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    Welcome to The Librarian Is In, The New York Public Library's podcast about books, culture, and what to read next.

    Subscribe on iTunes | Get it on Google Play


    Happy new year! Christopher Platt joins Gwen and Frank to talk about hate crimes, privacy and transparency, and how to start a revolution from your local library. Plus: Project Gutenberg reads, our technological future, and our crush on Carla Hayden.

    new year
    Postcard from the Library's Art & Picture Collection.

    What We're Reading Now

    Project Gutenberg

    NYPL's suggestions for Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge

    Whiplash by Joi Ito & Jeff Howe

    One in a Billion: The Story of Nic Volker and the Dawn of Genomic Medicine by Mark Johnson and Kathleen Gallagher

    The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

    Christodoraby Tim Murphy

    Cast Away: True Stories of Survival from Europe's Refugee Crisisby Charlotte McDonald-Gibson

    Guest Star

    Christopher Platt, the Library's Chief Branch Library Officer!

    The New York Times article about hate crimes in libraries

    Carla Hayden's interview at NYPL

    The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

    The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt 

    Anything but Books

    Frank: Cribbage

    Christopher: Ella Fitzgerald sings the Johnny Mercer songbook

    Ella Fitzgerald c. 1960, from NYPL's Music Division Iconography Collection.

    Gwen: #ReadersUnite and Slate's Mom and Dad Are Fighting podcast


    Thanks for listening! Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now?

    Find us online @NYPLRecommends, the Bibliofile blog, and Or email us at!

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  • 01/05/17--07:34: Books for Circus Fans
  • Many were no doubt saddened by the closing of the Big Apple Circus, a nonprofit that set up their tent near Lincoln Center and "provided community programs and free tickets for families who could not afford them." For anyone still contemplating running away with the circus, here is a small selection of some new circus-themed reads for adults.

    Orphans of the Carnival cover art

    Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch

    Julia Pastrana has a look that makes her a carnival attraction, but she also has a singing talent that surpasses first impressions. This fictionalized account of the real person shows her beautiful inner life and quest for a quiet home life in the countryside. Julia's story is bookended by the story of Rose, a modern-day treasure collector living in South London, and their stories intertwine in unusual ways. Birch was shortlisted for the Man Booker award for her previous novel, Jamrach's Menagerie.




    The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay

    The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay

    Four sisters take their vaudeville act across the country in this sweeping historical novel and encounter the best, and worst, sides of being entertainers. Library Journal calls Juliette Fay "one of the best author's of women's fiction". Fay includes quotations and facts from real vaudeville houses of the 1910s and 20s.





    Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi

    Love in the Elephant Tent: How Running Away with the Circus Brought Me Home by Kathleen Cremonesi

    Goodreads calls this biography "'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' crashing into Eat Pray Love on the set of Water for Elephants". This cross-cultural romance is a true story of running away to join the circus, once Cremonesi meets an Italian elephant-keeper named Stephano. Apparently, one can feel the urge to run away from the circus, as well. "Elephants are nomads. They're supposed to keep moving. To roam free. Get what they need and move on, not be chained to a circus." 


    Another circus-themed read you may have missed:
    The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall is circus-adjacent, as it tells the story of a Coney Island tattoo-artist who falls in love with a circus performer. It was published in 2005, but was a Man Booker award finalist and listed for the Orange prize for fiction. 


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    This week, readers and writers are celebrating reading by posting the books they're reading to social media, joined together with the hashtag #ReadersUnite.

    If you haven't joined in yet, it's simple: post a photo or title of the book you're reading to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platforms—and include the hashtag #ReadersUnite in your posts. That's it!

    Here are a few of our favorite posts so far.

    Author and musician Rosanne Cash shared her current read:


    Author and actress Mindy Kaling shared news of her NYPL top check out spot in 2016:


    Author Terry McMillan shared five books she's reading, including this one:


    Author and comedian Judah Friedlander shared his book:


    The staffers at National Book Foundation got in on the fun:


    Here's what our staff is reading. What are you reading? #readersunite

    A photo posted by The National Book Foundation (@nationalbookfoundation) on


    Author and illustrator Kevin Sylvester is reading a book from his author friend James Dashner:


    The Monterey Aquarium shared some sea-worthy reads:


    Barbara S. Ponce Library in Florida went all-out with this amazing video:

    To see even more amazing posts from people all over the world, check out the #ReadersUnite Storify or Twitter Moment!

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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...

    NYPL's most recommended books of 2016, from Octavia Butler's Kindred to Rivka Galchen's Little Labors. Turn of the century posters? Yes, please. We need to talk about book deserts. Check out the 19th century predecessors to infographics and for the new year, consider reading some books that end with beginnings. In January, we've got author talks on culinary history, feminism, street art, and more. Have you seen the amazing #ReadersUnite posts? Find out the books bringing readers together, then go on and share one of your own alongside folks like Roseanne Cash and Mindy Kaling! Listen to Richard Price and Michael Chabon talk about the tough job of writing fiction.

    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. This week, we're taking a break, but you can check NYPL Recommends any time 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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    Make the Road New York is now  recruiting for their free Community Health Worker Training Program.

    This training program is for bilingual immigrants with strong English skills who also speak another language other than English such as Spanish or Creole.  It includes 135 hour internship, job readiness counseling and job searching support.  Interested students should be looking to improve their reading, writing and speaking.

    Get health training certificates:  Community Health Worker, Mental Health First Aid, OSHA 10, Resiliency training, and Community Nutrition Education (all part of the program)

    Program Requirements: 

    • Must be 18 years or older
    • Must be an immigrant (non-native English speaker)
    • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent from home country
    • Must have very good English  speaking, reading and writing skills
    • Must be available for 13 weeks of training  M - F 9 - 2:30 pm and then 135 hours of internship
    • Must be able to commute to Make the Road NY Bushwick-Brooklyn location
    • Must be documented/ able to work legally in the United States
    • Interested in career in healthcare.

    REGISTER NOW!  Community Health Worker Training  program starts in March! or call 718-418--7690  X1271.   Leave your contact information and the Community Center will contact you for an interview.

    Make the Road New York's Brooklyn Community Center is at 301 Grove Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn 11237.

    Directions: Take the L, M train to Mrytle  Wycoff.  Buses: B26, B52, B54, B60, Q58, and Q59 to B60.

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    The cover of "Current Practices In Public Libraries" (2006) featured SIBL

    Since The New York Public Library opened the Science, Industry and Business Library on May 2, 1996—at the time considered a "Miracle on Madison Avenue" by The New York Times—its stunning setting, wide range of resources and services, and great array of offerings have attracted the attention of pundits, industry experts, and information professionals (as the 75 works listed below attest!). In this bibliography, it's valuable to note that commentators' descriptions of SIBL don't change dramatically over two decades. Rather, the expansive provision of and training in information technology, staff expertise, specialized resource guides, and the robust partnerships that fuel innovative advisory services remain the same.

    Donna L. Gilton, a professor at the University of Rhode Island where she has taught various library studies courses and who used to work as a business reference librarian, states in her book Lifelong Learning In Public Libraries: Principles, Programs, And People that SIBL "offers the gold standard for public library instruction to the business community" and represents a major source of inspiration to other librarians.

    See what others have written about SIBL:

    1. Dunlap, David W. "The B. Altman Building Goes Bookish." The New York Times, January 2, 1994, 1.
      "Substitute 'library' for 'store' and you get the idea behind the Science, Business and Industry Library, now being built by the New York Public Library within the vast limestone-clad shell that was Altman's flagship until it went out of business in 1989. 'It will be one-stop shopping for someone looking for resources in those areas,' said William D. Walker, associate director of the Public Library, which bought an eight-floor, 213,000-square-foot condominium unit in the Altman building last year. 'Someone remarked the other day, 'How appropriate for a former department store.''" [Article excerpt]
    2. Holden, Constance. "Library On-Line In New York." Science 265, no. 5177 (September 2, 1994): 1359.
      "Associate director Bill Walker says the impetus to merge the library's science and business collections came after seeing 'the same people' nosing through pharmacopoeias, patent documents, and business directories. 'We serve the unaffiliated people who have no big parent corporation or academic institution,' explains Walker.” [Article excerpt]
    3. Weber, Bruce. "Moving Bits, Bytes And Books To The Library Of The Future." The New York Times, April 05, 1996, B1.
      "Among its features are seating for 500, with each seat wired for laptop computer hookups; 100 outfitted work stations, with access to electronic databases and on-line services, and a training center at which library users will be instructed in the rudiments of electronic research. 'It's not just our collections we're moving,' said John V. Ganly, the assistant director of SIBL. 'When you move in all this technology, you're moving in other libraries as well. You're moving in the world.'" [Article excerpt]
    4. Scott, Karyl, and John Foley. "Page-Turning Goes Electric." Informationweek no. 576 (April 22, 1996): 10.
      "The New York Public Library doesn't want to be left on the trailing edge of the information revolution. On May 2, it will open its Science, Industry, and Business Library, which will offer free access to an array of electronic resources, including journals and online services, as well as the Internet." [Article excerpt]
    5. Goldberger, Paul. "Grandeur And Modernity In New Library."The New York Times, April 24, 1996., A1.
      "The Science, Industry and Business Library, which will open to the public on May 2, is intended for use by both the general public and business people, with special attention to the needs of smaller businesses that do not have their own research facilities. But it also has a wider goal, which is to serve as a prototype for a whole new level of computerized access at the library. There are about 250 computers on the premises, as well as 500 work stations equipped for visitors with laptops: the main reading room is really a vast computer docking station." [Article excerpt]
    6. "Miracle On Madison Avenue." The New York Times, May 11, 1996, 18.
      "The new library, which occupies the former B. Altman department store on Madison Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets, is an electronic marvel. Its intended beneficiaries are the general public and the business community, especially smaller businesses that do not have their own research facilities." [Article excerpt]
    7. Hoffman, David. "NYPL Opens Science, Industry, And Business Branch." Computers in Libraries 16, no. 6 (June 1996): 25.
      "SIBL now houses 1.2 million volumes; 110,000 periodical titles, patents, and micro-forms; a circulating collection of 50,000 books; and an open-shelf collection of 60,000 volumes. It also houses a rich array of technology to connect users to its internal resources, to electronic information sources online and on CD-ROM, to the Internet, and to other libraries and institutions around the world." [Article excerpt]
    8. St. Lifer, Evan, and Michael Rogers. "SIBL Service." Library Journal121, no. 10 (June 1996): 15.
      "With a snip of the scissors, officials open the New York Public Library's (NYPL) Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL). Located in the former B. Altman building on 5th Avenue and 34th St., the library received a $100 million facelift to transform it from a department store into a state-of-the-art information facility." [Article excerpt]
    9. Scott, Margaret. "The Cyber-Library: Research In The '90s." Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition, June 19, 1996, A18.
      "'We lived in fear that when word got out that we offer free access to the Internet, we'd be swamped with half of Manhattan,' says Ellen Poisson, head of the downstairs center. As it turns out, the number of visitors was averaging 2,500 a day by the end of May. And the first-come, first-served computerized reservation system for workstations and classes has spawned morning lines but also manageable crowds. Two weeks after opening, Ms. Poisson felt bold enough to start offering 'Introduction to the Internet' classes every afternoon. 'We don't publicize that we are teaching people how to use computers, but that's what we're doing. People of all ages are lining up. Some of them come with little envelopes filled with a list of www sites they've been dying to see. Now I wish we had 100 more computers,' she says." [Article excerpt]
    10. Harriott, Esther. "New York's New Door To The Information Age." American Libraries 27, no. 6 (June 1996): 58-59.
      A profile of New York Public Library's Science, Industry, and Business Library. The library, known as SIBL, is a $100 million project that opened on May 2, 1996. Its computer and telecommunications technologies connect it to other libraries, educational institutions, offices, and homes in the United States and abroad, giving its users access to a world of electronic information and making it a library for the 21st century. Trained staff in the Harrison S. Kravis Electronic Training Center, which is equipped with 30 workstations, give free, hands-on instruction to those new to information technologies. With its extensive holdings, enhanced by electronic resources, and its 50,000-volume circulating collection, SIBL is one of the world's largest public libraries in its field. [Abstract from EBSCOhost (accessed December 2, 2016)]
    11. "Dow Jones News/Retrieval Now Available To Visitors Of New Science, Industry and Business Library." Business Wire 19 Aug. 1996: 8190368. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
      "Dow Jones Business Information Services (BIS) announced today that Dow Jones News/Retrieval(R), the online source of business and financial information that provides fast answers to tough questions, is now available to the public at the new, state-of-the-art Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) in New York City. SIBL, part of The New York Public Library, is the world's largest public library devoted to science, technology, economics and business." [Article excerpt]
    12. Stein, Karen D. "Next Century's Library--Today," Architectural Record 184, no. 9 (1996): 84-91.
      "'A prototype of the 21st century library,' is how Paul LeCler, president of The New York Public Library (NYPL,), describes the new Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) located in the former B. Altman department store in midtown Manhattan. Chairman emeritus of the Library's board of trustees, Marshall Rose, considers it 'a total package' of research facility and circulating library 'the vision of the next century.' Charles Gwathmey of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, the architectural firm responsible for the transformation of the former retail space, calls it 'revolutionary in preconception and perception.' That’s heady stuff considering the future is largely unknown." [Article excerpt]
    13. Fox, Robert. "Tomorrow's Library Today." Communications Of The ACM 40, no. 1 (January 1997): 20-21.
      "When visiting SIBL, one is impressed with its information-age order and its free accessibility. This is the Library of the Future - a labyrinth with the perfect balance of snazzy high tech, traditional book stacks, and open-shelved printed reference material. However, the age-old question remains: Now that it's built, will they come? We initially anticipated about 2,000 people a day. 'We're currently seeing about 2,500,' says Ellen Poisson, SIBL's assistant director of electronic resources. 'Every morning there's a stampede of people to sign up for certain databases that can be accessed only on one computer. Registration for the 'Introduction to the Internet' class fills up in 10 minutes every day.' [Article excerpt]
    14. Field, Anne. "Biblio-Tech." Inc 19, no. 13 (September 16, 1997): 21.
      "Spend 10 seconds in the lobby of the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) and your preconceptions of libraries as repositories of out-of-date periodicals and yellowing cards in dusty cabinets will disappear. An expansive mix of oak and stainless steel, the room's most prominent features are a sense of light and openness--and a wall adorned with state-of-the-art interactive kiosks." [Article excerpt]
    15. Bentley, Mark. "User Education At NYPL's New SIBL." College & Research Libraries News no. 9 (October 1997): 633-636.
      Presents information on the New York Public Library's (NYPL) opening of its fourth research center, the Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL), on May 2, 1996. Information on the profile and challenges of SIBL; Details on the user-education program profile; Conclusions on the review of the research library.
    16. McDonough, Kristin. "The Science, Industry and Business Library Of The New York Public Library: A High-Technology Research Centre For High-Volume Public Use." Alexandria10, no. 1 (January 1998): 39-62.
      The concept of SIBL is of a specialized high technology research centre with unparallelled older and current print collections (1.2 million books and serials) and access to electronic resources, which also incorporates a 50,000-item circulating library of popular print, audiovisual and multimedia materials. All of the resources are available to the public at no charge. Much of the collection is on open access. There are several professionally staffed information service points. The provision of extensive training sessions is proving to be an outstanding success, more than 20,000 people having registered since SIBL opened. A three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has enabled SIBL to train information professionals in the three crucial areas of technological competence, customer service and professional development. [Abstract by the author]
    17. Poisson, Ellen H. "Collection Development Of Electronic Resources At The Science, Industry And Business Library (SIBL)." Public Library Collection Development In The Information Age (New York, 1998): 123-130.
      Selection of electronic resources should be integrated into existing collection development policies and procedures. Such selection is complicated by the number of options available, such as: multiple formats and access methods; pricing schemes; interface designs; differences in scope, timeliness and coverage; and technical support issues. At SIBL, the selection of electronic resources was done by an interdepartmental committee which drew upon subject specialists and which based selection on the existing collection de-velopment policy. [Abstract by the author]
    18. Thornton, Ann D. "The Impact Of The Web On User Education At The Science, Industry And Business Library (SIBL) Of The New York Public Library." Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship 4, no. 1 (September 1998): 35-44.
      Like many other libraries, the Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) of The New York Public Library instructs customers in using the Web. In addition, the library is using the Web to further educate and assist its customers. SIBL provides Web access to its catalogs, a Web menu for the selection of electronic databases, Web guides for doing research in various subjects, and Web-accessible instructional materials. The library is also planning Web-based tutorials for its site which will reach a new, remote audience. Remote access to learning opportunities will enhance and extend traditional library services. [Abstract by the author]
    19. Thornton, Ann D. "Teaching The Library At SIBL." Computers In Libraries19, no. 2 (February 1999): 50.
      "The New York Public Library Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL), the world's largest public information center devoted solely to science and business, supports the use of its diverse electronic and print resources by offering a curriculum of 18 free classes to the public. Since opening its doors in May 1996, over 31,000 people have taken advantage of these classes, which teach library customers how to find information electronically and how to efficiently navigate SIBL's collections of 1.2 million volumes. Librarians instruct the classes, and a training coordinator supports the public training program by integrating the ongoing evaluation of course content and presentation with the continuing education of the librarians who instruct." [Article excerpt]
    20. Moed, Andrea. "Dinner At The Home Page Restaurant," in: Design Is: Words, Things, People, Buildings, And Places at Metropolis, edited by Akiko Busch (2002): 57-59.
      "In the crowded, contested spaces of New York City, privilege is defined by where one sits: a seat in a classroom at a selective school, a courtside seat at a Knicks game, a table at a fashionable restaurant. So it goes as well in the Information Age, I think, as I tour the soon-to-be completed home of the New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL for short). I'm looking at a row of library carrels that should soon be some of the most sought after tables in town." [Article excerpt]
    21. Ganly, John, Andrea Harland, and Kristin McDonough. "Scholars And Citizens: Making Research Level Collections Accessible To The Public At SIBL." Science & Technology Libraries 24, no. 1/2 (March 2003): 47-71.
      The 1996 creation of SIBL merged the collections of the Science/Technology and Economics/Public Affairs research divisions with the circulating materials from a central branch library. The aim of this collection and staff integration was to make SIBL an engine for NYC's economy and to build a more diverse clientele. Other elements attracting new audiences include the facility, resources, technology, training, and interpretive programs. Five science exhibits have spawned complementary classes, seminars, and sci-tech collection guides. SIBL is using the Web to offer more content (e.g., science images) and services to offsite users. [Abstract by the authors]
    22. The SIBL Experience, 2003 documentary about SIBL (11 minutes).
    23. Galloway, Ann-Christe. "Texaco And Arthur Andersen Library." College & Research Libraries News 64, no. 5 (May 2003): 346.
      Reports on the acquisition of Texaco and Arthur Anderson Library research materials by the New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library in New York. See also: "NYPL Receives Contents of Texaco’s/Arthur Andersen’s Defunct Libraries"
    24. McDonough, Kristin. "Hosting Strengthens Ties At Home And Abroad." International Leads 19, no. 3 (September 2005): 1-8.
      "Pre-9/11, SIBL had, frankly, shied away from hosting individuals from abroad given the challenge of the NYC housing options. Currently we offer short-term exchange placements of up to three months for international visitors, including students attached to library programs, if they can arrange for, and fund, their own transportation and travel. (RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, is one institution that has found this arrangement sufficiently appealing to one of its graduating students for four consecutive years.) These placements happily have led, as mentioned earlier, to close collaborations with local NYC entities as diverse of Goethe House, the Financial Women's Association, the Weissman Center for International Business at Baruch College, and the Bar Association of the City of New York." [Article excerpt]
    25. "Business Information Wall Goes Live At NY Public Library." Broadcast Engineering 14 Sept. 2005. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
      "The new Business Information Wall at the New York Public Library's Science, IndustryandBusinessLibrary (SIBL) features state-of-the-art visual technology and real-time news streaming, including the latest financial information and breaking news combined with listings of library events and classes. The wall, sponsored by UBS and implemented by Electrosonic, was created by experiential design firm ESI Design to meet the fast-changing needs of library visitors and to reflect SIBL's mission as a resource for local, national and international business information and an engine for local business." [Article excerpt]
    26. McDonough, Kristin, and Madeleine Cohen. "Open For Business: The NYPL Science, Industry, And Business Library Takes Stock." Public Library Quarterly25, no. 1/2 (January 2006): 75-90 & in Current Practices In Public Libraries edited by William Miller and Rita Pellen (Binghamton, N.Y., 2006): 75-90.
      SIBL opened in 1996 with a primary mission to support local small business development. In the intervening ten years, changes in the information environment, including the mass adoption of the Internet, have led the library to customize its information and instructional services for small businesses with limited time to spend in the library. A dedicated small business Website serves off-site users. SIBL has adopted a range of marketing strategies including the use of its customers and partners in the non-profit and government sectors to market itself more effectively. [Abstract by the authors]
    27. Kramer, Louise. "All You Need Is An Idea, And Good Connections." New York Times, April 16, 2006, 1.
      "A product hitting shelves this week at New York area motorcycle dealerships has a surprising history: It was created at the New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library. The product, Detail Devils, is a portable kit for $39.95 that provides 'everything but the bucket' to clean a motorcycle, including five types of cloth and eight two-ounce bottles of potions like tar remover, bug remover and leather conditioner. In auto lingo, 'detailing' means a thorough cleaning to make a set of wheels look like new. Sean Sabol, a former bartender and the man behind Detail Devils, credits the library and its staff for steering him to the resources and research materials he needed to turn his big idea -- one of dozens he's had over the years -- into reality." [Article excerpt]
    28. "New Decade, New Chapter At SIBL." Real Estate Weekly 24 May 2006: 41. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
      "The New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library--a hub for entrepreneurs and innovators--marked its 10th anniversary May 2. The largest public library of its kind in the world, SIBL serves 850,000 on-site and online patrons every year. Since opening its doors to the public a decade ago, SIBL has emerged as one of the world's unique centers of research and practical learning, where researchers, small business owners, and inventors can find answers, access the expertise of industry professionals, and enroll in a wide range of hands-on workshops and classes." [Article excerpt]
      American Libraries, 37, no. 6 (2006): 23.
    29. Terry, Terese. "Terese Terry Talks With John Ganly." Business Information Alert Apr. 2007: 6+. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
      "We serve about 1700 people a day. About half are involved with small businesses. Many others are doing job research. Large corporations have their own information centers. NYPL Express does fee-based research and document delivery. Generally, users do not have a real understanding of what they can get from the library. They come in with a question or problem and they want an answer. Our responsibility is to show them how much more they can get from the library." [Article excerpt]
    30. Mattern, Shannon Christine. "Balancing Analog and Digital: New York Public Library Science, Industry and Business Library," in her: The New Downtown Library: Designing With Communities (Minneapolis, 2007); 120-124.
      "Print and technology spaces overlap. On the street level, just past those touch-screen kiosks, is the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Reading Room and Circulating Library with its collection of fifty thousand popular business and science books and multimedia materials. Linking the street-level floor to the subterranean floor is a thirty-three-foot-high atrium, Healy Hall, which houses changing exhibitions and has proved to be a popular reception area for events housed in the 125-seat conference center and two meeting rooms downstairs. Also downstairs is SIBL's noncirculating reference collection and the Richard B. Salomon Research Reading Room, the microform and patents reading room, and the heart of the electronic library: the Electronic Information Center with its seventy workstations reserved for 'serious research' and for which patrons must make a reservation. Next door are the Harold S. Kravis Electronic Training Center's two rooms, each full of multiple workstations, where the library offers a schedule of public classes. Also downstairs are the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Information Services Center, which offers research assistance, and the Small Business Information Center." [Book excerpt]
    31. Nelson, Sara. "Soul Of A New Machine." Publishers Weekly254, no. 26 (June 25, 2007): 4.
      "The group that gathered last Thursday at the New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library for the unveiling of Jason Epstein's Espresso Book Machine was not large. Nor did it comprise many of the industry types who are 'supposed' to be high tech and cutting edge and into gadgets (read: under 40). Instead, most of the two dozen or so in attendance were middle-aged and up, and most seemed to know a bit about what they were about to see. After all, Epstein, former Random House honcho and industry curmudgeon/visionary, has been saying print on demand to consumers is the future of bookselling for years." [Article excerpt]
    32. Ganly, John. "Small Is Big." BF Bulletin no. 136 (Fall 2007): 5.
      "Fostering the development of entrepreneurial activity is the primary mission of The Small Business Resource Center at the Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL). During its decade of operation we have observed thousands of individuals planning their business, expanding their business, and selling their business." [Article excerpt]
    33. Cohen, Madeleine and Kristin McDonough, "Information Start-Ups Need to Succeed," Business Information Review24, no. 3 (2007): 193-203.
      Describes how SIBL was created in 1996 to target a new audience — small businesses. Gives an overview of business, financial, science & technology and legal information available free at the library to start-ups. Describes SIBL as a destination for the New York City (NYC) small business community because of its robust services built on business information sources by the staff information specialists and business advisors from partner organizations. Covers hands-on training by librarians in premium online databases; reference assistance for quick answers; after-work seminars by business experts; and on-site business advisory services by SCORE volunteers and paid staff from the NYC Business Solution Center. Highlights SIBL's New York Small Business Resource Center website ( including an events calendar, business videos and moderated forums. Shows how staff have developed new skills and how SIBL's customers and partners promote its business services. [Abstract by the authors]
    34. "Wiley Journals Online At New York Public Library." Information Outlook 11, no. 4 (April 2007): 9.
      "The New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library and publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc., now provide library users broad, public online access to more than 300 peer-reviewed journals. Until now, these publications have been available principally only through academic or corporate collections." [Article excerpt]
    35. Reynolds, Leslie. "2007 Centers of Excellence Award Winner." BF Bulletin no. 137 (Winter 2008): 13-15.
      "The Business & Finance Division of the Special Libraries Association proudly announced the winner of the sixth annual Centers of Excellence Award at the SLA Annual Conference on June 4, 2007, during the Business and Finance Division Awards Reception. The award recognized the development of quality practices and services of the Science, Industry & Business Library of the New York Public Library. The following article discusses their commitment to service excellence demonstrated by the ability to engage customers and the community-at-large, as well as building strategic alliances with their partners." [Article excerpt]
    36. Mooney, Jake. "The Securities and Exchange Commiseration." New York Times, September 21, 2008, 1.
      "The Science, Industry and Business Library on Madison Avenue has large collections of books and magazines, rows of computers and even three Bloomberg terminals -- dual-screen behemoths where furrow-browed investors were mining for company data late Wednesday afternoon. But the real action on that day, a little before 4 p.m., was at the library's wall of television screens, which were tuned to stations reporting a late-afternoon slide that left the Dow Jones industrial average down 449 more points. A row of men and women stood facing the screens. Some were on their cellphones and others watched the ticker scroll by. A countdown clock on one channel showed eight minutes until the closing bell." [Article excerpt]
    37. "The New York Public Library and Help New Yorkers 'Jumpstart' Their Job Search." Business Wire 12 Jan. 2009. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
      "The New York Public Library and have teamed up to present 'Back to Work: Jumpstart Your Job Search,' a free event designed to provide career information, advice and resources to help unemployed New York professionals land their next jobs. The day's sessions will include personalized career coaching, resume review, interactive discussions with job search experts and demonstrations of the Library's online job search tools. The event will be held on January 27,from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The New York Public Library's Science, Business and Industry Library." [Article excerpt]
    38. Kitchen, Patricia. "Head To The Library To Find Good Financial Advice." Newsday(Melville, NY), June 07, 2010.
      "And for those who have occasion to visit Manhattan, here's a new resource: Financial Literacy Central, a free information hub just unveiled at the Science, Industry and Business Library at Madison Avenue and 34th Street, just a few blocks from Penn Station. It's an initiative of the New York Public Library and McGraw-Hill Cos." [Article excerpt]
    39. "The New York Public Library and The McGraw-Hill Companies Open 'Financial Literacy Central'." Investment Weekly News 19 June 2010: 40. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
      "Financial Literacy Central, located at 188 Madison Avenue at 34th Street in the Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL), provides the public with free one-on-one sessions with financial planners through the Financial Planning Association; computer access to popular business and finance databases; 1,500 books on a wide range of financial topics - including more than 100 McGraw-Hill Education titles donated by The McGraw-Hill Companies - and financially focused classes." [Article excerpt]
    40. "New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library Adds Panjiva Platform as Source for Trade Data." Internet Wire 15 May 2012. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
      "Panjiva is an online resource for sourcing executives to gain valuable knowledge about suppliers around the world. With information on 1 million suppliers from more than 190 countries included on the platform, Panjiva's robust database, easy-to-use search tool, and public and proprietary data sets will arm library users with the information they need to find and vet suppliers, monitor competition, and identify geographic sourcing trends."[Article excerpt]
    41. "The New York Public Library Hosts Workshop on Global Mergers & Acquisitions Resource." PRWeb Newswire 31 July 2012. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
      "Lisa Wright, Director of Bureau van Dijk (BvD)'s Zephyr Merger and Acquisition (M&A) database, will be in NYC at the New York Public Library (NYPL)'s Science, Industryand Business Library (SIBL) on August 10th to conduct a workshop on the availability of deal data in different scenarios around the world, and how this information can be used to analyze deals, rumors and trends." [Article excerpt]
    42. ", NYPL Explore library wide access Model." Library Journal138, no. 1 (January 2013): 24.
      "Patrons visiting the New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) now have free access to the entire catalog of more than 1,500 instructional online training videos offered by, thanks to a new partnership announced last month. For the first time, the service will be deployed in a public library setting across a range of IP addresses, allowing SIBL to offer access on more than 60 workstations throughout the building, without requiring any login information." [Article excerpt]
    43. McDonough, Kristin. "Money Matters @ NYPL."College & Research Libraries News75, no. 4 (April 2014): 194-196.
      The article presents initiatives of the New York Public Library(NYPL) as financial education providers for the community and on campus. It discusses Money Matters for NYPL users supported by McGraw Hill Financial and Money Matters, a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian continuing project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for NYPL staff. It also offers the role of Science, Industry, and Business Library of NYPL in the development of these initiatives. [Abstract from EBSCOhost (accessed December 8, 2016)]
    44. "Tackling Money Matters At New York Public Library." Institute of Museum and Library Services. News & Events. Project Profiles. April 1, 2014.
      "With a grant from IMLS, NYPL sought to change the culture of reluctance to provide financial assistance to patrons. The library system designed the grant project to create a corps of frontline public service staff across its 90 neighborhood branches that could make informed referrals to relevant online personal finance resources. The Money Matters staff training program aimed to educate librarians and information assistants on core concepts and personal finance reference sources, increase their comfort levels in providing reference services in these areas, and provide staff with the opportunity to host presentations by experts and conduct the trainings that their neighborhood communities needed most." [Article excerpt]
    45. Peter Bengston. "Resources For Exporters At The New York Public Library." Diamond District Monthly 78 (Nov, 2016): 7-8.
      "As a successful businessperson you understand the need to stay current with the latest trends in your industry and learn more about the consumer behavior of your customer base. [...] If you want to grow your business, expand your leads, and keep abreast of industry developments, it's worth your time to visit SIBL, the best source of business and industry information in NYC." [Article excerpt]

    Honorable Mentions (Works That Mention SIBL)

    1. "Librarians Meet To Turn Online Services Into 'Virtual Certainty'." Wilson Library Bulletin69, no. 10 (June 1995): 17.
      "Elizabeth Bentley Menna, assistant director for services of New York Public Library's Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL), gave a detailed description of the new facility's ground floor. She said that serious space is devoted to Internet stations, docking ports, and online catalogs. Most of SIBL's tabletops are wired for computer input." [Article excerpt]
    2. C.K. "Libraries In The News." American Libraries 27, no. 6 (June 1996): 28.
      "ABC World News Tonight aired a segment May 2 on how libraries are getting hooked up to the information superhighway. ALA President Betty Turock was interviewed and footage of NYPL's new Science, Industry, and Business Library was featured." [Article excerpt]
    3. "Interactive Communications." Editor & Publisher 129, no. 36 (September 7, 1996): 30.
      "Dow Jones news/retrieval is now available to the public at the Science, Industry and Business Library in New York City." [Article excerpt]
    4. Hoffman, Nicholas von. "Checking Out Electronic Libraries." Architectural Digest 53, no. 10 (October 1996): 130.
      Examines the problems and possibilities of libraries equipped with the latest in computer technology. The cost of installing the equipment; The amount of library assistants needed to assist patrons with the technology; The myth that computer equipment takes library worker jobs; The technological advancement of the Science, Industry, and Business Library in New York City and St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland; The foresight of King Ashurbanipal of Assyria.
    5. Holusha, John. "From Department Store To Storehouse of Knowledge." New York Times 25 May 1997.
      "But the main area is downstairs, where Altman's had its gift-wrap and mail-order operations. 'The deeper you go, the more serious it gets,' Mr. Walker said. He said a library facility such as his was intended for graduate-level research, with neighborhood branch libraries for undergraduate-level study. To make the below-grade space more attractive, part of the first floor was removed, allowing light from display windows to fall on an open floor intended as a meeting hall. Farther in are the service desk for the main book collection and 70 work stations in the Electronic Information Center." [Article excerpt]
    6. Isaacs, Nora. "Doing Your Homework." Infoworld20, no. 25 (June 22, 1998): 103.
      "Finally, don't forget about libraries -- some of which now offer online access. The New York Public Library's Science, Industry, and Business Library is an immense research library that can be accessed online or by phone at (212) 592-7000. It has basic company information, company profiles and brief histories, current news and background information, financial information, company Web sites, Internet resources, worldwide business directories, and hints for researching that can be followed at any good business library." [Article excerpt]
    7. Tullier, Michelle. The Unofficial Guide to Acing the Interview (1999).
      "In New York City for example I send my clients to the impressive Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) which is part of the public library system, where they find every database, print directly or CD-ROM they could ever need to research any person, place or thing." [Book excerpt]
    8. Kibirige, Harry M. "Internet Access In Public Libraries: Results Of An End User Targeted Pilot Study, 1997-2000." Information Technology & Libraries 20, no. 2 (June 2001): 113-115.
      "Although it was not in the study, the New York Public Library System's Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL) [...] has an elaborate training program that goes a long way to answer some of the questions raised in this study. (FN7) More of such programs are needed in public libraries even when it means scaled-down versions of SIBL. Programming and outreach has changed to meet the needs of the stakeholders in the communities public libraries serve in the Information Age. Continued progress is essential and models for computer literacy instruction can be found in such libraries as SIBL." [Article excerpt]
    9. Oder, Norman. "Peter McCracken: Librarian As Entrepreneur." Library Journal126, no. 13 (August 2001): 44-46.
      "John Ganly, assistant director for collections at New York Public Library's Science, Industry, and Business Library, signed up with Serials Solutions early on. 'We tried [to track journals] in-house, using existing staff and technology, to monitor the number of databases and titles,' he recalls. 'It was an enormous project. We never really felt we did it at the level of accuracy we wanted and couldn't keep it up.' Ganly says, 'From my end the pleasure of [working] with this company is that it's easier dealing with someone with a library background.'" [Article excerpt]
    10. "ACRL In San Francisco: ACRL's Programs At The ALA Annual Conference." College & Research Libraries News 62, no. 8 (September 2001): 793-802.
      "Ann Thornton discussed the signage problems of NYPL's Science Industry and Business Library She noted how the irutally minimalist signage program for the facility soon gave way to a proliferation of informal signs. She described the library's approach to minimizing intrusive signs yet still communicating certain essential messages." [Article excerpt]
    11. Hays, Janet. Retire In New York City: Even If You're Not Rich (2003)
      "In New York City SCORE is expanding its program with offices in Harlem, Brooklyn, and Bronx and special programs at the Science, Industry and Business Library" [Book excerpt]
    12. "Clinton Captivates At NYPL." American Libraries 35, no. 4 (April 2004): 12.
      Reports on the speech given by former U.S. President Bill Clinton at the Financial Services Leadership Forum at SIBL on February 10, 2004. Addressing an audience of businesspeople, Clinton offered his views on libraries, ranging from a history of libraries in the Arab world to his own presidential library, set to open in Little Rock, Arkansas, in November.
    13. Hills-Nova, Clare. "Researching Fashion In New York Libraries And Beyond." Art Libraries Journal 29, no. 3 (July 2004): 22-27.
      "NYPL's other flagship building, the former Altman department store on Madison Avenue and 34th Street, might also require a visit since this is where the Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) is located; here, a variety of excellent guides to and publications on the clothing industry -- once so prominent in New England and in New York itself -- are collected. Moreover, New York's acknowledgement of the creative sector's contribution to its post-industrial (global) economy ensures that print publications as well as numerous electronic resources relevant to the rag trade continue to feature prominently amongst SIBL's holdings; its online research guide, Apparel and textiles, for example, is especially useful." [Article excerpt]
    14. Welch, Jeanie M. "Silent Partners: Public Libraries And Their Services To Small Businesses And Entrepreneurs." Public Libraries 44, no. 5 (September 2005): 282-286.
      "One of the largest business centers in the United States is the Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL) of the New York Public Library. […] SIBL includes computer workstations, online databases, and an electronic training center" [Article excerpt]
    15. Slight-Gibney, Nancy, Virginia Taffurelli, and Mary Iber. "Budgeting Lesson And Stories." Serials Librarian 48, no. 1/2 (May 2005): 31-37.
      "Virginia Taffurelli described how the Science, Industry and Business Library of The New York Public Library approached its large budget cut and consequent cancellation project." [Article excerpt]
    16. Bergart, Robin and Vivian Lewis. Sudden Selector's Guide to Business Resources (2007).
      "As the name suggests these [SIBL’s online] research guides are a mix of science, industry and business. Business selectors might serendipitously find something of interest that they would not find on the website devoted only to business such as climate data, tsunami resources and apparel, fashion and textiles sources." [Article excerpt]
    17. Drake, Miriam A. "Defining the Library Of The 21st Century: The British Library." Searcher 15, no. 2 (February 2007): 30-35.
      "The library brought in some new people, several from the corporate sector who had worked on business intelligence services and people who supported consultancy firms. The new staff was more experienced in dealing with key people and integrating information into coherent packages. The library sent some people to the Science, Industry, and Business Library at New York Public Library for training." [Article excerpt]
    18. "ALA Annual Conference Posts Record Attendance." Advanced Technology Libraries 36, no. 8 (August 2007): 1-8.
      "Initially, The New York Public Library had a pilot-project agreement with Google, but it now has a permanent agreement to scan titles in public domain. John Balow, collection management librarian, said 'thousands and thousands' of books have been scanned, with titles coming primarily from the main library building but also some from the Science, Industry and Business Library. Condition is the major 'filtering factor,' and because of poor condition, the library is unable to send the number of volumes it would like. NYPL plans to provide links to Google from its catalog." [Article excerpt]
    19. DiMattia, Susan S. "Getting the Money You Need." Online32, no. 1 (January 2008): 22-26.
      "John Ganly, assistant director at the Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL) of New York Public Library, says his department doesn't consciously fundraise for a specific database or other resource. Instead, they advise potential major donors of special resources or collections that fall into their subject interest or expertise. If major donors agree to have their donations applied in this way, they receive acknowledgment in the catalog for underwriting the cost of the entire collection." [Article excerpt]
    20. Trujillo Gonzalez, Adriana, Vincci Kwong, Julie Strange, and Julie Yen. "A Guide To Excellent Creative Business Libraries and Business Centers." Reference & User Services Quarterly 48, no. 3 (Spring 2009): 232-238.
      "The SIBL targeted the small business community and shifted away from just being an Internet-cafe type of facility to become a tiered service center. This involved revamping the existing website, developing skills of staff, partnering, and intense marketing. The SIBL implemented various services and resources, including workshops given by business experts, individualized attention, and additional database offerings. Some of these enhancements were suggested by librarians responding to our survey. The SIBL also recognized that staff development and ongoing partnerships were necessary for the SIBL to be successful." [Article excerpt]
    21. "News Desk: NYPL, Help Jobless." Library Journal 134, no. 3 (February 15, 2009): 13.
      "The New York Public Library (NYPL), with the assistance of, on January 27 drew more than 1000 people to 'Back to Work: Jumpstart Your Job Search,' a free event aimed to help laid-off professionals with not only career information but also personalized advice. Some 250 people registered for the 220 slots available for 20-minute 'speed coaching' sessions from career coaches. Various workshops at NYPL's Science, Industry and ;Business Library were standing room only." [Article excerpt]
    22. Peterson-Sloss, Celeste. "Noted & Quoted." Computers In Libraries30, no. 10 (December 2010): 28-29.
      "The Special Libraries Association (SLA) announced that it has inducted three members into its Hall of Fame. The 2010 inductees are Guy St. Clair, Judith Field, and John Ganly. […] Ganly has been a member of SLA since 1984. According to the announcement, he is recognized as a pioneer in developing, practicing, and teaching business librarianship. He has served as assistant director of the Science, Industry and Business Library at the New York Public Library. He has been active in fundraising, vendor relations, and networking for the New York Chapter. In 1999, he was inducted into the Business & Finance Division's Hall of Fame." [Article excerpt]
    23. Gilton, Donna L. Lifelong Learning In Public Libraries: Principles, Programs, And People (2012).
      "Many public and academic business collections on the web offer electronic pathfinders as the main mode of instruction, at least on the Internet. However, one public business library NYPL Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) has an extensive schedule of classes comparable to those in many academic libraries." [Book excerpt]
    24. MacLeod, Don. How To Find Out Anything: From Extreme Google Searches To Scouring Government Documents, A Guide To Uncovering Anything About Everyone And Everything (2012).
      "The tireless librarians at the New York Public’s Science, Industry and Business Library offer a list of directories for dozens of industries at a page quite naturally titled Industry Specific Directories. This is an excellent resource for locating reference materials […] You won't be surprised to hear that the researchers from the NYPL's Science, Industry and Business Library offer a lengthy list of Industry surveys for your delectation." [Book excerpt]
    25. Collins, Bradley. "How Public Libraries Are A Boon To Small Business." American Libraries43, no. 7/8 (July 2012): 28-31.
      "As might be expected, NYPL's NYC Small Business Resource Center is huge and offers 10-15 free workshops every week." [Article excerpt]
    26. Schwartz, Meredith. "Massive Open Opportunity." Library Journal138, no. 9 (May 15, 2013): 22.
      "LYNDA.COM, which offers about 1,700 instructional videos, also focuses on practical online training, much of it technical. The site recently partnered with New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) to provide free access to its content and is pursuing partnerships with other libraries." [Article excerpt]
    27. Azzolini, John. Law Firm Librarianship: Issues, Practice and Directions (2013): 65.
      "Some large metropolitan public library systems have branches designed specifically as business libraries. The New York Public Library's Science, Industry, and Business Library [...] is one such example. Having been established with these communities of practice in mind, it contains exceptional business-related collections as well as a research staff adept at managing and searching them." [Book excerpt]
    28. "Award-Winning Speaker Theodore Henderson Serves as Judge for New York StartUP! 2013 Business Plan Competition." PR Newswire 16 Sept. 2013. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
      "The Competition gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to bolster their business acumen. Entrants gain practical insights about starting and growing a business, while learning about the plentiful small business resources at The New York Public Library's Science, IndustryandBusinessLibrary (SIBL) located at 188 Madison Avenue at 34th Street. Judges decide the winners by evaluating each plan based on its content, including the thoroughness and quality of the analysis, use of information, and clear concise communication. Winners receive cash prizes, with a first place award of $15,000, second place of $7,500, third place of $5,000, and fourth and fifth place of $1,500." [Article excerpt]
    29. Enis, Matt. "Industry: Offers Home Access." Library Journal139, no. 19 (November 15, 2014): 1.
      "The company began exploring enhanced access for library patrons two years ago, testing a nonfixed IP address licensing model with the New York Public Library's Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL) branch in December 2012. As many as 50 patrons at a time could access content from any of SIBL's 150 public workstations. And from September 2013 through September 2014, worked with 27 libraries to pilot test a licensing model that enabled patrons to check out two-week subscriptions to the service." [Article excerpt]
    30. Ballard, Terry. 50 Specialty Libraries Of New York City: From Botany To Magic(2016): 27.

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    The collections of the Map Division of The New York Public Library contain a rare gem of information graphics and cartographic design: a copy of Charles Minard's self-published folio of 1861, Des tableaux graphiques et des cartes figuratives. WorldCat lists only three other copies of this work in the world's libraries; the copy in the NYPL is the only one in North America. 

    I had the opportunity to see this folio while visiting the Map Room on a Short-Term Research Fellowship in September. The folio consists of an introductory text printed in French (a translation of which was made by Dawn Finley and posted online), followed by four graphic plates with reprints of Minard's drawings: two graphs (plates I and III), one map (Plate II), and one compilation of other authors' classic statistical data techniques redrawn. On the front cover is an inscription to John Bigelow and signed (with initials) by Minard. 

    Des tableaux graphiques et des cartes figuratives, par M. Minard - Front Cover

    The folio was a gift to Bigelow while he was serving as American Consul in Paris in the 1860s, subsequently making its way to the collections of the NYPL along with Bigelow's many books and papers. Hoping to learn more about Bigelow's interest in Minard, I spent a few days looking through Bigelow's appointment books and diaries in the archives, to see if I could find any reference to appointments or meetings with Minard (or engineers generally), but found nothing.

    Geography students, statisticians, graphic designers, and afficionados of the works of Edward Tufte will recognize Charles Minard as the author of the famous Carte Figurativeillustrating Napoleon's 1812 march to Moscow, drawn and published in 1869, the year before Minard's death in Bordeaux at the age of 89. That map, considered by some to be a masterpiece of information design, came at the end of over two decades of flow line map productivity, during which time Minard expanded the language of flow line technique to new levels of statistical expression.

    The first flow line map that he drew, the map that launched those years of innovation, appears as Plate II in this folio. 

    Plate II - Carte de la circulation des voyageurs par voitures publiques

    Like the other plates in the publication, the map is a hand-colored lithograph. Minard originally drew it in 1845, to depict the movement of passengers by public conveyances between Dijon and Mulhouse. The map is designed with a simplified base of city and town locations and rivers, as a supporting structure for the "zones," or flow lines, which are offset in blue watercolor fill. Minard uses curving routes to approximate the actual routes in a general way, what we would today call a "realistic" (as opposed to "abstract") flow line technique. Cities and towns anchoring each segment are sketched in with a circle sized to give a general sense of relative town sizes. 

    No numerical figures are included with the flow lines, as Minard (inspired by the works and writings of William Playfair and Alexander von Humboldt) preferred the reader observe magnitude with eyes first and measure later. "It is by sight alone," wrote Minard, "that this map, which was found to be eloquent, made visible the relationship between the numbers of travelers, because it will be noticed that it does not carry a single numeral" (Minard 1861:3). 

    I was excited to spend time with this historic work, as it has many qualities of interest to scholars of the history of information graphics. For example, in addition to documenting his early preference for realistic, curving line routes, the map also displays his preference for a highly stripped back base geography, an aesthetic he would carry into most of his subsequent work. As I explored the map more closely, however, I suddenly perceived another design feature which I had never before noticed, and that was the way Minard defined the numerical magnitudes of his flow lines.

    In his map, Minard provided two bar scales at the lower right. One is a conventional bar scale intended for the reader to measure geographical distances, with increments in kilometers. Below it, however, is a second bar scale with increments marked in 10,000 passengers, intended for the readers to measure the widths of the flow lines. In essence, that is, to measure passenger data distance. Intrigued, I revisited Minard's other, later flow line maps (many of which can be found online at the Bibliothèque Numérique Patrimoine des Ponts), where I found the same technique repeated. 

    Minard - Bar scales

    For me, this was a radically different way of conceptualizing flow line technique, one that suddenly opened my eyes to mapping habits so ingrained in me as to be invisible. Until now, I've thought of flow lines as individual symbols whose widths are proportionally sized to match the data they represent. Minard showed me that, in fact, the flow line map consists of two overlapping planes of different data spaces: physical geographical space and passenger space. Though they cannot occupy the same spatial plane (in the same way as, for example, miles and kilometers both occupy the same plane of physical geographical space), they do intersect at the locations where passengers' journeys begin and end. 

    By the same logic, a map that depicts data with both flow lines and proportional circles would be three overlapping planes, with three different distance scales, which intersect only at the locations where flow lines begin and end, and at the center points of the proportional circles if those center points are positioned at the physical locations of the data they represent.

    If I were to tell someone that I was making one map depicting three different data spaces, each occupying separate spatial planes which only occasionally intersected, the person might think I was making something unconventional, impractical, perhaps unusable. And yet, this is simply a different way of looking at what I've been making all this time, when I make a flow line or proportional circle map. Indeed, it is a very basic and obvious truth about statistical cartography; nevertheless it is one that I never saw until Minard gave me a device to measure it.

    Years after his death, Minard's students would continue and then extend the visual grammar of their mentor's flow line technique in the maps of their masterful, annual Album de Statistique Graphique. I'm disappointed to observe, however, that they did not also continue his practice of indicating the measurability of those flow lines with a bar scale. Instead, they explain with words the relationship of the flow line widths to their corresponding values. It is a small difference. But explaining to a reader how to use a ruler to measure and convert the values of individual lines does not encourage that person to perceive that those lines coinhabit a data space forming its own plane. Our sense of the map as a representation of multiple data space planes, the contemplation of which will lead to creative insights about how those data relate, is gone.

    For my part, I'll never look at or make a statistical map the same way again. The second bar scale in this reprinted map from the nineteenth century was, for me, a revelation, for which I am grateful to Monsieur Minard.


    Margaret Pearce is a cartographer based in Rockland, Maine. She is writing the entry on "Thematic Mapping Techniques" for History of Cartography, volume 5: Cartography in the Nineteenth Century, edited by Roger Kain and forthcoming from University of Chicago Press.

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    The 5th Annual Black Comic Book Festival
    The 5th Annual Black Comic Book Festival at The Schomburg Center.

    Welcome to our biweekly update on events happening during the next two weeks at The New York Public Library. With 92 locations across New York City, a lot is happening at the Library. We're highlighting some of our events here—including author talks, free classes, community art shows, performances, concerts, and exhibitions—and you can always find more at If you want our round-up in your inbox, sign up here. We look forward to seeing you at the Library.

    The Schomburg Center

    1/11: Between the Lines: Brittney C. Cooper, Susana M. Morris, and Robin M. BoylornHighlighting a collection of popular and relevant writings from the Crunk Feminist Collective’s hugely popular website, editors and scholars Brittney C. Cooper, Susana M. Morris, and Robin M. Boylorn engage in a spirited conversation on the intersection of pop culture and politics with race and gender. A book signing will follow. 6:30 PM.

    1/13 & 1/14: The 5th Annual Black Comic Book Festival: The Schomburg Center is opening its doors to celebrate black comic books and comic book artists in this two day expo. Featuring panels, art, collectibles, cosplay, and more, plus the chance to donate samples of your own comics to the Schomburg's Comic Book Archive. 10 AM both days.

    1/17: Live from the Archive: Archives from the Black Diaspora: Kicking off a debut conversation seriesfeaturing conversations between scholars, artists, community activists, and staff members of the Schomburg's Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Division—scholars Brent Edwards and Melanie Chambliss talk with Schomburg archivist Alexsandra M. Mitchell on the past, present, and future of archives in the Black Diaspora. 6:30 PM.

    1/19: Between the Lines: Veronica Chambers, Damon Young, and Rebecca Carroll: Editor and writer Veronica Chambers invited a range of people to give voice to the cultural meaning of Michelle Obama in The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own. She discusses her book with contributors Damon Young, editor-in-chief of, and Rebecca Carroll, producer of special projects on race at WNYC. 6:30 PM.

     Going Beyond the Musical Score with Tido
    In a (digital) Landscape: Going Beyond the Musical Score with Tido

    Library for the Performing Arts

    1/11: In a (digital) Landscape: Going Beyond the Musical Score with TidoEnjoy this demonstration of the Tido Music app, which helps student, amateur, and professional pianists engage more deeply with music through interactive digital scores, video performances and masterclasses, notation-aligned recordings, written commentary, and a suite of powerful practice tools. 7 PM, Bruno Walter Auditorium.

    1/12: Flowers Cracking Concrete: Rosemary Candelario on Eiko & KomaRosemary Candelario discusses her new book Flowers Cracking Concrete, the first in-depth study of the forty-year career of Eiko & Koma—two artists from Japan who have lived and worked in New York City since the mid-1970s, establishing themselves as innovative and influential modern and postmodern dancers. 6 PM, Bruno Walter Auditorium.

    1/19:  ICE at the Library: Collecting Ashley Fure: In an effort to reshape the way that music is created and shared, The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is striving to create a radically accessible online archive, where composers, performers, and audiences can discover new works, and share their thoughts about how music is composed, performed, and heard. Help build their archive at this interactive concert, where ICE collects your responses to world premiere performances of music by trailblazing composer and intermedia artist Ashley Fure. 6 PM, Bruno Walter Auditorium.

    Mid-Manhattan Library

    1/11: Frozen in Time: A photographic narrative chronicling a turbulent mother-daughter relationship in the serene setting of a picturesque but decrepit Maine home, Sarah C. Butler's Frozen In Time is beautiful and heart-wrenching. Butler will be joined by author and critic Vicki Goldberg for a discussion on her book moderated by editor Alison Morley. The Corner Room, 6:30 PM.

    New York StartUP! 2017 Business Plan Competition
    New York StartUP! 2017 Business Plan Competition

    Science, Industry, and Business Library

    Ongoing: Enroll in the 2017 StartUP! Business Plan CompetitionThe 8th Annual New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition is now open for enrollment. If you're a New York-based startup entrepreneur, you can win up to $15,000 to start your small business. Learn more about the steps and requirements for entry, and enroll today to participate in an online or on-site orientation session. Workshops begin January 19, 2017, 6 PM, at Healy Hall.

    1/12: Getting Your Story Straight: Personal Branding for Job Seekers: The digital revolution has changed the way we workand the way we search for work. Personal branding experts Arlene C. Newman and Kevin S. Ryan discuss how to sell your unique value proposition in person and online in this enlightening seminar. 6 PM, Conference Room 018.

    1/18: Social Media Marketing Planning for a New Year of Business: Business experts John Crant and Charlie Conard help you learn from your prior social media efforts—what worked and what didn'tand freshen up your profiles for 2017. Then, learn about the importance of creating the adequate channels to reach your audience and developing platform-centric strategies for your marketing messages. 6 PM, Conference Room 018.

     Kick-Off Celebration
    Lower East Side Oral History Project: Kick-Off Celebration

    Around the Library

    1/19: Lower East Side Oral History Project: Kick-off Celebration: Join the Oral History Project to celebrate the launch of this historic documentation of the Lower East Side. Listen to oral history highlights, view images from the LES Heritage Collection, meet neighbors, and learn how you can get involved. 6 PM, Seward Park Library.

    1/19: TeenLIVE: #WeThePeopleThe next generation of New York poets take to the library to voice their feelings about our election, our democracy, and the nation at large. Featuring the 2017 Youth Poet Ambassadors, 2017 NYC Youth Poet Laureate Sharon Lin, and National Book Award finalist Patricia Smith. 7 PM, Jefferson Market Library.

    Ongoing: Free English Classes: Information Sessions: The Library is offering free English classes once again, for those who speak English as a second language and those who already speak English and want to improve. All prospective students must first attend an information session; check here for a list of dates, times, and locations. Offered at multiple branches. 

    Get Event Updates by Email 

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    More Events

    Note: Visit or call ahead for the latest information, as programs and hours are subject to change or cancellation.

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    The United States Patent and Trademark  Office (USPTO) is currently accepting applications for the Unpaid Externship - Office of the Chief Information Officer, Patent and Trademark Office.  This is a 10 -12 week summer program.  If you are selected to participate, will be expected to begin in early June 2017.  Applications will be accepted until Friday, January 20, 2017.

    New Partners  will present a recruitment on Tuesday, January 10,  2017, 10 am - 1:30 pm, for Home Health Aide (5 F/T & P/T openings), at  Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138-60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355.  There is a $250 bonus if applicant is bilingual (English/Spanish).

    The Bronx District Attorney's Office  will present a recruitment on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 10 am - 2 pm, for Community Assistant (4 openings),  Community Associate (4 openings) at  the Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 E. Fordham Road, 7th Floor, Bronx, NY 10458.  By appointment only.  Valid State-issued driver's license.       

    Spanish Speaking Resume Writing  workshop on Thursday, January 12, 2017, 12:30 - 2:30 pm. at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138-60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355.  All interested jobseekers will learn to organize, revise and update resumes.                                                                                                                                                    

    Basic Resume Writing  workshop on Thursday, January 12, 2017, 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 January 8 become available.

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    Live from the Reading Room: Correspondence is a podcast series that aims to share interesting and engaging letters written by or to key historical figures from the African Diaspora.

    Each episode highlights a letter from popular collections housed in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

     © ChesterHiggins/

    This episode features a letter from South Africa’s former president and anti apartheid revolutionary, Nelson Mandela, to his sister-in-law , Niki Iris Xaba.

    This correspondence is recited by Oscar award winning rapper and actor Common. Common’s latest album, “Black America Again”, is now available on iTunes.

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    Subscribe on iTunes.

    We frequently hear about diversity, but why is diversity important? Recently, with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we hosted Our Compelling Interests: A Panel on Diversity and Democracy, a panel gathered to address the critical role of diversity in democracy. Participants included Kevin Young, the award-winning poet and director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Brian Lehrer, Host of WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show; Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Nicole Gelinas, Senior Fellow at The Manhattan Institute and Contributing Editor of City Journal; Anthony W. Marx, President of The New York Public Library; Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Rutgers University-Newark and editor of the Our Compelling Interests series; and Earl Lewis, an editor of Our Compelling Interests: The Value of Diversity for Democracy and a Prosperous Society. For this week's episode of the New York Public Library Podcast, we're proud to present Lehrer, Ifill, Young, Contreras-Sweet, Marx, Gelinas, and Cantor discussing our compelling interests in diverse democracy.


    Maria Contreras-Sweet focused on the economic benefits of diversity, considering in particular gender:

    "I think that's an important challenge for our country is how we make sure that we're dispersing capital in an appropriate way. I'm from California, and I can tell you that right now venture capital is concentrated in three states. That's California, New York, and Massachusetts. And only four percent of that capital is going to women today. Some argue five or six percent. You know, I'll give them the six percent. It's still fifty-one percent of our population getting six percent. So I think if we really think hard, we would say that women have more than four percent of the good ideas."

    Beyond economics, Sherrilyn Ifill considered how segregation negatively effects the country:

    "The question for me is not whether just we know one another but whether we regard one another as worthy to be known. I do think that talking about the benefits of diversity as an economic matter is always helpful because there are people who can hear that argument, but I think we need to start talking about the consequences of segregation, which is an old school word, you know, the S word. But the consequences of segregation: I think we are seeing the consequences of segregation, and I think we have to begin talking about the way in which segregation threatens a democratic experiment that is this country, that is uniquely valuable and requires that we reframe our diversity conversation to be less about seeing diversity as conferring a benefit on black people or Latino people or women and instead conferring a benefit on the entire society as a whole."

    Gelinas was interested in considering how America is not only racially or religiously diverse but also how it is diverse in its mixture of different cities, towns, and rural areas:

    "That's the other type of diversity I wanted people to consider as well: diversity between cities and non-cities, whether they're suburbs or rural areas, and diversity between cities. Interestingly, in the election, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders talked about the problems of the inner city. They both used that phrase. But that phrase has become meaningless. Donald Trump lives in the inner city. He's a few blocks, a couple blocks north of us, I guess. A city like New York has different problems than a city like Detroit or a city like Buffalo, where a lot of the economic anxiety that New York has is because the city is doing so well. People feel like they're squeezed out, and that is not something that is confined to poorer people. This effects middle class people and even upper middle class people as well. They see rapid changes that they have no control over, and often times, government institutions instead of pushing back against the economic cycle, they are exacerbating it. People are concerned, for example, about Airbnb and taking affordable housing off the market by turning these apartments into hotel rooms, they are kind of painted into a corner and the governing class says, 'Well you just don't know very much about the economy. This is how an efficient economy works.' I think New York has a better balance than a lot of parts of the country at being able to push back against some of these economic forces. But part of that is because we're such a wealthy city, one final thing that we do right, that we do correctly, that we should think more about, is smart infrastructure investment. One of the keys to mobility in New York is the subway system. If you are poor here, you don't have to own a car. You can get to a job. You're not waiting at a bus stop for four hours. That is something that cuts across race and class and works for everyone."

    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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     Author/illustrator Aram Kim 

    Since the 53rd Street Library opened last year, a smiling patron has been coming to the branch to pick up her reserved books. The first time I met her, I could feel comforting energy and a peaceful aurora from her. When she mentioned she was in the publishing field making a children's book, I thought it was very well suited to her. By chance, I found the book Cat on the Bus, covered with very cute cat illustrations. She was the author!

    I would like to introduce Aram Kim, who loves all kinds of animals and makes a touching story from tiny, trivial things in life.  

    What were your favorite books as a child? 

    I always loved books narrated by animal character's points of view. As a child, my absolute favorite book was E.B.White's Charlotte's Web. I was fascinated by the story and couldn't stop reading. Thanks to that book, I have never been afraid of spiders. They are all Charlotte's friends and families after all! I was also in love with the book Black Beauty, which is a memoir of a black horse. I think that was the first time I opened my eyes to animal rights. 

    Where did you get idea about your first book?

    book cover
    Aram's first book, Cat on the Bus

    I saw a photo of a street cat who got on the bus. The photo was taken in South Korea, where I am from, and it was taken during a very cold winter. It was very heartwarming that the driver didn't shoo away the street cat who was trying to get on the bus, and passengers didn't frown upon the cat who got on the bus all by itself. It was such a cold weather, there must have been a mutual sympathy towards the cat who did not have home, and everyone wanted the cat to have a moment of warmth. It showed people's kindness and it really spoke to my heart. 

    What comes first, writing or illustrating? 

    A lot of times, illustrating comes first. Even when I have a specific story I want to tell, I start drawing before I write. Once I start drawing a little, drawing and writing happen simultaneously, balancing each other. Sometimes, I don't have a story, but I draw something and start imagining a story from the picture and it becomes a story. 

    What are your favorite things to see or do in New York? 

    There are countless things to do and see in New York, but my favorite thing to do is walking around the city! the best time to do it is spring - it's so beautiful! Especially after a long, cold winter, when the weather starts to warm up slightly and flowers start to bloom, it is a great time to walk abound New York City. You will see lots and lots of daffodils - bright yellow, star-shaped flowers make you have a spring in you steps!

    Do you have any plan for your next book? 

    Yes! It's about a little girl who loves her grandma's Korean dishes, but hates stinky, spicy Kimchi! I am finishing up working on art just now and it will be on the shelf this coming fall.  

    Aram Kim will read her book at an upcoming event at 53rd Street Library. Kids and families are all welcome to have a great time sharing her interesting book making story while she introduces her little cute street cat from her first picture book! Learn more about the author and her illustrated works

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    Think women are only capable of writing about fashion and other "feminine" pursuits? Think again. In the late 19th century, Elizabeth Jane "Pink" Cochran set out to turn the journalistic world of the time on its head. She was itching to break into a New York City newspaper no matter what it took. She spoke to the editors of the local papers, including The New York Times, all of whom were male, and all of whom had serious reservations about the abilities of "girl" reporters.

    Nellie Bly, as she came to be known, hatched a plan in order to achieve her goal. (Not using pen names was considered to be a faux pas at the time.) She would ask for the editors' response from New York World to a young woman who had posed a question to her: Could a woman writer make her mark in New York? The editor, John Cockerill, offered Bly a job. Apparently, this woman would make her mark in NYC. 

    Nellie's first task as a woman reporter was to be admitted as a mental patient into an asylum in order to write an expose of the deplorable conditions that mental patients were subjected to there. Her pointed question to the editor prior to embarking on such a venture: How are you going to get me out? Colonel John Cockerill told her to worry about getting in first. After being admitted into Blackwell Island (now known as Roosevelt Island), which was full of convicts and psychiatric patients, Nellie observed shocking atrocities, When she was finally discharged, this girl reporter informed the world about the shockingly torturous methods that were employed on the patients, including brutal beatings, starvation, unsanitary conditions and worse. 

    In the course of her very eventful life and career, Bly also had a chance to meet Jules Verne, author of Around the World in Eighty Days. In fact, she was able to beat his character when she made a record of traveling the world in a mere 72 days. Bly also tried her hand at writing dime novels, and she managed to marry a 70-year-old millionaire in 1895, who unfortunately died less than a year later. If anything, Nellie Bly was not a woman to idly watch life pass her by. 

    Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original "Girl" Reporter, Nellie Bly by Deborah Noyes, 2016

    Books about insane asylums

    Thomas Szasz's The Myth of Mental Illness


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    A library can be a safe place to work after school, but it's also important to get there safely. As a crossing guard outside Castle Hill Library, Casilda sees her role as an extension of its protective space. She knows the branch well, having grown up in the neighborhood and now takes her own daughter there.

    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.


    Casilda Chaluisan, school crossing guard, at Castle Hill Library

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     springing exercise.
    Some fun cardio from our Digital Collections. 

    It's a new year, and just like every January, millions of people across the world are pledging to get in shape. For some bookworms, it can be a hard resolution to keep -- I'm more interested in cozying up with a good novel than I am in sweating my brains out on the elliptical. But it helps to note that a lot of great authors throughout history have been exercise buffs. So if you're looking to stay fit, clear the mind, or just have some fun, here's some inspiration from the workouts of your favorite writers:

    David Foster Wallace
    David Foster Wallace. Photo credit: Corbis/Gary Hannabarger

    David Foster Wallace: Tennis

    One of the foremost writers of the 1990s's and 2000's, the author of Infinite Jest was a nationally-ranked junior tennis player as a teenager, an experience he describes in his essay "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley" from A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. Wallace's mathematical and geometric intuition made him a natural in the sport, with his ability to think ahead giving him an edge on more athletic competition.  Wallace even published one of the most acclaimed books of essays on tennis, String Theory, which includes his masterful profile of Roger Federer.

    Haruki Murakami
    Haruki Murakami running. Photo credit: Patrick Fraser/Corbis Outline.

    Haruki Murakami: Running

    You probably know Haruki Murakami from his novels Kafka on the Shore  and 1Q84, but he's also the author of What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, a memoir on Murakami's experiences with long distance running, marathons, and triathlons. The book is great for runners and instructive for writers; Murakami credits his six-mile-a-day workout regiment for teaching him the discipline he needed to become a successful author.

    Colette. Photo credit: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

    Colette: Swimming

    The French novelist and Nobel Prize nominee Colette was known for her longevity, her stage career, and her pioneering voice in women's literature in turn-of-the-century Europe. But she also was a big fan of swimming, and as she wrote to a friend at sixty years old, her ideal life would be spent "swimming at all hours of the day" (Yours Ever, Thomas Mallon).  Her fitness routine must have worked, because 11 years later she published the novella Gigiher most famous work to date and the basis of the 1958 film.

    Ernest Hemingway
    Ernest Hemingway. Image via Fightland/Vice.

    Ernest Hemingway: Boxing

    The archetype of authorial machismo, the author of The Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms was an avid amateur boxer for much of his life, even going so far as to write "my writing is nothing, my boxing is everything." While he may have oversold his credentials, his interest was very real: he famously fought novelist Morley Callaghan in Paris with F. Scott Fitzgerald keeping time, and he set up a boxing ring at his Key West estate in his later years, where he would entertain guests and even referee matches. Indeed, his passion was so intense that Jack Dempsey refused to spar with him, on the grounds that Hemingway might hurt himself by mistake: " I had this sense that Hemingway, who really thought he could box, would come out of the corner like a madman. To stop him, I would have to hurt him badly, I didn’t want to do that to Hemingway. That’s why I never sparred with him."

    Emily Dickinson
    Emily Dickinson.

    Emily Dickinson: Cardio

    Most people don't think of the famously introverted poet Emily Dickinson as much of an exerciser. But it turns out that while at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, she put in 15 minutes of "calisthenics" every day at 12 noon (A Historical Guide to Emily Dickinson, Vivian R. Pollak). It just goes to show that if you make reasonable, attainable goals, you can set up a daily regiment that works for you! Just keep it simple, and remember that even a little activity is a lot better than none at all.

    Charles Dickens
    Charles Dickens. Image via Getty.

    Charles Dickens: 12 Mile Walks

    Everyone knows Charles Dickens as the author of countless famous stories, such as A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist. But did you know he was a prodigious walker, who was estimated to have walked about 12 miles a day at a rate of nearly 5 mph (Dickens, Peter Ackroyd). Dickens didn't just view his grueling constitutionals as exercise, though: he also used walking as a way to explore and observe the neighborhoods of London, where many of his novels were set.

    Do you have any other author-inspired fitness routines? Let us know in the comments!

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    The new lab space

    In August, the Digital Archives Program, took an exciting and long-awaited step by moving into our own space. Prior to this, Digital Archives staff shared a room with the Special Collections processing archivists. As we expanded, staff and equipment became increasingly scattered around the main processing space wherever there was extra room. It became clear that there was a need for dedicated lab space where we no longer needed to walk fifty feet to grab a cord or collaborate on a project. If you’ve ever done digital forensics, you know that a large part of that work involves tracking down the right cord, adaptor, and/or write blocker!

    The new lab occupies half of a large room on the same floor as the main processing space which is on the second floor of NYPL’s Library Services Center in Long Island City, Queens. This allows us to be close to the processing archivists who now come to our lab to process born-digital material, while enabling us to streamline our processes. While Digital Archives uses most of the space, we share it with our Head of Digital Preservation, Nick Krabbenhoeft, and our Special Collections Operations and Systems Coordinator, Mary Kidd. This decision was made since Digital Archives and Digital Preservation are close collaborators and we now get the benefit of Mary’s help coordinating our activities and documentation with each other and the rest of Special Collections.

    Primary forensic workstation
    Our primary forensic workstation with the famous FRED computer
    Rack of digital archives supplies
    The handy rack of digital archives supplies









    When setting up the lab, we organized it to allow for flexibility, collaboration, and efficiency. Unlike the more traditional processing of paper materials, much of our work happens at different stations: a photography station, digital forensics workstations, and at a staging computer which functions as the hub of our operations. To that end, we moved away from the cubicle model toward something more open: four banks of desks that can be configured in different ways. For example, some of the desks are now empty and can be used for ad hoc meeting or swing work space. In the future, this space may be repurposed as desk space when we grow our staff and host interns.

    The two digital forensics workstations are now directly next to each other and within easy reach of a rack that contains all our cords, adaptors, write blockers, and tools. Our primarily forensic workstation is a FRED computer (a Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device). This computer is used to create forensic images of digital media. It also runs FTK (Forensic ToolKit) the software that archivists use to process most of our born-digital archival material. Its close proximity allows us to be a ready resource to archivists as they appraise, arrange, and describe collections. Our secondary forensic workstation is a ThinkPad computer. Having a second computer allows us more flexibility to image media and process materials simultaneously. 

    The photography stand for taking pictures of digital media
    Photography stand with light shield and diffusers

    Next to these workstations is an enclosed steel cabinet that contains the in-progress digital media and the photography station. In our current workflow, we take pictures of all digital media. Previously, this station had been in the supply closet in the main processing space, requiring us to carry media into the closet and inconvenience processing archivists who needed supplies. We sought out the expertise of NYPL’s Digital Imaging Unit and came up with a solution that would allow us to take high quality pictures within the ambient light of the lab. This involved constructing a foam light shield around the camera and using light diffusers on either side to cut down on flashes caused by optical media. Having the photography station next to the cabinet that holds in-process media and the workstations has increased the efficiency of this step tremendously (and has given the archivists their supply closet back).

    Historic computer collection
    Most, but not all, of our historic computers

    In the future, we hope to further refine the space with more shelving for incomig and outgoing media and our growing historical computer collection, a workbench for taking apart digital media, and a separate computer for processing email. During this move, we also took the opportunity to reexamine our workflows and tools. We made many changes which I look forward to sharing in future blog posts.





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    Androcles & the Lion
    Federal Theatre Project still from Androcles & the Lion

    Part of FDR's New Deal, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created in 1935 to provide paying jobs for the unemployed at every skill level. Workers built all manner of public projects, from bridges, dams, and roads to  libraries and courthouses, swimming pools and gyms, parks and gardens. 

    Federal Project Number One was a large part of the WPA, and included five parts: The Federal Art, Music, Theatre, and Writers' Projects, and the Historical Records Survey. The various divisions employed tens of thousands of people who created works of art, put on plays, taught classes, established musical groups, created guidebooks, and worked to preserve the historical record of the United States. 

    Now for the first time, the Schomburg's collection of WPA Photographs is online. This includes stills from  Federal Theatre Project productions (such as Macbeth, The Swing Mikado, and Haiti), artists and their work under the auspices of the Federal Art Project, and children's and adults' music classes under the Federal Music Project, among others.



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    Are you writer, poet, or artist? Would you like to see your works published? The New York Public Library has an opportunity for you!

    NYPL!Zine is a new publication looking to showcase the works of the diverse communities we serve. This zine will follow the trend of libraries meeting the needs of its users as opposed to users meeting the terms of the library. The purpose is to give you—our patrons—a voice through the Library.  Through artistry, you can convey comments, concerns, and joys about your communities and the world at large. We’re looking for distinct, creative voices that can tell us more about what you love about your neighborhood! We welcome poetry, short stories, novellas, essays, and original artwork!

    Submission Guidelines


    All written manuscripts must be typed in 12-point font, one-inch margins, and checked for spelling and grammar.  At the top of your submission, please include your name, address, primary phone number, and email.  [In a separate document, please include a 2-3 sentence bio about yourself.

    • Poetry should not exceed 1,000 words and be single-spaced
    • Short stories and novellas can be 500-2,500 words double spaced
    • Non-fiction and essays should not exceed 2,500 words, double-spaced
    • Manuscripts must be in .doc or .docx format, and/or be readable in Microsoft Word

    Artwork and Photography

    Physical copies of artwork (e.g.- paintings, sculptures, etc.) or photos will not be accepted. Instead, take a picture or scan your work into one of the following formats: .JPG/JPEG, .TIFF, and .PNG.  Images must be 300 pixels per inch (PPI). Images containing nudity will not be accepted.

    Along with your work, attach a separate Word document with your contact information, description of the work, your local branch  and an optional short (five sentences or less) anecdote of what inspired the work.

    While NYPL!Zine does not want to limit creativity, be aware that it is a publication intended for ALL audiences. Submissions must not use graphic language, depict violence, or perpetuate harmful stereotypes based on age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and mental/physical disabilities.

    Limit of five submissions per person.

    Send all submissions to: with your name and submission title in the subject. Only electronic copies will be accepted. Any work submitted without the release form will not be accepted.

    Submission Deadline: February 19, 2017

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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.

    Exercise 22. Trunk exercise.
    Exercise 22. Trunk exercise.

    We Read...

    Books recommended by our patrons! Emily Dickinson was all about calisthenics, and other authors love exercise too. If endorphins aren't enough, we've got tips to conquer negative thinking. This was George Washington's farewell address. Why is diversity important for democracy, anyway? When Michael Cunningham collaborated with David Bowie on a musical. This is why you need to read Caribbean literature. Lion tamers, clowns, tightrope walkers: there is plenty of circus fiction to be had. A literary puzzle from a professor turned mystery writer. We celebrated Alexander Hamilton's birthday by turning our attention to these cool artifacts from his life in our collections.

    Stereogranimator Friday Feels

    GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at
    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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    The United States Patent and Trademark  Office (USPTO) is currently accepting applications for the Unpaid Externship - Office of the Chief Information Officer, Patent and Trademark Office.  This is a 10 -12 week summer program.  If you are selected to participate, will be expected to begin in early June 2017.  Applications will be accepted until Friday, January 20, 2017.

    Dutch Express LLC will present a recruitment on  Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 10 am - 2 pm, for Delivery Associate - Driver (5 openings), Delivery Associate -Box Truck Driver (5 openings), Delivery Associate -Walker (5 openings),  at NYC Workforce 1 Career Center, 215 West 125th Street,  6th Floor, New York, NY 10027.

    SAGEWorks Workshop: Barriers Faced By Job Seekers 40+ & How To Overcome Them on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 12 - 1:15 pm at SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor Classroom, New York, NY 10011.

    Basic Resume Writing  workshop on Thursday, January 19, 2017, 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.

    AHRC New York City  will present a recruitment  on Friday,  January 20, 2017, 10 am - 2 pm for  Senior Program Coordinator  (3 openings), School Nurse (5 P/T openings),  Head Start Health Coordinator/School Nurse (5 openings),   Child Development  Associate (5 openings), Behavior Trainer Assistant (3 openngs), Teacher Assistant (5 openings), Special Education  Teacher (5 openings),  Behavior Trainer ( 5 openings), School Nurse (5 openings), at Lower Manhattan Workforce 1 Career Center, 75 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013.  By appointment only.

    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 January 15 become available.

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