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    Long before they became iconic Disney films, Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid were children's stories, myths, and fables shared over centuries. (And yes, some of them had wildly different and terrible endings.) In celebration of the release of the live-action Beauty and the Beast this weekend, we delved into the Digital Collections to check out a few 19th and early 20th century illustrations of these tales as old as time. While the illustrators each gave the stories their own artistic spin, we spotted some traces of the Disney characters we know and love in the past.

    Can you spot any more Disney classics among the children's books illustrations in our Digital Collections? Do any of their portrayals surprise you? Tell us in the comments!

    Beauty and the Beast (1991)

    The Beast is a bit more of a giant boar in an 1896 illustration from Walter Crane.



    In Walter Crane's version the Beast's servants are turned into monkeys instead of houseware and furniture, and we can see a predecessor of Belle's famous yellow dress.

    Images via IMDB
    Images via IMDB 1, 2


    Cinderella (1950)

    We're not sure she's singing "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" here, but the fairy godmother does turn a pumpkin into a carriage for Cinderella in this illustration from the early 1900s.



    Do you prefer the art deco dress of 1916 or the sparkly blue of Disney in 1950?



    The evil step-sisters rock feathers in their hair while looking unpleasant over 100 years before the Disney version.


    The Little Mermaid (1989)

    Prince Eric has a lot more pomp about him in this early 1900s illustration of the Hans Christian Andersen story.



    Peter Pan (1953)

    This 1906 illustration from Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie seems to be a slightly more even match than the 1953 Disney version.

    IMAGE ID 1704198
    IMAGE ID1704198


    The children from Peter Pan in Hilda T. Miller's prints from the early 1900s aren't too far off from the Disney characters.

    Sleeping Beauty (1959)

    Prince Phillip still rides on his white horse to save Princess Aurora in this 1911 illustration from Sleeping Beauty by artist Walter Crane, but we're glad he dropped the mustache for the 1959 Disney version.



    In the 1890 illustrations of Sleeping Beauty by artist Paul Friedrich Meyerheim, Aurora is a side-sleeper, unlike her 1959 counterpart.


    Robin Hood (1973)

    In 1550, Robin Hood and Little John were not a fox and a bear, respectively. This title page comes from a print of one of the oldest surviving tales of Robin Hood, and over 400 years later the story became a Disney classic.

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    Bleak, dark, grimly realistic, morally and psychologically complex with a dash of gallows humor. Scandinavian Noir has some serious competition from its Irish cousin. Check out some Irish crime writers this St. Patrick’s Day weekend:


    Broken Harbor

    Tana French writes the acclaimed Dublin Murder Squad mysteries. There are six books in this series so far, beginning with In the Woods. The most recent novel, The Trespasser, was published in October 2016. Fellow crime writer Declan Burke called Broken Harbor (2012) “the finest example to date of the post-Celtic Tiger novel” in a recent article in The Irish Examiner.




    Christine Falls

    Booker Prize winner John Banville also writes terrific mysteries under the name Benjamin Black . The Quirke mysteries feature a curmudgeonly pathologist in 1950s Dublin with a taste for whiskey and investigation and a contempt for moral hypocrisy. The first book in the Quirke series is Christine Falls, published in 2008. Black has also written a novel featuring Raymond Chandler’s detective Philip Marlowe, The Black-eyed Blonde.



    The Rage

    Gene Kerrigan’s work as a journalist informs his bleakly elegant crime novels. His book The Rage won the 2012 Gold Dagger for the best crime novel of the year. Other titles available at NYPL includeDark Times in the City and The Midnight Choir.





    Wrong Kind of Blood

    Private investigator Ed Loy returns to Dublin after 20 years in Los Angeles in Declan Hughes’s hard boiled crime series, which  begins with The Wrong Kind of Blood, published in 2006. 





    Dublin NoirDublin Noir: The Celtic Tiger vs. the Ugly American, edited by Ken Bruen, is also a good place to start reading. Stories by Irish and American authors are included.






    The Guards

    Ken Bruen’s best known series features Jack Taylor, an alcoholic former Garda (police) officer eking out living in Galway as a private eye. This dark series begins with The Guards, published in 2001. The twelfth novel, The Emerald Lie, was published in August 2016. The television adaptation, Jack Taylor, is also available at the Library. 




    Belfast and Northern Ireland

    Ghosts of Belfast

    Stuart Neville is the author of two crime series, the Inspector Jack Lennon novels and the DCI Serena Flanagan novels.  Belfast’s troubled history is always a presence in Neville’s psychologically complex novels. The Jack Lennon begins with The Ghosts of Belfast, published in 2009. There are two novels in the Serena Flanagan series so far; the first is Those We Left Behind, published in 2015.





    Brian McGilloway’s novels are set in Ireland’s borderlands. The Inspector Devlin series begin with Borderlands, published in 2008. Garda inspector Benedict investigates the death of a teenager found on the borderlands between the North and South of Ireland.  Devlin’s cases often involve working on both sides of the Irish border. Detective Sergeant Lucy Black of the works in Derry in Northern Ireland. In Little Girl Lost, the first book in the series she is forced to confront issues in her own family as she investigates the identity of a young girl found wandering in the woods, hands covered in blood.


    Cold cold ground Adrian McKinty’s Troubles Trilogy, set in 1980s Belfast has now grown into a sextet. Adding to the grit, the Detective Sean McDuffy series features book titles taken from Tom Waits lyrics. The series begins with The Cold Cold Ground, published in 2012.




    belfast noir

    Find more gritty crime stories set in Northern Ireland in Belfast Noir, edited by Stuart Neville and Adrian McKinty.

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    Architectural historian and New York Times columnist Christopher Gray died last week. He was 66. Milstein Division librarians took a moment to reflect on Gray's work, and his impact on the written history of New York City and research of its built environment. 

    Philip Sutton

    Office for Metropolitan History boxes
    The Office for Metropolitan History collection. Photo by author.

    Myself and other librarians who provide reference and instruction in building research owe Christopher Gray a debt of gratitude. I started researching and writing house histories to help pay my way through library school. Gray's A Guide to Researching the History of a New York City Building, written in 1995, was and is the seminal research guide, and helped me immensely in my first days as a building researcher. We librarians love to share research knowledge, so found a great ally in Christopher Gray, who did just the same. 

    Only recently I processed a small but perfectly formed collection of building history reports created in the late 1970s and early 1980s by Chris and his colleagues at the Office for Metropolitan History, later donated to NYPL. Included in the collection are reports on the histories of the homes of Edward Gorey and Kurt Vonnegut. A small but valuable contribution to his legacy, available to inspire, here at the Library. 

    Andy McCarthy

    Some buildings in New York have more personality than some New Yorkers. The character of a building is not only expressed by the architecture, and the history of a building is more than its age and architect. In the writings of Christopher Gray, the history of a building was its character. He invented the boilerplate for New York City building research, a complex and slapdash methodology demanding both ratiocination and imagination. His writing was as snazzy as the facade of Alwyn Court on West 58th and 7th Avenue, and imbued the subjects of his weekly New York Times columns with the effervescence of the vertex at the top of the Chrysler Building.

    Alwyn Court building entrance
    Building entrance, Alwyn Court.
    NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 1508245

    As David W. Dunlap noted in the Times obituary, Gray first operated in the 1970s, "when a building's provenance could be learned only by poring over deeds, street atlases, directories, microfilm and old photographs." At a time when designation reports by the Landmarks Preservation Commission were only three type-written pages, well before the micro-history of the city devolved from an academic trend to the dredging of every psychic square-inch of the five boroughs by phone-app history buffs, Gray approached the built history of the city as if an exploration of the life of the mind. Librarians in the Milstein Division at NYPL field a high traffic of reference questions regarding NYC building history. Our answers would be impossible without the streetscape vision of the writings and research gospel of Christopher Gray.

    Diane Dias De Fazio

    For me, this was also a personal loss. He gave me my first job—that is, the first one that really meant something.

    New York has its superstars, and—to someone who applied to Historic Preservation school with the express goal of writing about architecture—Christopher Gray was certainly one of them. I'd heard he was witty, snarky, sardonic, and "that guy", the one with just enough luck to land the last cool job. Lucky or no, his unfathomable knowledge and crisp style rendered his writing revelatory. I devoured every word.

    In addition to his journalism, Gray's Guide to Researching the History of a New York City Building is the stuff on which many an urban historian has cut her teeth. The aforementioned job, a research gig, was thrilling and inspirational, and I am forever grateful. (I might be the librarian I am now, consequently.) May his legacy live on through new generations of researchers who uncover secrets in their homes, and bring fresh voices to the architectural conversation.

    I saw him last on Park Avenue, and we exchanged pleasantries before continuing on in separate directions, and I'll always remember him like that: Mr. Gray, bright-eyed, grinning, and looking up, taking in every inch of this city.

    East 79th Street photo
    East 79th Street, view from Lexington Avenue looking west. 
    NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 714572F


    The Milstein Division sends our condolences to his friends and loved ones.

    Further Reading

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     Anne Enright with Meghan O'Rourke
    LIVE from the NYPL: Anne Enright with Meghan O'Rourke.

    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

    Free Events

    3/21: Changing the Literary Landscape: Writing and Publishing the Disabled Voice: Five leading disability-focused writers and publishers reflect on, argue about, and discuss the growing canon of literature around disability, and how and where it's being published. 6 PM.

    3/28: Martin Duberman's Jews Queers Germans: A Novel: Martin Duberman and Alisa Solomon discuss Duberman's new historical novel, about the life of the gay European upper class during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II. 7 PM.

    LIVE from the NYPL

    3/28: Anne Enright with Meghan O'RourkeMan Booker Prize-winning writer Anne Enright, one of Ireland's foremost writers and the author of The GatheringThe Forgotten WaltzThe Green Road , and more acclaimed novels, will be joined by journalist and poet Meghan O'Rourke on the LIVE stage. 7 PM.

     Renee Watson
    Pieceing Me Together: Renee Watson

    The Schomburg Center

    3/25: Piecing Me Together: Renee WatsonYA fiction author Renee Watson discusses her new book, Piecing Me Together, about a young high schooler's struggle with race, poverty, and identity as she strives for opportunity. 1 PM.

    3/29: Visually Speaking: Lina Viktor and Amy Sall: Guest curator and moderator Ja'nell Nequeva Ajani introduces multimedia artist Lina Viktor in conversation with Amy Sall, writer and lecturer in the Culture and Media Studies department at The New School University. 6:30 PM.

    3/30: Lapidus Center Presents: Slavery and Globalization in Arabia: Scholar Matthew S. Hopper explores the history of the African diaspora in Arabia in the 19th and 20th centuries. 6:30 PM.

    4/1: Everyday Archives: Caribbean EditionDo you have archival materials related to and/or from the Caribbean in your personal collection? Bring them into the Schomburg for this workshop of storytelling, document scanning, and archival collection organizing. 2 PM.

     Live Archiveography
    David Gordon: Live Archiveography

    3/30: David Gordon: Live ArchiveographyWitness a preview of David Gordon's new autobiographical performance work, an evening of storytelling, movement, conversation, and imagery which expresses his experiences chronicling his five-decade career for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division. 6 PM.

    4/1: Quynh Nguyen in Recital: Pianist Quynh Nguyen, who has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe, brings a program of intimate and expressive works by Chopin, Beethoven, and Messiaen to LPA. 2:30 PM.

    4/3: Letters Home: As we honor the Library's recent acquisition of the Rose Leiman Goldemberg archive, attend a reading of Goldemberg's play Letters Home, an adaptation of Sylvia Plath's correspondence with her mother, Aurelia. 7 PM.

    Mid-Manhattan Library

    3/24: Mid-Sentence: Alexandra Kleeman, Patty Yumi Cottrell, Ariana ReinesAs part of our Mid-Sentence series of authors in conversation on the state of literature, three writers discuss working within or against the tropes of femininity in thir own work. 6 PM.

    3/30: City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New YorkTyler Anbinder, former chair of the History Department at George Washington University, discusses how New York has been shaped by immigrants over the course of the past four centuries. 6:30 PM.

    Online Customer Acquisition Series
    Online Customer Acquisition Series.

    3/22: Get Into An Interviewing State of MindJoin Steven Davis, a professional recuiter and career coach, to discuss the most effective roadmap to maximize your interviewing preparation process. 6 PM.

    3/23: Online Customer Acquisition SeriesTo start or grow a business, you need to reach customers. Maisha Walker, digital marketing expert, will teach this six-part series designed to give you a leg up on the competition: you'll learn how to set a strong online presence, find prospects and turn them into clients and fans. 6 PM.

    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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  • 03/20/17--13:17: The Low-Carb Lowdown
  • Fat Bomb, Bulletproof coffee, Fathead pizza, Keto strips. For those who have never heard these terms, they are all part of a low-carb/high fat lifestyle that has been replacing traditional low-fat diets for many who have been struggling with weight loss for years and not getting any results.

    Lately, this “way of eating” is dominating social media sites and supermarket shelves. Riced cauliflower is now being sold everywhere and more food companies are including net carbs on the front of their food labels. Forty years ago, the Atkins diet paved the way for low-carb eating habits, and then modified versions came later, such as the South Beach diet and Dukan diet. This has progressed into the Ketogenic diet, which consists of a low carbohydrate, high fat, and moderate protein intake. This combination has proved to result in weight loss and has become a way of life for many, including myself.  While many fad diets come and go, this may be the one to try if one is seeking better health and a slimmer waistline.

    I’ve compiled a list of diet and nutrition books, as well as cookbooks for those who are interested in learning more about  this low-carb lifestyle, the Ketogenic diet, or recipe ideas.

    Diet & Health



    The 8-week Blood Sugar Diet : how to beat diabetes fast (and stay off medication)

    Dr. Michael Mosley







    The Case Against sugar

    Gary Taubes








    Sugar Crush : how to reduce inflammation, reverse nerve damage, and reclaim good health

    Dr. Richard Jacoby and Raquel Baldelomar









    Why Diets Fail (because you're addicted to sugar) : science explains how to end cravings, lose weight, and get healthy

    Nicole M. Avena, PhD, and John R. Talbott






    Primal Fat Burner : live longer, slow aging, super-power your brain, and save your life with a high-fat, low-carb paleo diet







    The Low-Carb Diabetes Solution Cookbook : prevent and heal type 2 diabetes with 200 ultra low-carb recipes

    by Dana Carpender






    The Primal Low-Carb Kitchen : comfort food recipes for the carb conscious cook

    by Kyndra Holley, founder of Peace, Love and Low Carb





    Spiralizer Skinny : lose weight with easy low-carb spiralizer recipes

    by Vicky Ushakova and Rami Abramov





    The Ketogenic Kitchen : Low carb. High fat. Extraordinary health

    by Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly








    The Deliciously Keto Cookbook

    by Molly Pearl and Kelly Roehl, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC









    The Keto Diet Cookbook : more than 150 delicious low-carb, high-fat recipes for maximum weight loss and improved health

    by Martina Slajerova






    200 low-carb, high-fat recipes : easy recipes to jumpstart your low-carb weight loss

    by Dana Carpender







    Sweet and Savory Fat Bombs : 100 delicious treats for fat fasts, ketogenic, paleo, and low-carb diets

    by Martina Slajerova.





    300 15-minute low-carb recipes : delicious meals that make it easy to live your low-carb lifestyle and never look back

    by Dana Carpender







    Low Carb High Fat Barbecue : 80 healthy LCHF recipes for summer grilling, sauces, salads, and desserts

    Birgitta Höglund ; photos by Mikael Eriksson





    The I Quit Sugar Cookbook

    by Sarah Wilson






    Baking with Less Sugar : recipes for desserts using natural sweeteners and little-to-no white sugar

    by Joanne Chang

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    Happy World Poetry Day! We like to take advantage of these literary holidays and challenge our expert staff (evil, maniacal, laugh) so we asked them not only to name a poem, or poet, or collection they love, but also limited the field to include only works published in the past five years. There has been a lot of good stuff since Yeats. Get current with these contemporary poetry recommendations:



    Milk and Honey

    I was touched by Rupi Kaur's collection of poems, Milk and HoneyMy first impulse was "woah, these are some very sad, angry poems!" But, I love sad, angry poems.... 

    The poems, which take on a plethora of the poet's painful life experiences, are accompanied by Kaur's plaintive line drawings, and in the end, describe how the poet found a salve in the sweetness that life has to offer. 

    Sherri Machlin, Mulberry Street

    More love for Milk and Honey

    You see her poetry everywhere. It is so accessible and brilliant and raw!

    Chantalle Uzan, Francis Martin


    Twenty Girls to Envy Me

    Twenty Girls to Envy Me by Orit Gidali

    These beautiful selected poems are presented in both English and Hebrew, introduced by Marcela Sulak.

    Jenny Baum, Jefferson Market





    Motherland, fatherland, homelandsexuals

    One of my recent favorites is Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals by Patricia Lockwood.  It contains the poem "Rape Joke" that many have already stumbled across in online postings (and if you haven't, it's worth picking up for that poem alone).  But the other poems in this collection, if not as accessible, are certainly as amusing and revelatory.

    Leanna Frankland, Yorkville





    Are you an echo?

    I just came across Misuzu Kaneko, a Japanese poet whose work is full of innocent wonder for nature and sensitivity for life. Her poetry is often recommended to children, and the recently published Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko is a beautifully illustrated children's book that looks at her life and reproduces her poems in translation.

    Jessica Cline, Mid-Manhattan



    One of my favorite modern poetry books is IRL, a long-form poem by Brooklyn poet Tommy Pico. A gorgeous take on language, colonization, and what it means to be a queer indigenous person today.


    Erica Parker, Mid-Manhattan





    Mz. N

    Mz. N by Maureen N. McLane has a fresh style that is fast and easy to read, but contains little ideas and ruminations that stick to your brain and invite a second, slower, glance. Mz. N is feminist poetry for bookish people--the poems talk about literary theory, art, history, and pop culture, all while providing vignettes of a young woman as she comes of age and discovers herself.

    Nancy Aravecz, Jefferson Market




    Black Maria

    I like The Black Maria by the incandescent Aracelis Girmay.  Among other things, her latest collection touches on refugees in exile, the consequences of racism in America, and the larger question of human identity.  The book of poetry takes its name from the moon's dark plains, misidentified as seas by early astronomers.  I have always found Girmay's work to be thoughtful and transporting.

    Melisa Tien, Library for the Performing Arts





    I was captivated from the first verse by Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric. Her commentary on how race influences a sense of belonging in society was incredibly powerful. I particularly enjoyed the insight around Serena Williams and Zinedine Zidane and how even celebrities are not beyond the influence of race.

    Katrina Ortega, Hamilton Grange





    Letters to the men I have loved

    Let's just say that am obsessed with this book. It is one of the most beautiful works I've read. In Letters, To the Men I Have Loved, poet Mirtha Michelle Castro Mármol writes about loss, hope, and the endless pursuit of love.  The beauty of this book is that it resonates with anyone who's experienced heartbreak and had the resiliency to move on.

    Elisa Garcia, Bronx Library Center






    I am obsessed with Look by Solmaz Sharif. To say it is devastating would be an understatement.  Her poems are a response to war and an invitation to examine the language we use to explain to ourselves what is happening in the world. Enthralling!

    Elizabeth Baldwin, Mid-Manhattan







    I love love love Linda Pastan.  Her most recent collection, Insomnia is wonderful--her poems are spare, poignant reflections on the seasons of everyday life. 

    Susie Heimbach, Mulberry Street







    I didn't think I was much of a poetry reader until I stumbled upon Felicity by Mary Oliver-- some of the poems took my breath away. I've suggested this to both long-time poetry connoisseurs and new-to-poetry readers who want to dabble in a new genre. 

    Lyndsie Guy, Chatham Square






    Life On Mars

    Inspired by her MTA subway poem "The Good Life", I recently picked up Tracy K. Smith's Life on Mars, which won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her poems combine imagery of the everyday with fresh twists and perspectives.

    Suzanne Lipkin, Library for the Performing Arts






     Poems For You My Pretty

    I like Poisoned Apples: Poems For You My Pretty by Christine Heppermann. A collection of feminist poems that unmask the fantasy of fairy tales and reveal what it means to be a modern teen girl - is she the heroine of her own story or a prisoner of societal expectations and her own insecurities? The poems are funny, sharp, harrowing, and heartbreaking but above brutally honest. 

    Anne Rouyer, Mulberry Street





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

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



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    The New York Public Library Podcast features your favorite writers, artists, and thinkers in smart talks and provocative conversations. Listen to some of our most engaging programs, discover new ideas, and celebrate the best of today’s culture.

    Get it on iTunes | Get it on Google Play

    Modern medicine is infatuated with high-tech gadgetry, yet the single most powerful diagnostic tool remains the doctor-patient conversation, which can uncover the lion’s share of illnesses. But often the difference between what patients say and what doctors hear is vast. Patients, anxious to convey their symptoms, feel an urgency to “make their case” to their doctors. Doctors, under pressure to be efficient, multitask while patients speak and often miss the key elements. Add in stereotypes, unconscious bias, conflicting agendas, and fear of lawsuits and the risk of misdiagnosis and medical errors multiplies dangerously. Dr. Danielle Ofri speaks with WNYC host Mary Harris about her new book, What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, which proves that medicine doesn’t have to work that way, and how better communication can lead to better health for all of us.

    Mary Harris and Dr. Danielle Orfi

    How to listen to The New York Public Library Podcast
    Subscribing to The NYPL Podcast on your mobile device is the easiest way to make sure you never miss an episode. Episodes will automatically download to your device, and be ready for listening every Tuesday morning

    On your iPhone or iPad:
    Open the purple “Podcasts” app that’s preloaded on your phone. If you’re reading this on your device, tap this link to go straight to the show and click “Subscribe.” You can also tap the magnifying glass in the app and search for “The New York Public Library Podcast.”

    On your Android phone or tablet:
    Open the orange “Play Music” app that’s preloaded on your device. If you’re reading this on your device, click this link to go straight to the show and click “Subscribe.” You can also tap the magnifying glass icon and search for “The New York Public Library Podcast.” 

    Or if you have another preferred podcast player, you can find “The New York Public Library Podcast” there. (Here’s the RSS feed.)

    From a desktop or laptop:
    Click the “play” button above to start the show. Make sure to keep that window open on your browser if you’re doing other things, or else the audio will stop. You can always find the latest episode at

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  • 03/21/17--14:44: Honoring Robert B. Silvers
  • Robert B. Silvers
    Robert B. Silvers

    The New York Public Library remembers the life of Robert B. Silvers, editor of The New York Review of Books and member of the Library's Board of Trustees, who died March 20 at the age of 87. 

    Silvers was honored as a Library Lion in 2014 with Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Anna Deavere Smith. In his Library Lions video, he spoke about the role of libraries.

    Silvers had served on the Library's Board of Trustees since 1997. Max Palevsky created the Robert B. Silvers Lecture, an annual series at the Library in recognition of Silvers's work. The series features contemporary people whose fields correspond to the broad range of Silvers's interests in literature, the arts, politics, economics, history, and the sciences.

    The Library acquired the archive of The New York Review of Books in 2015. The archive includes a wealth of correspondence between Silvers and Susan Sontag, Noam Chomsky, and Oliver Sacks, including personal letters from Sacks to Silvers emphasizing how important Silvers’s encouragement and editing was to Sacks's development as a writer. The archive of The New York Review of Books was acquired through the generosity of Roger Alcaly and Helen Bodian.

    Library Lions 2015
    2014 Library Lions pictured left to right: Anna Deavere Smith, Dave Eggers, Tony Marx, Margaret Atwood, Bob Silvers, and Kazuo Ishiguro

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    Subscribe on iTunes | Get it on Google Play


    Wait, Super Model?  Absolutely, but also:  Super Librarian!  Gwen and Frank talk to Outreach Services Librarian Shauntee Burns about her work with schools, her long and varied career at NYPL and her attendance at one very famous NYC high school!

    What We're Reading Now  

    The hate u give / Angie Thomas.


    Nanette's baguette / words and pictures by Mo Willems.

    How to think more about sex / Alain de Botton.

    Guest Star:  Shauntee Burns

    Sashay, Shauntee!

    School Outreach at NYPL:   MyLibraryNYC

    The American Library Association and its Committee on Diversity

    The New York Black Librarians Caucus

    American street / Ibi Zoboi.

    Non-Book Recommendations

    Shauntee: Time: The Kalief Browder Story |

    Try it, honey, you might like it! Image via NPR.

    Gwen: #trypod

    Frank: Feud - Episodes | Sundays 10PM | FX Networks


    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!


    How to listen to The Librarian Is In
    Subscribing to The Librarian Is In on your mobile device is the easiest way to make sure you never miss an episode. Episodes will automatically download to your device, and be ready for listening every other Thursday morning

    On your iPhone or iPad:
    Open the purple “Podcasts” app that’s preloaded on your phone. If you’re reading this on your device, tap this link to go straight to the show and click “Subscribe.” You can also tap the magnifying glass in the app and search for “The New York Public Library Podcast.”

    On your Android phone or tablet:
    Open the orange “Play Music” app that’s preloaded on your device. If you’re reading this on your device, click this link to go straight to the show and click “Subscribe.” You can also tap the magnifying glass icon and search for “The New York Public Library Podcast.” 

    Or if you have another preferred podcast player, you can find “The New York Public Library Podcast” there. (Here’s the RSS feed.)

    From a desktop or laptop:
    Click the “play” button above to start the show. Make sure to keep that window open on your browser if you’re doing other things, or else the audio will stop. You can always find the latest episode at


    How to listen to The Librarian Is In
    Subscribing to The Librarian Is In on your mobile device is the easiest way to make sure you never miss an episode. Episodes will automatically download to your device, and be ready for listening every other Thursday morning

    On your iPhone or iPad:
    Open the purple “Podcasts” app that’s preloaded on your phone. If you’re reading this on your device, tap this link to go straight to the show and click “Subscribe.” You can also tap the magnifying glass in the app and search for “The New York Public Library Podcast.”

    On your Android phone or tablet:
    Open the orange “Play Music” app that’s preloaded on your device. If you’re reading this on your device, click this link to go straight to the show and click “Subscribe.” You can also tap the magnifying glass icon and search for “The New York Public Library Podcast.” 

    Or if you have another preferred podcast player, you can find “The New York Public Library Podcast” there. (Here’s the RSS feed.)

    From a desktop or laptop:
    Click the “play” button above to start the show. Make sure to keep that window open on your browser if you’re doing other things, or else the audio will stop. You can always find the latest episode at

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    Make a date at the library? Pratik Shah regularly heads over to 53rd Street Library, near his midtown Manhattan office, to watch his young daughter participate in story time groups with other children. Otherwise, he says, it's hard to catch time with her when she's awake.



    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.

    Pratik Shah, patron at 53rd Street


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    We're pleased to announce the finalists for the seventeenth annual Young Lions Fiction Award, honoring the works of five commanding, diverse, young authors. From high-concept premises, to the exploration of heartbreaking family dynamics, each of these debut novels exemplifies the power of the written word. 

    The finalists for 2017 Young Lions Fiction Award are:

    Clare Beams, We Show What We Have LearnedClare Beams, We Show What We Have Learned







    Brit Bennett, The MothersBrit Bennett, The Mothers







    Kaitlyn Greenidge, We Love You Charlie FreemanKaitlyn Greenidge, We Love You Charlie Freeman







    Nicole Dennis-Benn, Here Comes the SunNicole Dennis-Benn, Here Comes the Sun







    Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small BombsKaran Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs







    Which book do you think should win? Join the conversation on social media using #NYPLYoungLions!

    The winning writer will be awarded on June 1, 2017 at 7 PM during a ceremony held in the Celeste Bartos Forum of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Young Lions members are invited to attend the reception and ceremony. Learn more here.


    About the Young Lions Fiction Award

    Founded in 2001 The Young Lions Fiction Award is given annually to an American writer age 35 or younger for either a novel or collection of short stories.  Each year, five young fiction writers are selected as finalists by a reading committee of writers, editors, and librarians. A panel of award judges, including Susan Minot, Amelia Gray and Salvatore Scibona will select the winner of this year’s $10,000 prize.  Learn more here.

    Past winners of the Young Lions Fiction Award include: Amelia Gray, Gutshot; Molly Antopol, The Unamericans; Paul Yoon,  Snow Hunters; Claire Vaye Watkins, Battleborn; Karen Russell, Swamplandia; Adam Levin, The Instructions; Wells Tower, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned; Salvatore Scibona, The End; Ron Currie, Jr., God is Dead; Olga Grushin, The Dream Life of Sukhanov; Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation; Andrew Sean Greer, The Confessions of Max Tivoli; Monique Truong, Book of Salt; Anthony Doerr, The Shell Collector; Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated; Colson Whitehead, John Henry Days; and Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves.

    Generous support for the Fiction Award is provided by 21st Century Fox & Book of the Month.

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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.

    via New York Times

    We Read...

    NYPL librarians's favorite poetry of the last five years for World Poetry Day and books about Lou Reed. Bookbinding is way cool. We're proud of Chancey Fleet. RIP Robert B. Silvers. Your legacy lives on. There are lots of amazing fictional languages, and we especially love those created by Tolkien. Get your clean, green reads on. They may be flawed, but we still love these characters. How much do Easy A and The Scarlet Letter really match up? Does politeness matter?  Not in these Irish crime thrillers! How literature becomes more diverse. Derek Walcott remains one of the great heroes of poetry. We'll always look fondly on the time he visited NYPL to talk about Hemingway.

    Stereogranimator Friday Feels:

    GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator


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

    What did you read?

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

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    Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program: BuildingWorks is a pre-apprenticeship training program housed at the NYC Carpenters Training Center.  The training prepares individuals for career in the skilled trades.  Candidates who complete BuildingWorks may be recommended for the 4-year apprenticeship based on their performance in the program.  During the training , students gain experience in four main categories: career guidance, introduction to apprenticeship, worker health and safety, and environmental worker training. 

    The New York City Labor Market Information Service  released Home Health Aide Career Map in December 2014.  This career map is based on the real-life experiences of people who have worked as home health aides in the New York metropolitan area.  It shows actual career progressions 5 to 10 years and 10 to 15 years after starting work as a home health aide.  You can also view What are the numbers behid it?

    The Cooper Union Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers @ Camba is recruiting for the Spring 2017 Semester.  Classes are held in evenings and weekends for this 3 month training.  Courses are free for those who qualify.  Job placement assistance provided to all graduates.

    Cypress Hills is offering free CDL training with job placement assistance in the para-transit sector.  Must be between the ages of 21- 30 with a clean NYS driver's license for 3 years minimum and available for flexible hours.  For more information call 718 - 676- 1544 X 106.

    Direct Care Professional Training (DPT) is a 100-hour training program that provides students with the knowledge, practical skills , and required certifications to work with children and adults who are developmentally disabled.  This two-month, full-time training program will be held at the New York City College of Technology.

    Dutch Express LLC will present a recruitment on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 10 am - 1 pm for Delivery Associate - Driver (5 openings), Delivery Associate - Box Truck Driver (5 openings) and Delivery Associate - Walker (5 openings) at NYC Workforce 1 Career Center, 215  West 125th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10027.  By appointment only.

    Nathan's Famous Inc. will present a recruitment on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 10 am - 2 pm for Sales Associate (20 Seasonal P/T), Line Cook (15 Seasonal  P/T),  Food Preparation Worker (15 Seasonal P/T), Maintenance Worker (15 seasonal P/T) at Brooklyn Workforce 1 Career Center, 250 Schermerhorn Street,  Brooklyn, NY 11201.

    Hope Home Care Inc. will present a recruitment on Thursday, March 30, 2017, 10 am - 2 pm for Home Health Aide (3 openings),  Licensed Practical Nurse (3 openings), Registered Nurse (3 openings),  Personal Care Aide (3 openings), at NYS Department of Labor - Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 E. Fordham Road, 7th Floor, Bronx, NY 10458.  By appointment only.

    Basic Resume Writing  workshop on Thursday, March 30, 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 March 26 become available.

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    I was inspired by the movie Xanadu in which Olivia Newton-John is a Greek muse incarnated as a girl named Kira who inspires others to achieve. I got to thinking about books that were inspired by great works of art or by the lives of artists and created this list. 

    Defaced Olivia Newton-John poster
    Defaced Olivia Newton-John poster. Image ID: 5038740, New York Public Library Digital Collections.
    Defaced Olivia Newto-John poster
    Photos by Alen MacWeeney. Image ID: 5038764, New York Public Library Digital Collections.











    Various Artists

    A Piece of the World

    A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline, inspired by Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth. This portrait of an unknown Midwestern farm girl has inspired many people. This is the first attempt to give a voice to the iconic figure, as far as I know.  Mystery Woman, NYT review.





    In Sunlight or In Shadow

    In Sunlight Or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by Edward Hopper Lawrence Block et al. Block assembled a tour de force of bestselling authors for this anthology, including Megan Abbott and Michael Connelly. Each story is prefaced by a copy of the Hopper artwork that inspired it.





    Loving Frank

    Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. Novel about Frank Lloyd Wright and his relationship with Mamah Cheney, starting from their first meeting in Oak Park, Illinois. And, Under the Wide and Starry Sky, also by Nancy Horan, chronicles the love affair of Robert Louis Stevenson.





    Camille Claudel

    Rodin's Lover

    Rodin's Lover: a novel by Heather Webb, the author of Becoming Josephine and one of the contributors to Fall of Poppies: stories of love and the Great War.

    Une Femme  and Le sourire de Sarah Bernhardt by Anne Delbée.  These two works are in French. However, Une Femme has been translated as Camille Claudel: a biography by translator Carol Cosman, and here's another biography about her. Une Femme is a great account of this 19th century sculptor and her 15-year liaison with Auguste Rodin.




    You Must Change Your Life

    You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin by Rachel Corbett (Winter 2017 staff pick!). This novel details Rodin's influence on Rilke, inspiring him to write Letters to a Young Poet, amd the incredible friendship they developed.






    Dmitri Shostakovich

    The Noise of Time

    The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes. The Noise of Time borrows its title from Osip Mandelstam's memoirs and deftly maneuvers between portrait of a musical genius and portrait of a guy smoking a cigarette. Review in Opera News.







    Symphony for the city of the dead : Dmitri Shostakovich and the siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson. Quite a departure from his spectacular YA novel Feed, this nonfiction work examines one of the most grim periods in Russian history.

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    Flannery O'Connor
    Author Flannery O'Connor and her childhood home in Savannah, Georgia. Photos via Wikimedia.


    March 25 marks the birthday of author Flannery O'Connor, the short story writer and essayist famous for her Southern Gothic tales, which are widely anthologized and studied as classic works of American fiction. Her macabre style, heavily laced with themes of violence, Catholicism, and morality, has enchanted readers for decades; at turns brutal and comic, her work is unique in tone and unmatched in craft. If you're looking to jump into Flannery O'Connor's work, here are some of our favorite titles available at your local library:

    A Good Man Is Hard to Find, 1955

    A Good Man Is Hard to Find
    A Good Man Is Hard to Find

    A Good Man Is Hard to Find is O'Connor's best known work, and its publication in 1955 catapulted her into literary fame, cementing her reputation as a leading voice in American fiction. The title short story, a grim tale about a senile woman and her family who get lost on a road trip, is emblematic of O'Connor's chilling style. If you haven't read it yet, it's a great place to start -- especially since it's one of the most widely read and highly acclaimed short stories ever.

    Wise Blood, 1952

    Wise Blood
    Wise Blood

    Flannery O'Connor's first published work, about an anti-religious nihilist who returns from World War II and aims to spread atheism throughout Tennessee, didn't get a lot of critical attention at the time of its release. However, since then, it's been re-evaluated and praised as a witty, skillful, comic novel, with much discussion focusing on its treatment of religious themes such as sin, redemption, and faith.

    The Violent Bear It Away, 1960

    The Violent Bear It Away
    The Violent Bear It Away

    If you like the religious themes in Wise Blood, then The Violent Bear It Away will be right up your alley: in this novel, O'Connor's second, she tells the story of Tennesse teenager Tarwater, who grapples with his destiny after his great-uncle, who raised him to be a prophet, suddenly dies. This Southern Gothic tale of interior turmoil, faith, and the conflict between religion and reason is an exciting, witty, and stomach-churning read.

    Everything That Rises Must Converge, 1965

    Everything That Rises Must Converge
    Everything That Rises Must Converge

    Finally, we couldn't do this list without Everything That Rises Must Converge, O'Connor's second published collection of short stories. Touching on race, religion, and Southern lifestyle, this collection may not be as well known as A Good Man Is Hard to Find, but it's equally masterful and sharp. The stories in this collection were worked on towards the end of O'Connor's life -- she died of lupus at 39 -- and were published posthumously, cutting short an incredible and too-brief literary light.

    What's your favorite work of Flannery O'Connor? Shout it out in the comments below!

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    In honor of Women's History Month, I've compiled some recommended reads by Latina authors depicting the Latina experience in America and abroad. May you find yourself in  any of these books, feel inspired, and most of all learn from her because this is Her story.


    The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

    Coming-of-age novel about Margot Sanchez, the South Bronx, dysfunctional families, and the courage to question everything you ever wanted.



    The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

    Reyna Grande shares her compelling experience of crossing borders and cultures in this middle grade adaptation of her memoir, The Distance Between Us.



    The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

    The Book of Unknown Americans is the story of 15-year-old Maribel Rivera. This beautiful story takes us  on Maribel's journey of hope, dreams, guilt, and the universal search for love.



    Gabi: A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

    Gabi chronicles her last year of high school through her diary and daily experiences.




    When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago

    This is Esmeralda Santiago's story about growing up in Puerto Rico and adjusting to life in America when her mom decides to move to New York City.



    How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent by Julia Alvarez

    This is the story of four sisters—Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, Sofia—and their family who are forced to escape the Dominican Republic and a start a new life in America.



    Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle

    Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.



    My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

    Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic and the third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. She is an American icon and an inspiration to many.



    Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

    A sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and her mom to flee California during the Great Depression and live in a camp for Mexican farm workers.



    The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

    This is the utterly captivating story of Lace Paloma and the family rivalry that will change her life forever.




    The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano

    Sonia Manzano has crafted a gripping work of fiction based on her own life growing up during a fiery, unforgettable time in America when young Latinos took control of their destinies.



    Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia

    It is a story of immense charm about women and politics, women and witchcraft, and women and their men.




    Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

    Summer of the Mariposas is a celebration of sisterhood and maternal love.




    The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

    This is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become.



    True Love by Jennifer Lopez

    In Jennifer Lopez's first book, she shares her 2 year journey into self-love and self-discovery.


    The Sweet Life: Find Passion. Embrace Fear, and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Dulce Candy Ruiz

    Part memoir, part manifesto, The Sweet Life is a fun, inspirational guide for any woman who wants to find success and happiness without compromising who she is.



    Shame the Stars by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

    Shame the Stars is a rich reimagining of Romeo and Juliet set in Texas during the explosive years of Mexico's revolution. Filled with period detail, captivating romance, and political intrigue, it brings Shakespeare's classic to life in an entirely new way.



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  • 03/27/17--08:03: The Other Mrs. Adams
  • Samuel Adams is remembered as a fiery revolutionary and staunch patriot while his second cousin John is remembered as a sophisticated political operator. Likewise, at the dawn of the American Revolution, while John’s wife Abigail debated the finer points of political philosophy and chided her husband to “remember the ladies,” Samuel’s wife Elizabeth roughly fashioned a feather pen with scissors in order to relay her plans to escape British forces in Boston. John and Abigail may be the exemplary couple of the American Revolution, but the correspondence between Samuel and Elizabeth reveals that this other Mr. and Mrs. Adams matched John and Abigail in their devotion both to each other and also to the patriotic cause.  

    Sam Adams to Elizabeth Adams,  May 7, 1775, Samuel Adams Papers, NYPL

    Samuel devoted the sixty years between his graduation from Harvard in 1743 and his death in 1803 single-mindedly to politics and government, often to the exclusion of financial and material concerns. There is no doubt that money was often tight for Samuel and Elizabeth. Especially during the 1760s and 1770s when Samuel spearheaded colonial rebellion against British policies such as the Stamp Act, Townshend Act, and the Intolerable Acts, Elizabeth ensured their family’s financial security. Only her careful scrimping and saving kept the family afloat while Samuel pursued political goals.

    Sam Adams to Elizabeth Adams, June 10, 1775, Samuel Adams Papers, NYPL

    In a series of letters from May and June 1775, less than a month after Paul Revere’s midnight ride, Samuel wrote to his “dearest Betsy” expressing his trust in his wife’s financial good sense and his deep affection for her. Fully depending on her financial “prudence,” he pressed Elizabeth to “Make use of the Money in your hands for your Comfort.” In his following letter, Samuel requested that she write to him more regularly regardless of their financial situation. Worried that she thought “too much of the Expence of Postage,” he reassured her that he would “with the utmost Chearfulness pay for as many Letters” as she would write to him. These letters suggest how carefully Elizabeth stretched the family’s limited funds in order to make ends meet.  

    Elizabeth Adams to Sam Adams, February 12, 1776, Samuel Adams Papers, NYPL

    More than just a conscientious bookkeeper, Elizabeth remained calm and collected and resolutely dedicated to the revolutionary cause even in the most stressful of times. In February 1776 with British forces circling around her home in Boston and her husband far away in Philadelphia as a delegate to the Continental Congress, Elizabeth made detailed contingency plans to take her family to safety and ensured that the family’s possessions were protected. Writing with her makeshift pen, Elizabeth explained to Samuel that “if the Regulars should Even take Prospect Hill (which god forbid),” she would take a “back road which leads to the Most Retired part of Newtown.” If the British siege of Boston intensified further, she intended to send all of their belongings to the countryside, minus “a bed and a few Nesesarys,” and “be in Readiness to Move at an Minutes Warning.” Elizabeth’s strength and resourcefulness in midst of British occupation and financially difficult circumstances is remarkable.  

    Sam Adams to Elizabeth Adams, November 14, 1776, Samuel Adams Papers, NYPL

    Samuel’s letters, full of political gossip and wartime news, address Elizabeth as a revolutionary co-conspirator and political confidant. In November 1776, Samuel shared with Elizabeth fresh military intelligence the Continental Congress had received because, he explained, “I know how deeply you have always interrested yourself in the Welfare of our Country.” The following year, having filled another letter to Elizabeth with news of the British army and the New England militia groups, Samuel apologized for having written to “a female upon the Subject of War.” Samuel justified his decision by noting that her “whole soul” was “engagd in the great Cause.  

    Sam Adams to Elizabeth Adams, May 8, 1777, Samuel Adams Papers, NYPL

    Elizabeth’s contributions to both the Revolution and his own political career profoundly transformed Samuel’s understanding of marriage and the proper role of women. On the occasion of his beloved daughter Hannah’s wedding, Samuel wrote his new son-in-law a letter of advice about married life encapsulating his views on the institution of marriage. Drawing on his own experiences, Samuel explained, “The Marriage State was designd to complete the Sum of human Happiness in this Life.” Perhaps the most interesting segment of the letter is Samuel’s description of the appropriate roles of husbands and wives:

    Though it is acknowledgd that the Superiority is + ought to be in the Man, yet as the Management of a Family in many Instances necessarily devolves on the Woman, it is difficult always to determine the Line between the Authority of the one + Subordination of the other.

    Samuel advised his new son-in-law that the best decision was “not to govern too much” and concluded that the key to marital happiness was restraint. Even though he was descended from strict Puritans who believed in strict gender roles and considered the husband to be the supreme authority of his household, Samuel’s own life experiences with Elizabeth had made him question these traditional views.  

    Samuel Adams letter, Novemeber 22, 1780, Samuel Adams Papers, NYPL

    That same year, in a letter to Elizabeth, Samuel expressed his deep pride in his unblemished virtue throughout his political career, saying, “You are witness that I have not raisd a Fortune in the service of my Country.” He stated, “I glory in being what the world calls a poor Man.” While Samuel might have gloried in his virtuous poverty, it was Elizabeth who bore the brunt of the sacrifices and succeeded in keeping her family warm and fed under such straitened circumstances. Indeed, Samuel’s public achievements were made possible by Elizabeth’s material and emotional support.

    About the Early American Manuscripts Project

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

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    Cover art for Thirteen Reasons Why read-alikes

    Excited about the featurette for Netflix's adaptation of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why? Watch it now if you haven't seen it yet!

    If you haven't read the book yet, you're in luck! There are copies available at locations throughout The New York Public Library, so you can plow through it before the series premiere on March 31. (Trust me, you'll read this one in no time.) If you have read it already, maybe you're looking for something else to keep that page-turning momentum going. Well, today's your lucky day, because here are five more librarian picks for everyone who loved Thirteen Reasons Why.

    1. All the Bright Places, by Jennifer NivenFor another pair of compelling characters grappling with life-and-death decisions, check out All the Bright Places. Protagonists Theodore and Violet literally meet while standing on the ledge of the school bell tower, and are determined to help one another heal. The characters are what make this book so wonderful, so pick this one up if you want to fall a little bit in love while a crying over a book.
    2. Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon. This one is a little unconventional, relying on a mixed-media, scrapbook-like approach to tell the story of Maddy, whose severe allergies keep her home with her books, and Olly, the boy next door who changes her life. Everything, Everything is a book about the things that make life worth living.
    3. Love Letters to the Dead, by Ava DellairaProtagonist Laurel uses an English assignment, "Write a letter to a dead person" as a jumping-off point for navigating the loss of her beloved sister, May. Love Letters to the Dead isn't a page-turner like Thirteen Reasons Why, but it does have lyrical explorations of grief, loss, and healing, as well as an examination of how people are more than we imagine them to be.
    4. Paper Towns, by John GreenPaper Towns is a great next read for those who loved the unputdownable-ness of Thirteen Reasons Why. Readers follow teenage protagonist Q as he investigates the disappearance of glamorous Margo after the night she unexpectedly pulls him into a spree of vengeful pranks. As Q races against the clock to find her, he begins to realize that not only he, but even her closest friends, didn't know Margo at all. Down-to-earth yet suspenseful, Paper Towns is a masterclass in Green's manifesto of "imagining others complexly."
    5. Playlist for the Dead, by Michelle FalkoffIf you were captivated by the emotionally intense examination of loss and suicide in Thirteen Reasons Why, try Playlist for the Dead. Like Clay, our protagonist Sam tries to make sense of his best friend's suicide using the clues left for him — in this case, a playlist and the note "For Sam — listen and you'll understand." Like Thirteen Reasons WhyPlaylist for the Dead uses the unreliability of our own memories to build a tense, engaging read.

    Bonus: The Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn MacklerOne last recommendation before we go: if you just need more Jay Asher in your life, check out his second novel, co-authored by Printz-nominee Carolyn Mackler — The Future of Us. It's 1996, and best friends Emma and Josh are signing on to AOL for the first time. Only instead of the iconic "You've Got Mail!", the two are greeted by a website called Facebook, which seems to show them where they'll be in fifteen years' time. The tensions of the present, combined with the pressures of what their futures might be, threaten to tear their friendship apart and ruin their futures before they've begun.

    Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Do you have any other recommendations for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why? Share your thoughts in the comments!

    If you or someone you know needs help dealing with suicidal thoughts, reach out. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, text 741741, or chat online.

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    Many people who’ve known me for years don’t realize that I had several big turning points and life-changing moments when I was young that started me on the path to becoming a librarian. If you’ve ever seen one of my Career Day presentations, you know all about those turning points, because I always start by sharing those stories.

     young people's librarians and students, 1938.
    NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 434280

    I’ve had my job history on the brain recently because I just spoke at another Career Day last week.  I’ve also been thinking about it because last month we had some NYPD recruits speak to our Teen Advisory Group, and they talked to our teens about their own backgrounds and career options.  While some of the choices they made were similar to mine, they also diverged in a couple of important ways. I definitely know that a question like “How many of you enjoy going to gym class and playing sports?” has NEVER come up during one of my presentations!

    Every year I’m invited to one or more schools to speak at a Career Day to talk to the students about my job as a librarian. When I was first invited to speak, I wondered what I should talk about. Should I try to be funny? Depressing? Honest? Uplifting? Realistic? Should I highlight the rewarding aspects of the job and downplay the parts that were…less rewarding? My presentation has definitely evolved over the years, in part because I’ve learned to stretch or streamline my talk depending on how many other speakers are sharing the time with me. But my presentation also evolved because a lot of stuff I do now is different from what I was doing twenty years ago.

    Careers for Bookworms

    My presentations always start the same way. I tell the students that when I was twelve years old, I decided that I wanted to help people. The problem was that I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it.  My life at that point could have gone in a dozen different directions.  Doctor?  Firefighter? Teacher? Psychiatrist? One of the things I always tell the students is that if they have to earn service credit or do volunteer work that they should think of it as trying out a career. Maybe it will help them rule out some choices, or maybe it will help them find the perfect job. In my case, volunteer work always led to the “ruling out” category for one specific reason: each of the jobs I tried made me cry…a LOT. It turns out that many jobs that involve helping others can get emotionally overwhelming.

    It feels weird telling a bunch of teenagers that when I was their age I discovered that I wasn’t emotionally strong enough to work in a nursing home, for example. It feels especially weird when I’m standing there next to a bunch of people who became police officers and Marines, and they’re looking over at me and probably thinking that I’m a total wuss. But I’m trying for honesty, and I’m trying to show the students that even if they’re not 100% sure what they want to be when they grow up, they can start carving out a path for themselves.

    Depending on how much time I have to talk to each class, my presentation might be longer or shorter, but there are a few key points I always cover:  

    • That fateful decision I made when I was twelve
    • The careers I crossed off my list
    • My love of reading and books
    • The book my college boyfriend gave me called Careers For Bookworms and Other Literary Types
    • NYPL’s librarian trainee program, and how it helped pay for my MLS degree
    • The highs and lows of working in a public library

    That last point is sometimes the hardest, and that’s where I do a lot of balancing of how honest /serious / funny I should be. We’re supposed to talk about the advantages and challenges of the job, and sometimes the ones I choose might vary based on the mood of the room or the age of the students. I had to tweak my presentation when I was expected to speak to a group of eighth graders but was brought to a third-grade classroom instead. However, I must say that out of every class I’ve ever visited, those little kids were the most impressed by the fact that I can wear jeans to work!

    Basically, I try to provide a mix of the highlights and lowlights, and share them with humor whenever I can. I tell the students that every day at the library is different. I might help a senior citizen log on to her email…or a teenager find a new book in one of his favorite genres…or a man wearing a tin foil hat research a conspiracy theory…or a child find her first Judy Blume book. I talk about how I run programs for teens, visit schools, and write blog posts and Tumblr posts.  I tell them that “other duties as needed” includes lots of tasks we never discussed in library school, including gross and dusty jobs that make me realize it’s a good thing I wear jeans to work.

    I also talk about how you don’t become a librarian because you want to boast about your salary. You go into it because you love books, or you love computers, or because 12-year-old you is still deep inside grownup you.  I tell the students that being a librarian helps me fulfill my dream of helping others, and I always get a kick out of watching the teachers in the room smile when I say that.

    I enjoy speaking at Career Days not just for the goodie bags (although, yes, those are a lovely perk)...

    Career Day Goodie Bags
    Pictured: lovely goodie bags!

    But speaking at a Career Day also helps me connect with the students in my neighborhood in a different way than usual. Sometimes I might see that in a very literal way, like the boys who came to my library wearing tin foil hats the same day I visited them. (and yes, that totally happened last week!)  But other times it’s simply that the students are more likely to talk to me about what librarians do and about what they might want to be when they grow up.

    If you’re ever invited to speak at a Career Day, I recommend you take the plunge and try it. You might have some embarassing job comparisons, like how the only way I could follow the Disney executive’s stories of super-platinum membership perks was by saying that sometimes we got free bookmarks at the library. You might experience some unexpected hilarity, like when the the financial advisor on my left said, “Every job has challenges.  No job is a walk in the park!” and the urban park ranger on my right said, “Well, MINE is!”  But no matter what happens, you’ll have a chance to share valuable insights about your career and help the next generation of workers start finding their way to their own careers.

    If you’re a kid or a teenager trying to figure out what career you should choose, here’s my advice:

    • Check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook for all kinds of updated information about different careers, including salary and job requirements.
    • If you have to do volunteer work or an internship, turn that into an advantage and choose something in a field that interests you.
    • Visit the Library to check out some career books for kids and teens, and definitely ask a librarian for some advice.  Don’t forget—we’re here to help!

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    • Vivian Anderson, member of Black Lives Matter NYC working in Columbia, SC, promoting #everyblackgirl
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