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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

    With books on the Syrian refugee crisis and American "hillbilly" culture, Frank and Gwen are looking for a deeper undstanding of the world here at home, and abroad. Also, dinosaurs. And then, the inimitable Nancy Aravecz, NYPL trainee and library-school student, joins us to talk about the core principles of libraries and the equal-opportunity learning at Jefferson Market University.


    What We're Reading Now

    Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

    The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria by Janine di Giovanni

    Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge

    Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

    The Ultimate Dinopedia from National Geographic, by Don Lessem ; illustrated by Franco Tempesta

    Diplodocus and minmi, a.k.a. Frank and Gwen in dinosaur form

    Guest Star: Nancy Aravacz

    Great events coming up at Jefferson Market Library

    If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino

    The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

    Non-Book Recommendations

    Nancy: 2 Dope Queens

    Gwen:  Black Girls Create and Hogwarts BSU

    Frank: John Hurt in Harry Potter, Alien, and other films


    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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    People have expressed many opinions about the executive branch and what is constitutional. Here is a list of resources to help you do your own research and form your own opinion:

    draft of proposed amendment
    Draft of proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. Image ID: 5221369

    The Inaugural Ceremony of the 45th President  of the United States of America  Donald J. Trump

    The Executive Orders issued by President Trump

    The Constitution of the United States

    Federalist Papers


    The New York Public Library

    Three Government Branches

    Executive Branch

    Legislative Branch

    Judicial Branch

    Issues in the news

    Major Political Parties of the United States

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    The Carter family is growing by two! Beyonce announced that she is pregnant with twins via Instagram yesterday. 


    Here are seven books about twins for Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Blue Ivy...and the rest of us. Watch out Blue Ivy, everything is about to change! 

    Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

    Kate and Violet are twin sisters with psychic ability. Vi embraces her gift and Kate does everything she can to lead a "normal" life.






    The God of Small Things

    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

    Estha and Rahel navigate the personal and the political in late 1960s India.







    Half of a Yellow Sun

    Half  of a Yellow Son by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie

    Set in 1960s Africa during the struggle of Biafra to establish an independent republic in Nigeria, the book follows the intertwined lives of the characters, including twins Olanna and Kainene , through a military coup, the Biafran secession, and the resulting civil war.






    I'll Give You the Sun

    I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

    Twins, Jude and Noah, are inseparable until puberty hits and they find themselves competing for boys, a spot at an exclusive art school, and their parents' affections. 






    I Know This Much is True

    I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

    Dominick's twin brother Thomas is a politically motivated paranoid schizophrenic and Dominick struggles with his sense of responsibility to care for Thomas and his helplessness. 






    Cutting for Stone

    Cutting for Stoneby Abraham Verghese

    Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, twin brothers, Marion and Shiva come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. 






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

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


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  • 02/02/17--10:43: The Titan and the Dictator
  • Atlas
    Atlas. Manhattan Land Book 1955-56. Plate 77, Part of Sections 4 & 5.  NYPL Map Division. Image ID: 5216999


    Every New Yorker, when asked directions, has a different way of getting to the same place. This gives the impression that New Yorkers are helpful; in reality, most are just very eager to tell others what they think they know.

    Likewise, New York City history is often subject to an arrogant and belabored information literacy.  

    A thing is heard, or maybe even read, somewhere; people believe it because they want to believe it, or because it is "fascinating."  They repeat it to others as if no one else had ever heard it before.  

    It becomes "history." 


    It has been said, written, and said again, that in 1937, New York’s Italian community protested the statue of Atlas in Rockefeller Center because the face of the Titan bore too much resemblance to Benito Mussolini, the fascist ruler of Italy in 1937.

    Atlas Jan 21 NYC March

    Tour Guides riff upon the story. Online, it is cut-and-pasted from Wikipedia. Books repeat it. But scarcely are citations provided that indicate a source showing evidence of actual outrage by Italians or Italian-Americans against the perceived similarities in countenance between the face of the Titan and the mug of the Dictator.

    The statue stands in the forecourt of the International Building, at 626-636 Fifth Avenue, in the northeastern complex of Rockefeller Center. Atlas is wrought of seven tons of bronze, and, according to Greek myth, is doomed to bear the Heavens on his shoulders. 

    Image ID 1558097

    Sculptor Lee Lawrie ornamented the rings of the celestial globe with the twelve signs of the zodiac. One hulking, mountainous leg of Atlas staggers off the pedestal, while no promise of relief is yielded by the tiny bronze holymen and holywomen carved into the doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral across Fifth Avenue.

    Note that the south structure, at 626 Fifth Avenue, is known as the Palazzo D’Italia, which the Rockefeller family had offered to Italy in 1932 as an anchorage of midtown office space. "It would afford me utmost satisfaction,” John D. Rockefeller, Jr., wrote to Mussolini, “if your great nation were to be represented." In return, the brute bald nationalist admired that the American billionaire was "more powerful than any monarch." As Rockefeller employed his sons Nelson, John, and David in the family business, Mussolini appointed his son-in-law, Galeazzo Ciano, as chief of the Office of Press and Propaganda, and later the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1944, Ciano was executed by firing squad after conspiring against Mussolini.  "It is peculiarly my destiny to be betrayed by everyone,” said the Duce, “even by my own daughter,” who fled to Switzerland.

    Benito Mussolini. National Portrait Gallery. Smithsonian Institution.


    Classical mythology is a historical canon from which public art in New York City seems no longer interested in drawing for inspiration and meaning, opting instead for giant puppy dogs, orange curtains, and winsome subway murals.

    The press office of Governor Andrew Cuomo claims that the Second Avenue subway is “the largest permanent public art installation in New York State history.”

    This would be a true statement, if Rockefeller Center were in New Jersey.

    Orange curtains and puppy dogs are examples of pop iconography, which may have most reflected the epic heroism and lyric fatalism of classical mythology in the 1963 Andy Warhol silkscreen print of Elvis Presley, an Atlas of Memphis who once begged to “make the world go away… get it off...  get it off my shoulders…”

    Intl Hotel and Tower


    The city is often impolite when new things are built. It will soon embrace them, but first it must subject them to a cranky hazing ritual.  This is a town that otherwise prides itself on its urbanity and grit, but denies its own smarm and anxiety.

    For example, it is repeated in books and articles that the Empire State Building was nicknamed the “Empty State Building” because six months after its opening at the beginning of the Depression only 25% of its 2.2 million square feet of office space had been occupied.

    After multiple trial-and-error keyword searches of NYC newspaper databases, actual usage of this phrase in print in the early and mid-1930s is shown to be infrequent. There is no listing for the phrase in the New York Times Index. Books about the Empire State Building bandy the claim without a published example.  

    Norman Thomas, the Socialist candidate for President in 1932, called it the “Empty State Building” in a campaign speech at the Elmwood Music Hall in Buffalo, New York, when remarking about the two chief backers of the skyscraper, ex-Governor Al Smith and former Democratic National Committee chairman John Jacob Raskob.  

    Pedestrians of the city, marveling at the size but also unemployed in droves, were likely put off by the new Eighth Wonder of the World.

    Norman Thomas


    Ephemeral New York blogs about the statue of Atlas and cites New York: The Unknown City, a 2004 guidebook, for the Mussolini story, but the book provides no source information that the statue was “picketed after its unveiling in 1937.”  The authors say that “critics and politicians” compared the “visage” to Mussolini, but that sculptors Lee Lawrie and Rene Chambellan “insisted no such tribute was made.”

    Wikipedia references a pejorative quote by the painter James Montgomery Flagg that Atlas "looks too much as Mussolini thinks he looks,” suggesting that the titanic ego of tyrants drives the habit of interpreting reality as it is not.  The virtual wiki author cites Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan (2007) for the quote, in lieu of the original source where Flagg’s comment appeared.

    Healthy information literacy should repel the use of Wikipedia as less a research resource than a feckless mansplainer.  "The information that it contains, " said Freeman Dyson in the The New York Review of Books, "is totally unreliable and surprisingly accurate." In the Atlas entry, Wikipedia is one “source” among a handful, providing a cross-reference that should be checked out before trusted. No one should get the idea that Wikipedia is out to support good information or democratize knowledge.  In this example, it is a pit-stop in an eerie podunkville before hightailing it back on the road to continue the long strange trip.

    The author of Outdoor Monuments indicates that Flagg's quote was published in a NY Times article by Edward Alden Jewell, and written on behalf of an informal “committee” of self-appointed artistic tastemakers. The article, published March 7, 1943, targets numerous public monuments in New York City as overdue for the scrap heap, and the tone is snobby and rancorous.  Flagg compares Atlas to Mussolini, and the rest of the committee is equally disdainful. Joining company with Atlas in the junkyard is the Teddy Roosevelt statue out front the American Museum of Natural History, and the U.S.S. Maine monument at Columbus Circle.

    In published secondary sources, the Flagg quote is the sole direct source, if any, for the comparison of Atlas to Benito. 


    There are other vague and misinformed references.

    Not only does Manhattan: A Photographic Journey use “picketed” as verbiage to describe alleged public opposition to a Mussolini resemblance, but the author also has the International Building opening in 1933, which is incorrect.  Excavation began in 1933, and the building opened in 1935.

    The 2016 Fodor’s New York City repeats the claim about protests, and even dates them as having occurred in 1936.  The statue, however, was not installed until 1937.

    Podcasters “The Bowery Boys” claim that “protesters picketed” Atlas because the statue was “modelled” on Mussolini, instead of simply happening to resemble Il Duce. The boys give no citation.

    The search for reports of anti-Atlas protests or pickets at Rock Center in 1930s newspaper databases yields zero results.  The evidence for demonstrations is absent.  It is very likely they never occurred.


    Three additional mentions of Atlas in the context of Mussolini precede the quote by Flagg:

    In 1937, the Citizen-Advertiser, a newspaper published in Auburn, NY, featured the syndicated column “New York Inside Out,” which noted that “Radio City has a new statue.”  The author, gossip-jabberer Don O’Malley, uses the earlier and more futuristic term for Rock Center.  "Everyone insists that the face on Atlas is Mussolini’s.”  The column was printed at the end of January, 1937, the same month the statue was installed.

    In 1942, the NY Evening Post“Reader’s Forum” printed a letter by citizen J.J.P. urging the city to scrap “that statue of Mussolini, the one that is supposed to represent Atlas.” 

    The following week, another reader explained that J.J.P.’s letter “aroused my curiosity and I went to see the statue.  I was indeed surprised at the resemblance it has to Il Duce.” A. Kint agrees that “this monument to a man who tells his people to hate Americans ought to be turned into scrap.”

    As a member of the Division of Pictorial Publicity during World War I, James Montgomery Flagg created the modern image of Uncle Sam, who points his accusatory finger to the American public and demands, “I want you.”  Militancy and nationalism were highly valued by Fascists, too. If Flagg believed that Atlas "looks too much as Mussolini thinks he looks,” one might also say the same thing about Uncle Sam; Flagg modeled the face of the star-hatted enlistment-solicitor after his own.


    Uncle Sam


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    ​Chasing the Last Laugh
    Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World  by Richard Zacks

    Are you looking for a good nonfiction read to download? Every month, Mid-Manhattan Library presents a series of Author @ the Library lectures featuring recent nonfiction books on a wide range of subjects, and many of these titles are available to borrow as e-books. Our regularly scheduled E-Book Help Hour: Get Started with E-Books is designed to help readers set up free Library e-book apps on their e-readers, tablets, phones and laptops. If you need a book recommendation, check out our list of e-titles from our 2016 author talks. See the complete lists of books discussed each month in 2016. Interested in a hands-on e-book tutorial? Stop by E-Book Central. You can also find online help on the E-Book Central page.

    Whether you love books about New York City, past and present, engaging biographies and memoirs, U.S. and world history, books on politics,  crimeeconomics, and society, photography, philosophy, or food, we hope you'll find something interesting on this list. All the titles were published in 2015-2016. Check out the monthly Author @The Library post written by our great team of librarians, or join us at our programs. Programs are free,  and no registration is required. Happy reading!


    Bobby Kennedy The Marquis Because of Eva Swimming in the Sink
    Wellth Woody Girl The Santa Claus Man


    The Gilded Age in New York Footprints in New York Hidden Waters of New York City Mannhatta
    Preserving South Street Seaport Priced Out City Grid Building the Skyline


    Power Greens Food Swap Vitamania The Gefilte Manifesto
    Falafel Nation  A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books by Cara Nicoletti Rooftop Growing Birdwatching


    When Books Went to War 1941 Never Surrender The Gatekeeper Pearl Harbor        Neither Snow Nor Rain


    Razzle Dazzle Focus Architecture's Odd Couple Planet Cuba Word Nerd Words on the Move


    The Beast Side The Green and the Black The Idealist        The Nordic Theory of Everything Sleeping Giant A Light Shines in Harlem


    Convicting the Innocent Incarceration Nation Defeating ISIS The Bus on Jaffa Road Playing Dead
    Crooked Brooklyn Tong Wars The Confidence Game The Con Men Playing Against the House


    Finding Nicole After Marriage Equality It's Not Over Stand By Me Spinister


    Rise of the Rocket Girls I Contain Multitudes Street Smart


    Republic of Spin Supremely Partisan Why Presidents Fail Political Suicide


    City of Gods Strange Gods Not So Different

    Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder

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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.

    Washington's portrait in patriotic design
    Washington's portrait in patriotic design

    We Read...

    Twenty-five great books written by refugees in America and two true stories of the refugee experience recommended by our librarians.  We've got science resources to help you learn about everything from artificial intelligence to climate change. This is why physical books will endure. Do you know what a groundhog looks like? Take our quiz. How evangelicals shaped New York. A beautiful way to see the first sentences of books: literary constellations. Yes, we've got superheroes galore. Before Bob Dylan was Bob Dylan, Rabindranath Tagore was. Need to chill? We've got free coloring for you. Your literary guide to the Sundance Film Festival highlights the books in movies. Our librarians needed help figuring out how to pronounce these words from their reading. Can we learn anything about politics today from George Washington's farewell speech?

    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. 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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    If you're anything like me, at the beginning of each new year you carefully stalk Goodreads, Instagram, and the Internet, trying to feel out the hottest young adult books to hit the shelves. Who's going to be this year's Cinder and Kai? What world are you going to escape to when the world is too much? How many incredible YA books will I uncover?

    Below, I've compiled a few drool-worthy 2017 YA books that are on top of my TBR ("to be read") pile. Get ready to start putting holds on some awesome YA narratives! 

    Fantasy and Sci Fi

    Carve the Mark



    Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth 

    From bestselling author of the Divergent series comes a new story about  a violent planet where everyone develops a unique power meant to shape the future. Akos and Cyra, youths from enemy nations, resent their gifts that render them vulnerable to others' control before they become unlikely survival partners.




    Frost Blood

    Frostblood by Elly Blake

    Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who must use her powers of heat and flame to help two Frostblood rebels overthrow a maniacal Frostblood king.







    Caraval by Stephanie Garber

    Perfect for fans of Morgenstern's The Night Circus! Believing that she will never be allowed to participate in the annual Caraval performance when her ruthless father arranges her marriage, Scarlett receives the invitation she has always dreamed of before her sister, Tella, is kidnapped by the show's mastermind organizer.





    King's Cage

    King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

    The third book in the Red Queen series finds Mare embarking on a psychological game of cat and mouse against her captor, King Maven, who is slowly losing his grip on reality and forcing Maven to make an impossible choice between her life and the fate of the growing revolution.





    Edge of Everything

    The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

    Enduring a traumatic existence after their father's death and neighbors' disappearance, seventeen-year-old Zoe and her brother are rescued from an attack by a bounty hunter who has been sent to claim the soul of their tormenter, a situation that introduces them to a new world and questions about their fate.






    Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

    Having heard tales of the beautiful but dangerous Goblin King all her life, Liesl infuses her musical compositions with her romantic dreams before the abduction of her sister forces her to journey to the Underground, where she faces an impossible choice. A retelling  of Labyrinth.






    Roseblood by A.G. Howard

    A tale inspired by The Phantom of the Operafollows the experiences of a talented but cursed young singer who bonds with a mysterious boy beside the opera house where she is hoping to discover a cure.





    City of Saints

    City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson 

    Sixteen-year-old Tina and two friends leave Kenya and slip into the Congo, from where she and her mother fled years before, seeking revenge for her mother's murder but uncovering startling secrets.






    Hundred Lives of Lizzie Lovett

    The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

    Unable to resist the missing-persons case of Lizzie Lovett, misfit Hawthorn Creely formulates a theory that is disregarded as too absurd before Hawthorn immerses herself in the missing girl's life, taking Lizzie's job and boyfriend, to determine what happened. 







    A List of Cages

    A List of Cages by Robin Roe 

    Adam is assigned to track down Julian for the school psychologist, and when he discovers Julian is his long-lost foster brother he is happy to be reunited with him and determined to understand the secrets going on in Julian's life.





    By Your Side

    By Your Side by Kasie West 

    Bibliophiles and romance-lovers alike will relish this one. Accidentally locked in the library, Autumn discovers that a local troublemaker, Dan, is locked in with her, a situation that leads to an unexpected connection as the pair overcome respective beliefs over vending-machine food and begrudging conversations.





    Inexplicable Logic of my Life

    The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

    Having believed he was happy with his place in the loving Mexican-American family he shares with his adoptive gay father, Sal turns angry and uncertain when his senior year arrives and he realizes that he wants to know more about his biological origins. By the author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.





    American Street

    American Street by Ibi Zoboi

    An evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything, Bone Gap, and All American Boys. In this stunning debut, Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodou culture. Separated from her detained mother after moving from Haiti to America, Fabiola struggles to navigate the home of her loud cousins and a new school on Detroit's gritty west side, where a surprising romance and a dangerous proposition challenge her ideas about freedom. 



    The Hate U Give

    The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 

    Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and already optioned for a film adaptation, this debut is heartbreaking and  topical while still authentically representative. Stuck between the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends, sixteen-year-old Starr Carter's world shatters when she becomes the only wittness of her unarmed best friend by a white cop.  





    Our Own Private Universe

    Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

    Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory, and it's mostly about sex.  Aki already knows she's bisexual, even if, until now, it's mostly been hypothetical.  When Aki sets off with the church youth-group for the summer and meets Christa, it seems her theory is prime for the testing.  But how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you're in love? It's going to be a summer of testing theories--and the result may just be love.





    History Is All You Left Me

    History Is All You Left Meby Adam Silvera

    The award-winning author of More Happy Than Notis back and at it again! Having lost his first boyfriend in a terrible accident, Griffin, a youth with OCD, forges a friendship with his lost love's ex-boyfriend, Jackson, who exhibits suspicious signs of guilt.






    The Only You I've Ever Known

    The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

    In Hopkins' iconic verse and prose style comes a  heartwrenching novel  about the struggles of a girl who longs for a permanent home after years spent moving with her nomadic father, a situation that is shaped by a special friend and daunting revelations about the mother who abandoned her. 






    We Are Okay

    We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

    Running back to college and shutting out everyone from her life in California after a traumatic summer that nobody else knows about, Marin is forced to confront what happened during a lonely, fateful winter break. 







    Here We Are

    Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World by Kelly Jensen

    Let's get the party started! Here We Are is a scrapbook-style teen guide to understanding what it really means to be a feminist. It’s packed with essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations from a diverse range of voices, including TV, film, and pop-culture celebrities and public figures such as ballet dancer Michaela DePrince and her sister Mia, politician Wendy Davis, as well as popular YA authors like Nova Ren Suma, Malinda Lo, Brandy Colbert, Courtney Summers, and many more. 



    What 2017 YA book are you most excited for? Tell us in the comments section below.

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    As a software developer at The New York Public Library, I work on digital applications ranging from showcasing curated staff recommendations on Staff Picks and exploring new item acquisitions on New Arrivals to displaying what the Library has to offer on the homepage. Although working behind a desk and writing code is enjoyable, I wanted to reach out of my comfort zone and find ways to help patrons in person. I then discovered the Library’s Correctional Services department and the opportunity to volunteer in the mobile library at one of five city jails. I’ve been volunteering once a month, for the past 6 months, at Rikers Islands and found how much this service means for patrons looking for a bit of freedom from daily life.

    Hunts Point, Longwood, Riker's Island.
    Hunts Point, Longwood, Riker's Island. Image ID: 4053469

    Rikers Island is a correctional facility that holds people accused of a crime and waiting for a trial, people sentenced to one year or less of jail time, or people convicted of a crime and awaiting sentencing. This is why my group leader, Louise Stamp, mentioned that I may not see the same people in the houses (cell blocks) in the future, or why sometimes books go missing. The day-to-day life of a person is managed by the Department of Corrections and they may end up being released, sentenced and moved upstate, or moved to a different house within the facility. Providing a mobile library service is just a small part of a patron’s week, but with the surrounding chaos, it means escaping into stories.

    I wasn’t sure what to expect on my first visit to Rikers last August. Even though our group follows a specific workflow, we are on the Department of Correction’s premise, and anything can happen. After taking public transportation, going through a series of check-ins, and being transported to the George R. Vierno Center (GRVC) building—another long process in itself—our volunteer group entered the library room, a small room filled with books and three carts ready to be wheeled through the halls of the GRVC building.

    Our visits begin by letting the patrons know that the Library is on premise and introducing ourselves to old and new patrons. Patrons then return items they have taken out the previous week and, three at a time, they come out of their cell block seeking a new item. They are offered any two items, or four comics, as well as the daily newspaper that the volunteers happen to bring in—we make sure to also bring in Spanish newspapers for Spanish-speaking patrons.


    Each cart holds different genres; my designated cart has comics and magazines, items I’ve come to better appreciate. As a runner, technologist, and explorer, I tend to limit my magazines to Runner’s World, National Geographic, and Wired, to name a few, but as I help patrons at Rikers explore and search for articles and magazines, I learned more about other topics. I go through the items available to get a better sense of what I can provide to the patrons, so when asked for a title or a topic, I can help out more quickly and efficiently. As an avid comic book reader, I’m well versed in super-heroes and storylines. I get at least one patron during every visit who is surprised by my knowledge of a superhero, so much so that we end up briefly discussing storylines or how and why a superhero managed to overcome their adversity. A patron and I once debated who is the better Spider-man: Peter Parker, a character with a sense of humor but also a strong sense of responsibility to uphold justice, or Miles Morales, a teenager of Black/Hispanic descent dealing with moral issues due to his upbringing. Whenever I recommend a book to a patron, I seldom get conversations regarding the item, so being able to have conversations with patrons at Rikers was not something I initially expected but have come to appreciate.

    There have been occasions where patrons open up and tell me personal anecdotes regarding items they are interested in checking out. One patron approached me looking for comics. While searching he asked me if I spoke Spanish. After I told him that I did, he got excited and began to tell me how he has been drawing for years. The patron told me that he uses the characters from the comics as inspiration to draw his own characters; he even has some of his art tattooed on his body. Another Spanish-speaking patron shyly asked if there were books in Spanish. As a Spanish speaker I helped locate the section he was looking and then we went through the available items. The section of Spanish books is small, but he appreciated that there was one and that he could read in his native language.

    Though the Library provides a service that is a seemingly small part of the patron's week, it means a lot to them. As the patrons move from one area to another through the halls, they see our group and the carts of books and noticeably get excited. They either ask us if we will visit their area later in the day, or ask their officer if they can go back to their area so they can check out an item. Sometimes they skip out on an activity and stay in their house to wait for the mobile library. Unfortunately, items in the mobile library get circulated quickly and they end up seeing the same titles continuously. We encourage donations and volunteers to promote reading and helping all patrons educate and better themselves.

    Connections 2017
    A guide for formerly incarcerated people in New York City

    The Library also offers Connections, a guide containing resources for formerly incarcerated individuals. Find out more about Correctional Services and other services the Library provides.










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    This is a guest blog post by NYPL Community Oral History Project volunteer and audio producer, Walter Petrichyn. You can listen to Walter's podcast Mission Island, where he shares true and fictional stories that happen in cities. In the following post, Walter describes his process for making an audio montage from our LES Oral History Project collection.

    My first question when going into making this audio montage was, "How do I edit over ten hours of tape into a six minute story?" This sounds like the hard part, but truly the hardest part of this montage was, "How do I represent an accurate depiction of the Lower East Side through its many diverse storytellers?" 

    In this montage, you will hear storytellers sharing stories from the 1940’s to the present. You will hear stories ranging from well-loved restaurants to the close bonds neighbors have with each other. In editing this audio montage, I wanted to reveal some difficult moments in history, like Hurricane Sandy, alongside the romanticized moments people share with the LES. 

    This montage also featured every interviewer who has contributed to the Lower East Side archive so far. Thank you to all the storytellers and interviewers who are featured in this montage: Frank and Lori Rothman, Nancy Montanez, Stanford Daly, Yolanda Doe, Francine Baskin, Dyna Moe, Allen Ranz, Al L, Carol Cramer-Markel, Donald Vega, Carolyn Laws-Parker, Je Jae Cleopatra Daniels, Andrew Fairweather, Claire Henry, Eddie Brawley, Elaine Daly, Janet Bryant, Jenny Andrievna, Kara Buckley Thompson, Meave Sheehan, and Tobi Elkin. Thanks also to Eddie Palmer, Brett Zehner and WFMU’s Free Music Archive for the music that is featured in the montage.

    You can listen to Walter's montage below:

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    The rumors are true: There's a huge, nationwide run on copies of George Orwell’s 1984.

    More copies are on their way to the New York Public Library right now, so if you too want to read this classic tale of power, corruption, and totalitarianism, you can put it on hold via our catalog. We have two editions of printcopies in English, a print copy in Spanish, two differentebooks, and an audiobook.

    But Orwell's classic isn't the only dystopian game in town. While you're waiting, check out some of these other serious, thought-provoking novels on our shelves—physical and virtual—right now.

    Surveillance, science, and technology

    If you’re drawn to 1984 because of its dark science and creepy portrayal of Big Brother, try…


    The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan

    Lovestar by Andri Snær Magnason

    Green Earth by Kim Stanley Robinson

    The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

    Power, tyrants, and oppressive societies

    If a desire to understand the dynamics of resistance and the authoritarian states is driving your desire for Orwell’s classic, try a few other classics…


    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

    The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

    Dystopian breakdowns

    For more dark stories about societies in disarray, try…


    The Road by Cormac McCarthy

    Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta

    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


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

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

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    A person with a book

    Want to go back to school or are considering it? Finding that the schedules of traditional colleges don’t fit into your life right now?

    Interested in online college, but hesitant to move forward because you heard that “online college doesn’t count”? Many of these answers can be found in How to Master Online Learning and help you find the path that is right for you.

    Is online college right for you? It all depends on you particular needs, lifestyle, and learning style. There are different styles of online classes. Synchronous classes take place on a set day and at a set time. For these types of classes, class participants must be logged in at the same time, in real time. This works best for those who can commit to a set schedule. In these types of classes, there is direction between students and instructors in real time. So, a student may ask for feedback and a more instantaneous response. There are more set deadlines and students are expected to move at a similar pace.

    There are also asynchronous classes, these don’t have as many set deadlines. Although classes are self-paced, students are expected to be more self-motivated and complete their work within the general time frame of the course. Many online courses are a blend of these two types. To determine whether online college is right for you, you may try taking free classes online to see if it they are right in order to get a feel for them:

    There are also websites that contain lists of free online courses by subject. Other staff members have also written blog posts that touch upon online learning.

    Some websites may require you to register to use their website. Many times, you would just have to enter an e-mail address. You may have to create a username and password. It won’t require you to enter your credit card or payment information. If would like to get a feel for what an SUNY online course would be like, check out the SUNY online demo courseOpen SUNY website, or the FAQ page.

    Is Online College as Good as a Traditional College?

    It depends on your chosen field of study. They are not exactly the same in terms of class styles. You won’t get direct and instantaneous real time interactions with your professors or your fellow students. However, if you are looking to complete college or if you are looking to acquire for advancement in the workplace and you don’t have the time or money to go to a traditional college, this may be a good alternative. Check out "How Online Colleges Schools Stack Up to Traditional Colleges" on the Open Education Database.

    Find Ratings of Online Colleges

    There are some places that just rate online schools. If you want to see the ratings of different colleges throughout the United States, you can see where they stand on the College Scorecard published by the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

    You can also look for ratings through Peterson. There are many useful articles that provide advice regarding online schools. Alternatively, you can search 100 Best Online Colleges on The Best Schools website.

    How do you know if an online college is legitimate?

    First, it is important to make sure the school that you are interested in going to is accredited. Accreditation is the periodic screening of both traditional and online colleges and universities by regional and national accrediting bodies to ensure that they meet certification standards.

    The federal government does not accredit schools, accreditation associations do. The U.S. Department of Education and CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation) both monitor regional and national associations that grant accreditation. They also monitor the colleges that have been accredited under these regional and national associations. The U.S. Department of Education website has information about accreditation. If it is accredited, it will also tell you which organization it was accredited by and when. For more information about accreditation and how it works, visit CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation).

    Types of Accreditation: Why it Matters

    There are two types of accreditation: regional and national. Regional organizations focus on schools in different areas of the country and the world. Up until about 25 years ago, regional accreditors were the only agencies that accredited degree-granting schools. National accreditors were only known for accrediting specialized trade or vacation schools. National accreditors were known for accrediting specialized trade or vacation schools. However, today many national accreditors have expanded their reach and offer accreditation for degree-granting schools.

    Check to make sure your school that you are interested in attending is accredited. One of the most popular national accrediting organizations, the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), is recognized as a legitimate accrediting organization by both CHEA and the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you earn an degree from an online school that is accredited by one of these associations, it will be considered as valid as a degree from any traditional college or university.

    For more information about the accreditation process, check out "Accreditation of Colleges and Universities: Who’s Accrediting the Accreditors?" This handy chart about accreditation makes it easier to picture:

    Image via the

    Why Does Accredidation Matter?

    If you receive an online degree from a school that is not accredited, you may have wasted your money. You might not qualify for a professional license, or you might not be able to meet transfer requirements for higher-level programs. You might even end up losing your job because you lack the required educational qualifications.

    In addition, students can only receive federal financial aid if the institution they are attending has been accredited from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Taking the time to find out if your school is legitimately accredited will save a great deal of trouble in the long run.

    If the school that you receive a degree from a school that is not accredited, then it does not count.

    What should I watch out for?

    Beware of scam schools. These are fake schools offering fake degrees that are out there to take advantage of people. Here are some signs of scam schools according to College Degree Scams. All in all, take time to make your decisions and use your own best judgement. 

    Books and E-books

    Staff Blog Posts With Information About Online Learning

    Also, check out our Adult Education page for information on our various free classes and events for adults at our various branches throughout Staten Island, Manhattan and the Bronx.

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    The Chinese-American Planning Council Workforce Development Division offers education, training, placement, and post placement support services to job seekers.  Job training programs include BuildingWorks Pre-ApprenticeshipTraining, Hospitality Careers and LVMH Fundamentals in Luxury Retail Training.

    The Borough of Manhattan Community College, Division of Adult and Continuing Education offers no cost (if you qualify) Direct Support Professional Training.  Training starts February 14, 2017.  Attend an Open House and Assessment.

    The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is hiring!    This is your opportunity to work at Long Island's premier entertainment destination in Uniondale.  Positiions with Levy Restaurants  include cooks, bartenders, culinary supervisors and more.

    Youth Action YouthBuild East Harlem is recruiting for their 9- month free job training program.  This program is for young people 17-24 years old  with an interest in pursuing  a career in construction or  completing  construction projects in the community.

    Basic Resume Writing  workshop on Thursday, February 9, 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.

    Spanish Speaking Resume Writing  workshop on Thursday, February 9, 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.       

    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 February 5 become available.


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    Una lista selectiva de libros recientes con historias y temas del corazon para celebrar el Día de San Valentín y todo el mes del amor.


    After. Amor infinito 

    Anna Todd

    Tessa y Hardin enfrentan una difícil y apasionada historia de amor que crece a pesar de todas las adversidades.






    Amor en la red 

    Meredith Wild

    Cautivado por la belleza de Erica Hathaway, una joven humilde que lucha por superar su difícil pasado, el multimillonario y pirata informático Blake Landon decide conquistarla, pero luego descubre su oscuro secreto.





    El camino estrecho al norte profundo 

    Richard Flanagan

    ¿Qué harías si vieras el amor de tu vida, a quien creíste muerto durante un cuarto de siglo, caminando hacia ti? Esta es la historia de un médico australiano atormentado por un romance con la esposa de su tío a principios del siglo XX.






    Casarse con él 

    Lisa Kleypas

    Rhys Winterborne, un hombre de origen humilde y con una gran fortuna, se obsesiona con la tímida y aristocratica lady Helen Ravenel , y su insistente seducción desata una intensa pasión.





    Las cuatro estaciones del amor 

    Grégoire Delacourt

    En el último verano del siglo XX se entrecruzan cuatro sensible historias de amor en una idílica playa en las costas del norte de Francia y siguen la trayectoria de los más profundos sentimientos y apasionados impulsos.





    La flor púrpura 

    Chimamanda Adichie

    Kambili y su hemano Jana, crecen juntos en una acaudalada casa en Nigeria bajo el régimen de un padre tirano, pero justo después de visitar a su tía Ifeona, encuentran su libertad, Kambili descubre el amor por primera vez, y la ciudad comienza a desmoronarse bajo un golpe militar.





    Hambre de amor  

    Ana Moreno

    “Una obra dedicada a las mujeres que anhelan el amor en sus vidas.”







    El invierno en tu rostro 

    Carla Montero

    En el siglo XX, Lena y Guillén, son dos jóvenes que crecen juntos en un pobre y pequeño pueblo, pero aunque Guillen parte y se convierte en un acaudalado ingeniero, el no olvida a Lena y sus caminos se entrecruzan a lo largo de sus vidas.






    El juego del amor 

    Emma Hart

    Su reto es hacer que ella se enamore de él, pero ella simplemente quiere jugar hasta que la vida les cambie las reglas del juego.






    My dilemma is you: un nuevo amor, o dos... 

    Cristina Chiperi

    En esta calurosa trama entre Cris y Cam, los protagonistas de la historia descubren que el que juega con fuego puede llegar a quemarse y el odio puede convertirse en algo tan diferente como el amor.





    Algunas de las obras también pueden estar disponibles en diferentes formatos. Para más información, sírvase comunicarse con el bibliotecario de su biblioteca local. Para información sobre eventos, favor de visitar: Eventos en Español. Más Blog en Español. Síganos por ¡Twitter

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    Some of the most lasting Hollywood movies are films noir—dark movies, set in the shadows of black and white films in the 40s and 50s are some of the most famous movies ever made. But not all of the genre's tough guy detectives and their dangerous dames originated on the screen. They came from hardboiled detective and murder mystery novels, many of which were written in the 30s and 40s. Novels and films are the best ways to tell these stories, many of which are characterized by sharp dialogued, vicious characters, and fast paced plots. Some of the best stories translate from the page to the with equal skill and force. Check out these novels, watch the movies they inspired, and let us know in the comments below which one was better: the movie or the book?

    The Maltese Falcon

    The Maltese Falcom
    by Dashiell Hammet; 1930
    The Maltese Falcon
    Directed by John Houston; 1941

    When Dashiell Hammet created Sam Spade, the cynical PI from San Francisco, he created the prototype for the tough guy detective. Sam is good at his job: he is smart, calculating, observant, and handsome—the perfect detective for any crime novel or film noir.  So when the film came out in 1941, it was an instant success, turning the already well-known Humphrey Bogart into a superstar. The movie, staring Mary Astor and directed by John Houston, is credited as being one of the first films noir, preceded only by Bette Davis' The Letter. The Maltese Falcon was a big hit, and the book, with its clean writing and sharp dialogue, has become an American classic.



    The Postman Always Rings Twice

    The Postman Always Rings Twice
    by James M. Cain; 1934
    The Postman Always Rings Twice
    Directed by Tay Garnett; 1946

    James M. Cain was a journalism professor when he published his first novel at the age of 42. He went from a teacher, to bestselling author, to being tried for obscenity in Boston almost overnight all because of his debut novel The Postman Always Rings Twice. Cain’s novel, a story about two lovers who resort to murder to be together easily translated into an essential film noir. The  dark story of Frank and Cora was picked up by one of the brightest studios in Hollywood, Metro Goldwyn Meyer (MGM). At the height of the Hollywood studio system, MGM was known for having “more stars than the sky.” Twelve years after its publication Cain's novel was made into a movie.  The movie and the novel are both still wildly popular today.


    The Big Sleep

    The Big Sleep
    by Raymond Chandler; 1939
    The Big Sleep
    Directed by Howard Hawks; 1946

    Bogart and Bacall were happily married and Hollywood royalty by the time they made their second movie together, The Big Sleep. The Raymond Chandler novel had already captured readers. The book featured one of Chandler's most famous characters: the tough guy (and secretly soft hearted) detective Phillip Marlowe, a private investigator in Los Angeles. In the novel, Marlowe is hired by the wealthy General Sternwood to find out who is blackmailing one of his daughters. But after Marlowe solves the case, he has a nagging feeling that he missed something and delves even further in the the world of Sternwood's two daughters. 

    In the film the heat and tension between Marlowe and his client's daughter is palpable thanks to Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's chemistry and acting skills. The screenplay for Chandler's quick-paced and well crafted dialogue and exciting plot are helped onto the screen by none other than William Faulkner. The book and movie are still largely popular with readers and film watchers today.


    Stranger on a Train

    Strangers on a Train
    Directed by Alfred Hitchcock; 1951
    Strangers on a Train
    by Patricia Highsmith, 1950

    Talking to a stranger on a train usually does not lead to murder—unless you've been put onto the page by Patricia Highsmith or memorialized on screen by Alfred Hitchcock.  Like all films noir, the main characters are left to the hands of fate, for better or (more likely) for worse. When Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno meet on a train, their friendly small talk leads to deadly consequences. Highsmith is a master of mystery (her books The Price of Salt and The Talented Mr. Ripley have both been made into Academy Award-winning movies) and Hitchcock has long been known as the master of suspense. Both of these artists have created thrilling books and movies, and Strangers on a Train is a prime example of both of their work.


    Kiss Me Deadly

    Kiss Me Deadly
    Directed by Robert Aldrich; 1955
    Kiss Me Deadly
    by Mickey Spillane; 1952

    The first scene of Robert Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadly is stunning. It's the dark of night in a black and white movie. Pictured are the bare feet of a woman; she gasps for breath as she runs down a highway wearing only a trench coat, desperately trying to flag down a car. Finally, she jumps in front of a sports car: it veers to the side and almost crashes. The driver, a tough-looking guy in a suit, angrily lets the young woman into his car. She is still too out of breath to speak, and she's still breathing hard as Nat King Cole’s “I’d Rather Have the Blues Than What I’ve Got” plays on the radio and the movie credits roll large and overbearing over the screen.
    Don’t worry, Mickey Spillane’s novel is just as riveting as the opening scene of the movie. The violence and sexual tension of Spillane's books was shocking for the 50s. Kiss Me Deadly, with its fast talking, good looking characters, is still modern 65 years after it was first published. Over 225 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide, so it’s safe to say that Spillane was good at his job, and this book is too deadly to miss.

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    The Bronx: the Ultimate Guide to New York City's Beautiful Borough unearths the gems of the Bronx: The Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Gardens, Pelham Bay Park and Van Cortlandt Park, and Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, just a few of the attractions that the Bronx offers. We also have many museums, including the New York Yankees Museum and a few independent live theatres. 

    The Bronx Zoo features many exotic animals. It is vital for city kids to have an opportunity to see wildlife in person. The New York Botanical Gardens features many beautiful flowers and plants, and it is located on expansive, beautiful grounds. 

    Pelham Bay Park is the largest park in the five boroughs. It is near Orchard Beach and City Island, which are quite scenic. Both Pelham Bay Park and Van Cortlandt Park have riding stables located within. 

    Edgar Allan Poe Cottage is located near Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse. Come to the Bronx Library Center to see the Edgar Allan Poe collection on the fourth floor.

    These attractions and more are featured in this book, which showcases vibrant photography. This lovely travel book showcases the best of the Bronx in terms of recreation as well as lodging information.

    Learn more:

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    Elizabeth Bishop
    Elizabeth Bishop.

    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.

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    2/15: Intimate Geometries: The Art and Life of Louise BourgeoisIn a career spanning nearly 75 years, Louise Bourgeois created a vast body of work that enriched the formal language of modern art while expressing her intense inner struggles with unprecedented candor and unpredictable creativity. Join art historian and artist Robert Storr at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building for a discussion of Intimate Geometries, his comprehensive survey of Bourgeois' life and art, with Deborah Kass and Irving Sandler, moderated by Christopher Lyon. Celeste Auditorium, 6:30 PM.

    2/16: Conversations from the Cullman Center: Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast: Megan Marshall and Rosanna Warren discuss Marshall's new biography, Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast. A student of Bishop's at Harvard, Marshall includes passages of memoir and newly discovered letters to create a fascinating portrait of one of America's most revered poets. Berger Forum, 7 PM.

     The Journey of John Lewis
    Get In the Way: The Journey of John Lewis

    The Schomburg Center

    2/15: Get In the Way: The Journey of John Lewis: Congressman John Lewis has been a leader in the fight for racial justice for over half a century, dating back to his activism in the Civil Rights Movement in 1963. The Schomburg Center is hosting a free screening of this documentary, which tells the story of Congressman Lewis' journey from the streets to the Capitol, and the lasting contributions he made to social justice and human rights along the way. 6:30 PM.

    2/20: Theater Talks: August Wilson EffectAmidst a moment of vibrant reimaginings of August Wilson’s work, both on stage and screen, this conversation will explore Wilson's legacy and imagine the future trajectory of black storytelling. Producer Kamilah Forbes, playwright Chisa Hutchinson, writer, actor, and recording artist Carl Hancock Rux, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson, director of August Wilson’s Jitney on Broadway, will participate in a conversation moderated by the Director of the August Wilson Society, Dr. Sandra G. Shannon. 6:30 PM.

    Library for the Performing Arts

    2/9: Embodied: Dances for the SoulClassical ensemble Chamber16 presents works from the classical repertoire, as well as original improvisations, coupled with dances by choreographer Hannah Barnard. This interdisciplinary performance coupling sight and sound features violinist Sharon Gunderson, pianist Mary Bopp, and cellist Leah Coloff. Bruno Walter Auditorium, 6 PM.

    2/11: ModernMedieval: Sanctum et Saeculare: ModernMedieval’s Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek and Elizabeth Weinfield come together to offer a program that combines medieval chant and song with music by 20th and 21st century composers.  With few surviving musical settings of secular Middle English texts, contemporary composers set these poems to music as part of an ongoing project to preserve and revive these historic texts. Bruno Walter Auditorium, 2:30 PM.

    2/18: Ciname Sounds on Stage: NoMa Ensemble plays Herrmann and Mozart: Composer Bernard Herrmann is best remembered for his brilliant motion picture scores, including Psycho, North by Northwest, and Taxi Driver, but he also wrote scores for concert music, many of which can be found in the manuscript collections of the Library for the Performing Arts. NoMa Ensemble presents Souvenirs de Voyage (1967), the last chamber music work of Bernard Herrmann, plus the much-loved Mozart Clarinet Quintet. Bruno Walter Auditorium, 2:30 PM.

     Strategies for Creating Life-Enhancing Landscapes
    Wild by Design: Strategies for Creating Life-Enhancing Landscapes.

    Mid-Manhattan Library

    2/15: Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine with Sarah Lohman: Black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and Sriracha: these eight flavors have shaped and united American cuisine from the beginnings of its culinary identity to today. Historical gastronomist Sarah Lohman discusses her new book on the history of American flavor, drawing from forgotten recipes to modern-day cookbooks to explain why our food tastes the way it does. 6:30 PM.

    2/22: Wild by Design: Strategies for Creating Life-Enhancing LandscapesMargie Ruddick, the pioneering landscape designer, discusses her new book Wild by Design, which offers strategies for landscapers and architects to welcome nature into the urban environment. She will be joined by architect Robin Elmslie Osler and moderator Annette Rose-Shapiro, managing editor of MODERN magazine. The Corner Room, 6:30 PM.

    Science, Industry, and Business Library

    2/8: Reclaim Control and Get It DoneSome days you can bask in the feeling of accomplishment that comes with having checked off every task on your to-do list. But other days, you might not be so lucky. Stephany Shalofsky, a professional organizer, will share strategies that will help keep you on task and make chaos, confusion and anxiety a thing of the past. Conference Room 018, 6 PM.

    2/15: Estate Planning Basics: As life expectancy has increased, the meaning of estate planning has grown more complex, expanding beyond the typical boundaries of laying out one's will. Daniel Timins, Esq., comes to SIBL to explain trust, powers of attorney, and how best to title assets that are transferred without the means of a will in this informative seminar. Conference Room 018, 3 PM.

    Get Event Updates by Email 

    Want NYPL Now in your inbox? Sign up for our biweekly e-newsletter and get even more updates on what's happening at the Library. Plus, you can follow NYPL Events on Facebook or Twitter.

    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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    Subscribe on iTunes.

    Emmett Till

    The year was 1955, and the place was America. The murderers were white men, and the fourteen-year-old boy who was  kidnapped, beaten, murdered, and dumped in a river was Emmett Till. The killers suspected Till had flirted with a white woman. Later, an all-white jury acquitted them. For this episode of the New York Public Library Podcast, we're proud to present historian Timothy Tyson and PEN Award–winning author John Edgar Wideman discussing their new books, The Blood of Emmett Till and Writing to Save a Life, with historian Nell Irvin Painter, author of the New York Times bestseller The History of White People.

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    A brief selective list of recent Chinese language titles


    Yue hui xin li xue = Modern romance /约会心理学

    Aziz Ansari.

    滑屏时代,每个角落都有你的Mr/Miss Right,快速提升约会技巧,让遇见不再错过! (






    Yu qian ji shi /御前纪事

    Geshu. 歌疏







    Xiang qin ka fei guan = Blind date cafe /相亲咖啡馆

    Bing'er, 冰儿





    Dai Meile xiao jie de hun li /戴美乐小姐的婚礼

    Dingguo Wang, 王定国

    戴美樂小姐悄悄走進來,陪他穿越一場深切的愛與悲哀……  (




    Nan ren bu guo shi yi chang huan jue /男人不过是一场幻觉

    Shenxue,  深雪





    The titles on this flyer have been kindly selected by Maria Fung.

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    Happy birthday, Kate Chopin! The author of The Awakening (1899) and one of the first feminist novelists in America was born on this day in 1850 in St. Louis. While Chopin was largely unappreciated in her time -- often degraded by critics for her choice to explore themes of female independence, sexuality, and empowerment -- her writing was later recognized as being ahead of its time in the 20th century, and Chopin scholarship has expanded greatly since then. Most readers know her for the pre-modernist masterpiece The Awakening, which tells the story of Edna Pontellier, an unhappy wife and mother from New Orleans. But before she published that novel, Chopin was better known as a writer of short stories.If you're curious about where to start with Kate Chopin's short fiction -- which is available at the Library in this collection -- let us point you in the right direction.

    Kate Chopin House
    Kate Chopin's house in Cloutierville, Louisiana.

    "Her Letters," 1895

    An unnamed woman dies, leaving her husband a parcel of letters and a note asking him, on good faith, to destroy them without looking at their contents. This intense and haunting story perfectly demonstrates how women, deprived of social freedom in the late 19th century, were subject to pain that had a rippling effect on families and marriages, even after their deaths. 

    "The Story of an Hour," 1894

    Perhaps Chopin's best-known short story, "The Story of an Hour" relates the feelings of Mrs. Mallard immediately after hearing the news of her husband's death. This striking tale, which might today be called a piece of flash fiction, is notable for its deep dive into the mental workings of a new widow. It's a subject Chopin knew quite a bit about: she herself was widowed in 1890.

    Vogue cover from November, 1894.
    A Vogue magazine cover from 1894.  Throughout the 1890's, Vogue published 19 of Chopin's short stories. Image via Conde Nast.

    "The Storm," 1898

    This passionate story about a sexual encounter between two married people in the midst of a violent Louisiana storm is one of the few that was only published posthumously, in 1969. Erotic and forceful, this story is a fascinating character study of two lovers who are ostensibly happily married to other people. Chopin also wrote a prequel to this story, "At the 'Cadian Ball," which details some of the history between her two protagonists. 

    "Desiree's Baby," 1893

    "Desiree's Baby," Chopin's most direct treatment of Southern racism, tells the story of an interracial marriage in antebellum Louisiana. This is one of Chopin's sharpest and most ironic tales -- the ending is devastating, so we won't give it away -- and it's definitely worth a read.

    Kate Chopin's Library Walk plaque.
    Kate Chopin's Library Walk plaque.

    "A Respectable Woman," 1894

    When Mrs. Baroda, the wife of a wealthy plantation owner, falls madly in love with her husband's college friend, she is torn between her desire and her need to preserve her reputation and respectability. This tricky story is full of the Chopin's skill with ambiguity, intricacy, and complex portrayal of female characters, which was uncommon for her time period.

    Remember, all these short stories can be found here, plus other Kate Chopin stories are collected in this volume. Do you have any other favorite Chopin tales? Let us know in the comments!


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    In a twist on Emily Dickinson's line, "There is no frigate like a book," NYPL patron Jinglu Wang describes using her library card to learn about everything from Chinese literature to New York City history. She has six library cards, including NYPL's, and covers her shelves and tables with a constantly shifting collection of books, systematically arranged to assure they get returned on time!

    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.


    Jinglu Wang, patron at Roosevelt Island Library

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