabit its igneous mountains and glacier valleys. Longs Peak, a classic Colorado fourteener, and the scenic Bear Lake are popular destinations, as well as the famous Trail Ridge Road, which reaches an elevation of more than 12,000 feet (3,700 m)." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    "Split into the separate Rincon Mountain and Tucson Mountain districts, this park is evidence that the dry Sonoran Desert is still home to a great variety of life spanning six biotic communities. Beyond the namesake giant saguaro cacti, there are barrel cacti, chollas, and prickly pears, as well as lesser long-nosed bats, spotted owls, and javelinas." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    "This park protects the Giant Forest, which boasts some of the world's largest trees, the General Sherman being the largest in the park. It also has over 240 caves, a scenic segment of the Sierra Nevada including the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, and Moro Rock, a photogenic granite dome." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore




    "Shenandoah's Blue Ridge Mountains are covered by sprawling hardwood forests that teem with tens of thousands of animals. The Skyline Drive and Appalachian Trail run the entire length of this narrow park, along with more than 500 miles of hiking trails passing scenic overlooks and cataracts of the Shenandoah River." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore



    Theodore Roosevelt

    "This region that enticed and influenced President Theodore Roosevelt consists of a park of three units in the northern badlands. Besides Roosevelt's historic cabin, there are numerous scenic drives and backcountry hiking opportunities. Wildlife includes American bison, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and wild horses." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Virgin Islands

    Virgin Islands

    "The island of Saint John has rich human and natural histories. Taíno archaeological sites and ruins of sugar plantations from Columbus' time litter the coast. Past the pristine beaches are mangrove forests, seagrass beds, coral reefs, and vast algal plains." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore





    "This park protecting four lakes near the Canadian border is a site for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing, and preserves a history populated by Ojibwe Native Americans, French fur traders called voyageurs, and ambitious gold-miners. Formed by glaciers, the region features tall bluffs, rock gardens, scenic islands and bays, and several historic buildings." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Wind Cave

    Wind Cave

    "Wind Cave is distinctive for its calcite fin formations called boxwork and needle-like growths called frostwork. Additionally, it is the world's densest and most complex cave system. Above ground is a mixed-grass prairie with animals such as bison, black-footed ferrets, and prairie dogs.[62] and ponderosa pine forests home to cougars and elk. It is culturally significant to the Lakota people as the site in which their emergence story takes place." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Wrangell–​St. Elias


    "An immense plot of mountainous country protects the convergence of the Alaska, Chugach, and Wrangell-Saint Elias Ranges, which include many of the continent's tallest mountains and volcanoes, including the 18,008-foot Mount Saint Elias. More than a quarter of the park is covered with glaciers, including the tidewater Hubbard Glacier, piedmont Malaspina Glacier, and valley Nabesna Glacier." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    "Situated on the Yellowstone Caldera, the park has an expansive network of geothermal areas including vividly colored hot springs, boiling mud pots, and regularly erupting geysers, the best-known being Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring. The yellow-hued Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River has a number of scenic waterfalls, and four mountain ranges run through the park. More than 60 mammal species including gray wolves, grizzly bears, lynxes, bison, and elk, make this park one of the best wildlife viewing spots in the country." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore




    "Among the earliest candidates for National Park status, Yosemite features towering granite cliffs, dramatic waterfalls, and old-growth forests at a unique intersection of geology and hydrology. Half Dome and El Capitan rise from the park's centerpiece, the glacier-carved Yosemite Valley, and from its vertical walls drop Yosemite Falls, North America's tallest waterfall. Three giant sequoia groves, along with a pristine wilderness in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, are home to an abundance of rare plant and animal species." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    "Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert, this geological wonder has colorful sandstone canyons, mountainous mesas, and countless rock towers. Natural arches and exposed plateau formations compose a large wilderness roughly divided into four ecosystems: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest." —Wikipedia
    Digital Collections | Classic Catalog | Encore


    Multimedia about National Parks

    National Parks on DVD
    Take a Hike with Street View Through U.S. National Parks - Google Maps Blog
    National Park Service Apps in the Federal Government Mobile Apps Directory - Click on "View all Apps by Topic" and then the letter "N"

    Biography and Memoir involving National Parks

    Altitude Adjustment: A Quest for Love, Home, and Meaning In the Tetons by Mary Beth Baptiste
    The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt And The Fire That Saved America by Timothy Egan
    Dirt Work: An Education In the Woods by Christine Byl
    Five Old Men of Yellowstone: The Rise of Interpretation In the First National Park by Stephen G. Biddulph
    The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams
    The Melting World: A Journey Across America's Vanishing Glaciers by Christopher White
    Mountain Time: A Yellowstone Memoir by Paul Schullery
    Mountains of Light: Seasons of Reflection In Yosemite by R. Mark Liebenow
    On Politics and Parks by George Lambert Bristol; foreword by Andrew Sansom
    A Passion for the Land: John F. Seiberling and the Environmental Movement by Daniel Nelson
    Tahoe Beneath the Surface: The Hidden Stories of America's Largest Mountain Lake by Scott Lankford
    Yellowstone Autumn: A Season of Discovery In a Wondrous Land by W.D. Wetherell

    Mystery and Suspense Fiction Set in National Parks

    Anna Pigeon series by Nevada Barr
    The Butterflies of Grand Canyon by Margaret Erhart
    In Velvet by Burt Weissbourd
    Dark Road, Dead End by Philip Cioffari
    Death Canyon: A Jake Trent Novel by David Riley Bertsch
    Mortal Fall: A Novel Of Suspense by Christine Carbo
    Mountain Rampage: A National Park Mystery by Scott Graham
    Temple Grove by Scott Elliott
    The Wild Inside by Christine Carbo
    Yellowstone Standoff: A National Park Mystery by Scott Graham

    Other Fiction Set in National Parks

    The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber (Historical fiction)
    Serena by Ron Rash (Historical fiction)
    The Storms of Denali by Nicholas O'Connell
    Supervolcano: Things Fall Apart by Harry Turtledove (Sci-Fi)
    Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

    National Park Service Maps in the Map Division

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    The Get Down
    "The Get Down," via Netflix.


    Are you into hip-hop origin stories? Do you dig New York City histories? Can’t get enough of the 1970’s? Then if you haven’t yet seen Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down on Netflix, you’re missing out – it’s all that and more, a compulsively watchable musical drama that’s fast-paced, stunning and brilliantly acted. Only problem? There’s only 6 episodes on Netflix – and the rest won’t be released until next year. If you need more stories like young poet and Bronx orphan Zeke trying to make a name for himself as a rapper, or Puma-sporting drug hustler Shaolin Fantastic struggling to make ends meet while he strives to master the turntables, or Mylene Cruz’ fraught path to celebrity as a disco singer, these awesome non-fiction reads will tide you over until the next drop.


    Can't Stop Won't Stop

    Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, by Jeff Chang

    This one was a no-brainer: widely considered the definitive history of hip-hop, Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop Won’t Stop dives deep into rap’s inception and subsequent spread across the United States and the world. It doesn’t have the incredible set pieces or theatrical direction of Luhrmann’s story, but as far as historical accuracy is concerned, Chang’s book can’t be beat.




     The Secret History of Disco

    Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco by Peter Shapiro

    The Get Down isn’t just about the rise of rap – it’s also about 1970s disco, which serves as the spark for some of the show’s most exciting dance sequences. These often feature Mylene Cruz, an aspiring disco star with a hell of a voice and killer moves who is forbidden from pursuing music by her strict religious father. That doesn’t stop her from wanting to be the next Donna Summer. If you get as much a kick out of disco as Mylene, pick up a copy of Turn the Beat Around, one of the most thorough histories of this cultural movement from its birth in black and gay cultural circles to is demise with the “Disco Sucks” campaign of the late '70s.






    The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash

    The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats by Grandmaster Flash with David Ritz

    In one of the most exciting scenes of The Get Down’s opulent thriller of a pilot, Zeke, Shao, and the rest of the gang duck into an underground Bronx party where they witness a watershed moment in rap history. On the turntables: DJ Grandmaster Flash (Mamadou Athie) performing his “quick-mix theory” – the technique of repeating the drum break in a single track using duplicate records, which came to be known as his innovation. It’s unlikely that Zeke’s house-bringing-down freestyle over Flash’s beat made it into The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats, but you can read about the development of Flash’s pioneering DJ techniques and more in this illuminating rap history.


    The Wu Tang Manual

    The Wu Tang Manual, by The RZA with Chris Norris

    Sure, the Wu-Tang Clan wasn’t formed until the 90’s, but their ethos best reflects the enormous influence of Asian culture on hip-hop music, especially kung fu movies and Eastern mythology. If you dig Shaolin Fantastic (Shameik Moore) the mysterious, subway-tagging, parkour-doing hustler and disciple of Grandmaster Flash, you’ll find this key to unlocking the intricacies of the Wu-Tang Clan a total page-turner.




    Don 1, The King From QueensDon 1, The King From Queens, by Louis “K.R. ONE” Gasparro
    Speaking of Shaolin Fantastic, one of Shao’s most ardent fans is Dizzee Kipling (Jaden Smith), an aspiring graffiti artist awestruck by Shao’s mystique. Dizzee would’ve also been a fan of the enigmatic Don1, a real-life reclusive graffiti artist whose identity was secret, but whose tags were known across the city. Check out this fascinating biography of the influential subway tagger of the 70’s, written by Louis Gasparro, himself a graffiti artist known as “K.R. ONE.”


    Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is BurningLadies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning, by Jonathan Mahler

    Another terrific history book renowned for its thoroughness and detail, Mahler’s Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning zooms in on one year in New York City’s life: 1977, right around the year that The Get Down is set. Telling the story of the racial tensions and socioeconomic upheaval that threatened to tear New York apart, this book is a must-read for any Get Down viewer intrigued by Francisco Cruz, the Bronx community advocate and power broker with a penchant for shady deals and menacing threats. His storyline, which involves influencing the mayoral election in an effort to reroute city funds to his struggling neighborhood, isn’t strictly non-fiction – but it is based on the corruption and racism that pervaded politics in late '70s NYC. If you want to learn more, get a copy of Mahler’s account today.

    Do you have any other non-fiction reads to pair with The Get Down? Shout them out in the comments below!

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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.

    We Read...

    Frank Ocean songs have a lot in common with Victorian lit. In other weird comparisons, fairy tales have a lot in common with our online behavior. Ogden Nash and Dorothy Parker had birthdays this week, and we challenged you to a quiz of poetic quips, while fifty writers challenged our next head of state to a better future with #DearPresident letters. Until the election, we'll be shaking it to President Obama's summer playlist. Meanwhile, Mad Men fans can see NYC views worthy of Don Draper in the Digital Collection. Going back even further, we looked at 1800s astronomical drawings and saw how they measured up to NASA pics. A literary flowchart to find a cool labyrinth book is the best way to celebrate Borges. You may get caught up in the maze, but you won't get lost in translation. Good news: getting ready for back to school has never been so easy, and a YA author says there are no book-hating boys. But there are a lot of  strong female characters rock on fantasy TV. Perhaps, they've been reading about the new motherhood.  And if your eyes get tired, do yourself a favor: listen to genius friends Wayne Koestenbaum and Maggie Nelson talk auto-theory

    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. We'll be taking a short end-of-summer break this week, but we can't wait to see you on Twitter in September!

    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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    Writing great historical books for middle-grade readers can be a tall order. It often requires a ton of research but needs to feel effortless. It must introduce compelling characters, real or imaginary, and remain historically accurate but also fun to read. And it has to set a vivid scene—in recent or distant history—without getting bogged down in details.

    Half a century after the Montgomery Bus Boycott that began with Rosa Parks, many authors of children’s literature are filling that tall order by creating compelling fiction and nonfiction about the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and ’60s. Here are six of our favorites.


    Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
    A true account of Rosa Parks’ life, in picture-book biography format.






    lions little rock

    The Lions of Little Rockby Kristin Levine
    Arkansas, 1958: Marlee’s community is mired in the debate over integration. But when a new girl comes to her school, Marlee’s experience goes from theoretical to real-life.






    The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963by Christopher Paul Curtis
    Historical details about the tragic bombing of the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church, seen through the lens of one African-American family’s trip from Flint, Michigan, to the segregated South.





    ruby bridges

    Ruby Bridges Goes to Schoolby Ruby Bridges
    An autobiography written by one of the students who helped end school segregation in New Orleans.





    one crazy summer

    One Crazy Summerby Rita Williams-Garcia
    Three girls wind up at a summer camp run by the Black Panthers.






    little rock nine

    The Little Rock Nine and the Fight for Equal Educationby Gary Jeffrey
    An easy-to-read nonfiction graphic novel about the Little Rock school integration. (There’s a second book in the series about Rosa Parks, too.)






    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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    Depending on who you ask, the World Wide Web as we know it turned 25 this yearat least, that is how long it has been publicly available. Speaking as a current 27-year old, it’s hard for me to remember a pre-Internet life. I do remember the arrival of my first family computer in the mid-90s, but information, it seems, has almost always been a few clicks away (and a few horrible beeps and buzzes, at one point). As an homage to 25 years of Internet life, I’ve pulled a few books in which characters rely on the Internet, for better or worse, and two in Internet-less near-future worlds.

    Attachmentsby Rainbow Rowell

    Rainbow Rowell’s debut novel from 2012 follows the story of IT guy Lincoln O'Neill, who has been tasked with monitoring the work emails of newsroom employees. Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder realize someone is monitoring them, and have a bit of fun sending personal and hilarious emails back and forth. Little do they know, rather than reporting them Lincoln is following along and falling in love with Beth. It’s kind of a one-sided You’ve Got Mail, and without the Internet this delightful story wouldn’t exist.



    The Circle by Dave Eggers

    On the flip-side of the Internet-loving coin, the prolific Dave Eggers delivers a chilling tale of an overly-connected world. When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful (and Google-esque) internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime at the dawning of a new age of civility and transparency. This book will have you pondering just how connected we all need to be and changing all your privacy settings on social media.



    Notes from the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone

    Can you imagine a world in which the Internet suddenly ceases to exist? Wayne Gladstone did, and the result is hilarious with a touch of darkness. People wander the streets attempting to recreate memes and communicate in Tweets, bulletin boards replace Craigslist and Facebook newsfeeds, and the world begins to collapse. When Gladstone hears a rumor that someone in New York is still online, he sets off to find the truth and save humanity. If you’re the type who mocks the low brow side of the internet, this one might be for you.



    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

    In the near-future of 2044, society as we know it is gradually coming to an end. People escape to the virtual universe of OASIS, following a series of clues from the creator for an Easter Egg that will grant the finder a fortune and control of the OASIS. Amazing 80s references abound as Wade Watts navigates this digital worlddefinitely a gamer-friendly book, but plenty for the general Internet-lover to love.




    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

    In a post-apocalyptic-plague world, we enter a society without Internetit shut down shortly after 99.9% of the Earth’s population died of the Georgia Flu. Station Eleven follows the winding stories of five people pre-and-post-apocalypse, and beautifully explores the ways in which society learns to rebuild and survive. References to the magic of the Interneta utility some realize they may have taken for grantedare sprinkled throughout, and might inspire in you a deeper appreciation of the positives the Internet brings in a world where the daily negatives feel more apparent.




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    U.S. Census Bureau - Ongoing Recruitment on Monday August  29, 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 regarding testing for position.  Location, dates, and times will be given upon applying.
    HMS Host will present a recruitment on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 10 am - 3 pm  for Brista (3 openings), Utility 3 openings), Bartender  (3 openings), at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138-60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355.  By appointment only.  These jobs are at JFK International Airport.
    Sid Wainer & Son will present a recruitment on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, 10 am - 2 pm, for Produce Delivery Driver (5 openings),  at the Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 E Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458.   SidWainer & Son is an importer and distributor of specialty produce to over 25, 000 restaurants, hotels, gourmet shops, retailers, and caters both domestically and internationally.

    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 August 28 become available.


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    Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal

    “Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home—they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside.” (Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)

    Jeanette Winterson, born in Manchester August 27, 1959, is an award winning and well-loved author in the UK and North America. For many queers like me, Winterson was the first openly lesbian author I’d ever read. She gave voice to experiences I was having and made me realize how powerful it is to finally see yourself represented. I have read and re-read many of Winterson’s works, and it always feels like coming home.

    The first time I heard of Jeanette Winterson was shortly after coming out.  I was nineteen and having an angsty conversation with a friend about my gender identity. I was certain I wanted to date women, but I didn’t feel comfortable in my own body and gender. My friend, who had been out for many years, patiently listened and then handed me a copy of Written on the Body.

    Written on the Body

    While not one of Winterson’s most famous novels, Written on the Body is one of my favorites because it’s full of humor, longing and relatable angst. I was enthralled by the description of the narrator’s various romantic misadventures. Characters like the romantic anarcha-feminist girlfriend who was deeply conflicted because, “[s]he knew the Eiffel Tower was a hideous symbol of phallic oppression but when ordered by her commander to detonate the lift so that no-one would unthinkingly scale an erection, her mind filled with young romantics gazing over Paris and opening aerograms that said Je t’aime.” Who says lesbian feminists don’t have a sense of humor?

    However, what was most exciting for me is that the narrator’s gender is never explicitly stated. After spending most of my life reading literature from a male perspective, I’ve never known how to identify with the characters in stories. The male character that has agency or the female character that is there simply to be desired.  Neither fit. The nameless and genderless narrator of Written on the Body is one of my favorites because they are so relatable. They try to mask their insecurities with humor, make bad decisions, are unreliable, are both violent and deeply vulnerable, and desperate to be loved. I could see myself in this character.  I think one of the most beautiful parts of the book is when Louise, the main love interest, says “When I saw you two years ago I thought you were the most beautiful creature male or female I had ever seen.” As a queer teenager, I ached for someone to say that to me.

    Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

    Throughout her body of work, Winterson explores what it means to want to belong and be loved. In her first and most celebrated work, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, she tells the fictionalized story of growing up as the adopted child of Pentecostal evangelists. At school, she is an outcast for her religious beliefs and is friendless and bullied. Eventually she makes a friend and falls in love with her. Her mother and religious community accuse her of being possessed by the devil, and she goes through horrific experiences including an exorcism. Eventually she gets kicked out of the church and her home. Where do you go when you're a child without a home?

    For Winterson, the answer was to find a home in books. In her autobiography Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Winterson writes about being kicked out of her home and going to the library. Her mother’s abusive behavior is juxtaposed with the power of stumbling across T.S. Eliot and falling in love with poetry. Love of books gave her something to hold onto despite her difficult childhood. Yet books were mostly forbidden. Her mother only allowed her to read six books, most of which were religious texts. So as a child, Winterson had to hide literature under her mattress. When her mother found out, she burned all of her books. This is when Jeanette Winterson became a writer: she realized that the only way to save herself was to write her own stories. When her entire world was telling her she was wrong, she made a place for herself through her writing.

    Jeanette Winterson writes about how going to the library gave order to her violent and chaotic childhood.  In turn, her work gave me a sense of belonging when I was trying to figure out my own gender and sexuality. Providing people with access to literature can be a life-changing act. That’s why in celebrating Jeanette Winterson’s birthday today, I’d like to also celebrate all of those who find their home in books.

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    Recuerdo que cuando comenzaba el año escolar, me sentía muy emocionada, pero a la vez llena de nervios. El año escolar venía acompañado de nuevos compañeros de clase, nuevas enseñanzas y nuevas aventuras; pero también lleno de muchos retos. Afortunadamente mis padres y personal escolar fueron muy proactivos en mi desarrollo escolar y universitario. Eso me sirvió a sobrellevar los retos que vienen con el año escolar.

    Ya casi terminan las vacaciones, y el año escolar está a punto de comenzar. Luego de dos meses de descanso, y de lectura, todos estamos emocionados por el comienzo del nuevo año. A continuación te daré algunos consejitos que pueden ayudar a tus niños a tener un comienzo de año exitoso.

    1. Conoce y comunícate con los maestros y el personal escolar. El desempeño de los estudiantes mejora cuando sus padres y maestros tienen buena comunicación. Hay muchas maneras de elaborar una buena comunicación entre padres y maestros; por ejemplo, participar en conferencias de padres y otras actividades estudiantiles. Este tipo de actividades brinda oportunidades para que tanto padres y maestros interactúen fuera de clase. Así también, le dará la oportunidad a los padres a  formar parte de la toma de decisiones relacionadas a la educación del estudiante.

    2. Verifica y participa de los programas de la biblioteca. Usar la biblioteca ayuda a mejorar los hábitos de lectura y lenguaje esenciales para el desempeño en clase. Los distintos recintos de la Biblioteca Pública de Nueva York (New York Public Library en inglés) ofrecen un sin número de programas educativos que pueden ayudar a los estudiantes a mejorar su desempeño en clase. Estos incluyen, entre otros, programas de tutorías, ayuda en las tareas, talleres de computadoras, clases de inglés y lectura de cuentos. Visita la biblioteca más cercana y participa de los programas que ésta ofrece.

    3. Lee los planes de estudios y agenda de las clases. Conocer el plan de estudio del año escolar te ayudará a conocer los objetivos de las clases y las responsabilidades del estudiante. De esta forma puedes ayudar a tus niños a prepararse a cumplir con sus responsabilidades estudiantiles. Así también, puedes preguntar a los maestros las dudas que tengan tus niños respecto a las tareas y otras responsabilidades escolares.

    4. Prepara un calendario. La organización es clave para un comienzo de clases exitoso. Preparar un calendario ayudará al estudiante a organizar el tiempo para cumplir con las responsabilidades estudiantiles y tener tiempo libre para compartir con sus amigos y familiares y descansar. También ayudará a tus niños a aprender a administrar el tiempo y a establecer prioridades, destrezas esenciales para un alto desempeño escolar.

    5. Busca libros que te ayuden a entender las materias de tus hijos. Muchas veces los padres y estudiantes no comprenden del todo las asignaturas de las clases. Además de la programación ofrecida por la biblioteca, con la tarjeta de la biblioteca puedes tomar prestados libros, cds y dvds educativos que reforzarán el desempeño escolar de tus niños.  La biblioteca ofrece libros que pueden ayudar a los estudiantes a entender mejor las materias, y como resultado, mejorar su desempeño en la escuela.


    Five tips to help your children to have a successful start to the new school year.

    I remember when the school year started, I was really thrilled and nervous at the same time. The school year came with new schoolmates, new teachings, and new adventures. However, it was also filled with challenges. Fortunately, my parents and the school staff were proactive on my academic development and that helped me overcome the challenges that come with each school year.

    Vacation time is almost over and the new school year is about to start. After two months of summer resting and reading, everybody is excited about the beginning of the school year. I will share with you some tips that might help your children have a successful start to school.

    1. Meet with teachers and school staff and communicate with them.  The student's performance improves when parents and teachers develop good communication. There are many ways to develop good communication between parents and teachers such as participating and attending parent’s meetings and other school activities. These activities provide opportunities for both teachers and parents to interact. In addition, it provides an opportunity for parents to become part of the academic decisions for the student.  

    2. Look for information about library programs and participate in them. Using the library helps to improve reading habits and language crucial for class development. The different branches of the New York Public Library offer many educational programs that help students to improve their school performance.  These includes, among others, tutoring programs, homework helps, computer classes and reading programs. Visit a branch near you and participate in the programs offered by the library.  

    3. Read the study plans and schedules of the courses. Knowing the study plans for the school year will help you know the objectives of the classes and the student responsibilities. In addition, you may ask teachers any concern about homework, projects and other academic responsibilities.

    4. Set a calendar or schedule. Organization is crucial to be successful back at school. Setting a calendar will help the student organize the time to fulfill the academic responsibilities and to have free time to be with their friends and family, and to rest. In addition, it will help your children to learn how to administer their time and to determine priorities. These skills are crucial for improving their performance at school.

    5. Search for books that help you understand the courses and their subjects. On many occasions, parents and students do not completely understand school assignments. With a library card, you can borrow bookscds, and dvds to help your children improve in school. The library provides books that can help students to better understand the courses and their subjects and, as a result, improve their performance in school.

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    Pearl Primus
    Photograph by Myron Ehrenberg, October 25, 1945, “provided by [press representative] Ivan Black for Café Society.”  Jerome Robbins Dance Division


    The Library for the Performing Arts’s exhibition on political cabaret focuses on the three series associated with Isaiah Sheffer, whose Papers are in the Billy Rose Theatre Division. It begins with a section introducing the genre from its 1930s-1940s roots in New York, with songs, sketch comedy, and dance artifacts, also  based in LPA’s archival collections. The repeal of Prohibition brought new or re-opened  spaces where audiences could enjoy theater, dance or music while purchasing legal drinks for those who, in the Depression,  could afford them. Political cabaret became popular at the end of the decade, created by writers, songwriters, comics, musicians and dancers, many of whom were veterans of Federal Theatre Project companies. Two important venues from those years were the TAC Cabaret (at the Firehouse) and Barney Josephson's Cafe Society.  

    The most famous and memorable song from New York pre-WWII political cabaret scene was Lewis Allan’s anti-lynching anthem, “Strange Fruit,” which has been recognized as one of the most influential American song. Allan, the pen name of teacher Abner Meeropol, was a frequently contributor to the TAC Cabarets, most often in collaboration with Earl Robinson.  For more on their “The House I Live In,” please see my Sinatra exhibition blog. “Strange Fruit” is best known now through the recording by Billie Holiday, who featured the song in her performances at Café Society.  

    Pearl Primus, trained in Anthropology and at NY’s left-wing New Dance Group Studio, chose to use the lyrics only (without music) as a narrative for her choreography which debuted at her first recital, February 1943, at the 92nd St. YMHA.  She later included it in her performances at Barney Josephson’s jazz club/cabaret Café Society, which this photograph promoted.   Primus chose to create the abstract, modern dance in the character of a white woman, part of the crowd that had watched the lynching.  She later wrote:    

    “The dance begins as the last person begins to leave the lynching ground and the horror of what she has seen grips her, and she has to do a smooth, fast roll away from that burning flesh.” —Pearl Primus on Strange FruitFive Evenings with American Dance Pioneers: Pearl Primus, April 29th, 1983

    “Instead of growing twisted like a gnarled tree inside myself, I am able to dance out my anger and my frustrations.  Yes, I have danced about lynchings, protested in dance against Jim Crow cars and systems which created sharecropping.  I have attacked racial prejudices in all forms…” —Pearl Primus, Dance Magazine, November 1968. 

    The solo has been reconstructed and can be seen on Free to Dance, in performance from the American Dance Festival and John F. Kennedy Center, 2000, on *MGZIDVD 5-3178.  An extended interview with Primus, Evening 3 of Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers can be viewed or streamed at The Library for the Performing Arts.  Additional oral histories and tapes of performance can be found at the Library for the Performing Arts and the Schomburg Center. 

    For more information on Primus, her career and choreoagrphy, see The Dance Claimed Me  (P Bio S) by Peggy and Murray Schwartz, Yale University Press, 2012.

    This blog, and the Political Cabaret exhibition, was informed by research by the Performing Arts Museum's summer interns:  Brittany Camacho, Colorado College, and Kameshia Shepherd, Bank Street College of Education, Program in Museum Education.

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    IDNYC pop up enrollment site
    IDNYC New Pop-Up Enrollment Site 新短期辦理據點

    New York City residents are now able to sign up for IDNYC (紐約市民卡) —a government-issued identification card that is available to all City residents age 14 and older. Immigration status does not matter. Chatham Square Library will be the site of an IDNYC pop-up from August 30 through September 17. Walk-ins are welcome but an appointment is recommended! Go to to book an appointment online, or call 311. Please also visit to confirm which materials to bring to your appointment. If you have any questions, please call 311.

    This pop-up runs from August 30–September 17.

    Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 10:15 AM–7 PM
    Friday and Saturday from 10 AM–4:30 PM

    The pop-up is closed on Mondays.
    On the last day (Saturday, Sept 17), the pop-up will close at noon.


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    Readers just can't get enough of the girl on that train, as Paula Hawkins' thriller once again ascends to the No. 1 spot. Plus: new stories of suspense, historical fiction, and more.

    girl on the train

    #1 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





    #2 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Stingby Sandra Brown, more romantic stories of suspense:

    Broken Bonds by Karen Harper

    Cold Ridge by Carla Neggers

    300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson




    curious minds

    #3 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Curious Mindsby Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton, more mysteries set in Washington, D.C.:

    The Second Girl by David Swinson

    Murder in Georgetown by Margaret Truman

    D.C. Noir 2, edited by George Pelecanos




    underground railroad

    #4 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Underground Railroadby Colson Whitehead, more historical fiction about fugitive slaves:

    The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

    The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

    The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy




    truly madly guilty

    #5 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, more tales of marriage and friendship:

    The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

    Another Night, Another Day by Sarah Rayner

    The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud




    Want more? Check out last week's readalikes.


    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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    Gene Wilder, one of the most beloved and energetic comic actors of the last 50 years, passed away today at the age of 83. We’ll remember him for the iconic comedic characters he brought to life on the silver screen, at turns eccentric (Willy Wonka, in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”), neurotic (Leo Bloom, in “The Producers”), and manic (Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, in “Young Frankenstein”), all played deftly with the spontaneity and zaniness that became his trademark. Touching generations of viewers over the course of his incredibly storied career, Wilder lives on through these unforgettable roles. Check out these classic films from our collections to get to know, or revisit, the extraordinary work of Gene Wilder.

    Young Frankenstein

    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    The Producers

    Blazing Saddles

    Stir Crazy

    Silver Streak

    The Woman in Red

    The Frisco Kid




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