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    Tracy K. Smith
    Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate

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


    We Read...

    Newbury Award-winning children's books and free reads for your commute from the #SubwayLibrary.  Like suspense? Some of the best reads for thrills come from an unexpected source: climate change literature. One of our favorite selfies was taken long before smartphones.  It's a 1976 photograph taken by Cynthia MacAdams. So you want to know about the Poet Laureate. We've got the skinny. Literary horror is thrilling even to readers who don't consider themselves fans of the genre. It doesn't have to be Father's Day for dads to read these books aloud to their kids.  Have you delved into the literary legacy left by Occupy Wall Street yet? Teens have lots of options for free subway reading. Borges had some ideas about what the writer needs to do. Bloomsday just may be the greatest bibliophilic holiday around.

    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. 

    Catch us on Facebook Live:

    Every other week, our resident book experts are live on Facebook giving book recommendations! Like our Facebook page, and every other Thursday at 3 PM EST you can watch live and comment to get a personalized book recommendation.

    What did you read?

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

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    The Coalition for Queens (C4Q) is currently accepting applications for its Access Code program, which teaches coding and professional skills to talented adults from diverse  and low  income backgrounds.  This 10- month program  prepares applicants for software engineering jobs  at companies like Kickstarter, Capital One, and IBM.   The final application deadline has been extended to Friday, June 30.

    Community Links Supported Education Program is a non-profit initiative supporting individuals with mental health conditions in pursuing education goals and successfully completing college, certification, licensing or vocational degrees.  Training  opportunities include IT Training, Commercial Driver's License, Home Health Aide, Construction Work, NYS Master Barber, Medical Assistant, Maintenance and Janitorial, TV Production Assistant, Health and Office Operation (Medical Records), Wood Working, Cable Installation, Hospitality and Tourism Industry (NRAEF Certification), OSHA License and more.    Eligible individuals must be 18 years or older; living in NYC: and living with a Menral Health condition.  Please reach out at 929-210-9810.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio released New York Works, (June 15, 2017) a series of 25 initiatives to spur 100,000 jobs with good wages over the coming decade. To combat economic inequality, grow the middle class and adapt to ever-changing technology, the City will invest in industries with high wages and job potential, focusing on jobs that pay at least $50,000 per year or offer a clear path to that salary level.....

    CUNY Tech Works in collaboration with CUNY BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College) Office of Adult Continuing Education  and Workforce Development is offering "No Cost" Information Technology training. The 22 week industry certified Comupter Network  Support training in CompTIA A+ and CISCO CCNA also includes soft skills preparation, and job placement assistance.  Training earns up to 4 college credits towards a CIS Associate degree at BMCC.  Classes begin August 21, 2017.   Pre req: H.S. diploma or GED, Tabe test and interview for consideration.  Must attend Information Session:  Call 212-346-8410, visit

    AutoZone will present a recruitment on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 9 am - 4 pm, for Store Manager (MIT) (5 openings), Sales (5 F/T & P/T openings), Part Sales Manager (5 F/T  & P/T openings), Commercial Driver (5 openings), Commercial Sales Manager (5 openings), at Brooklyn Workforce  1  Career Center , 250 Schermerhorn  Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.  Contact Cristina Diaz at 718-613-3696.

    Career Development workshop: Job Finding Club on Tuesday,  June 27, 2017, 2-4 pm at Flushing Workforce  1 Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Ave. 2nd  Floor, Flushing NY 11355.  This workshop is for all interested jobseekers and dislocated workers to form a weekly support group focusing on obtaining job goals.

    Basic Resume Writing  workshop on Wednesday, June 28, 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.

    ACV Enviro will present a recruitment on Thursday, June 29, 2017, 10 am - 2 pm for Field Technician (10 openings), Driver / Operator (10 openings), at Brooklyn Workforce 1 Career Center, 250 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.  To make an appointment, contact Ms. Diaz at 718-613-3696.

    Spanish Speaking Resume Writing  workshop on Thursday, June 29, 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 June 25 become available.


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    If you’ve ever thought of yourself as a writer, chances are that you have opinions about George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language.” First published in 1946, it has since become required reading for intro-level writing classes, as well as an obligatory citation when discussing politics and rhetoric. From glowing exaltations to severe critiques, I was curious what working writers had to say about the famed essay. I mined NYPL’s Articles & Databases to find out.

    If you’re unfamiliar with “Politics and the English Language,” the Library has you covered! You can read it in NYPL’s Articles & Databases or in the Orwell collectionAll Art Is Propagandacompiled by George Packer.

    Portrait photo of George Orwell
    George Orwell via Wikimedia Commons

    From “Left Field”
    Ed Smith | New Statesman | 2013
    We live in a self-consciously plain-spoken political era. But Orwell’s advice, ironically, has not elevated the substance of debate; it has merely helped the political class to avoid the subject more skilfully. […] Using plain and clear language is not a moral virtue, as Orwell hoped. Things aren’t that simple. In fact, giving the impression of clarity and straightforwardness is often a strategic game. The way we speak and the way we write are both forms of dress. We can, linguistically, dress ourselves up any way we like. We can affect plainness and directness just as much as we can affect sophistication and complexity. We can try to mislead or to impress, in either mode. Or we can use either register honestly.

    From “Review: Author, Author”
    Steven Poole | The Guardian | 2013
    Orwell’s assault on political euphemism, then, is righteous but limited. His more general attacks in “Politics” on what he perceives to be bad style are often outright ridiculous, parading a comically arbitrary collection of intolerances. […]If you ever feel tempted to say “status quo” or “cul de sac,” for instance, Orwell will sneer at you for “pretentious diction.” Why pretentious? Because these phrases are of “foreign” origin. […] Yet if we strip the language down to what there is a “real need” for, whither poetry? Allow only the words that Orwell thinks necessary, and the resulting stunted lexicon is itself a kind of functionalist, impoverished Newspeak.

    From “Why We Need to Call a Pig a Pig (With or Without Lipstick)”
    Jennie Yabroff | Newsweek | 2008
    [Orwell] was less interested in what motivates people to act without integrity than in the words they use to camouflage and perpetuate their dishonesty: for Orwell, bad language and bad politics were one and the same. Yet for all his penury and despair, his faith in the power of clear, strong language can only be read as optimistic. Today, the writer’s name is invoked to describe anything involving surveillance, paranoia, or even books about animals. Orwell’s ideas have been bastardized and simplified over time […] Rather than describing surveillance devices, or pig farms, a more accurate application of the adjective would mean something that aspires to the lucidity and integrity of Orwell’s writing. In that case, it would be the highest praise.

    From “Musing About Orwell’s ‘Politics and the English Language’—50 Years Later”
    Sanford Pinsker | Virginia Quarterly Review | 1997
    [T]hose who should know better, and more important, whose responsibility it is to pass along a healthy respect for language are often the same people who take a special delight in giving “Politics and the English Language” the scholarly raspberries. That Orwell has a hard time passing muster among the composition theory crowd is now a matter of record, but I had a preview of the hammering-to-come during the late 1970’s, when my college’s director of freshman writing treated the English department to an impromptu stump speech about just how pernicious, and badly written, Orwell’s essays were. I can’t remember the bill of particulars—probably because my shock and her certainty were on a collision course—but I do recall pointing out that if people couldn’t recognize the intrinsic greatness of an essay like “Politics and the English Language,” they wouldn’t know a first-rate piece of writing if it bit them on the ass.

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    We are coming toward the end of Ramadan, the holy ninth month in the Islamic calendar. Ramadan honors the moment when Allah (God) revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad and it is one of the most important times of the year for Muslims. Older children, teens and adults observe the holy month by fasting daily from sunrise to sunset, by attending mosque and saying special prayers, and by studying the Quran.

    Ramadan will end this weekend with Eid al-Fitr, a three-day long celebration to mark fast breaking. The holiday celebrations often include attending a special Eid prayer service, eating festive meals with family and friends, gift-giving and offering donations to the poor. All New York City public schools will be closed on Monday for Eid al-Fitr. The New York City Department of Education has an educational guide about Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the festival of the sacrifice that also marks the end of Hajj, the annual religious pilgrimage to Mecca.  

    The New York Public Library has several picture books, non-fiction books and e-books for children and a few titles for teens observing or wish to learn more about Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. The book titles are listed below along with short summaries by the publishers.

    Children’s Picture Books

    My first Ramadan

    My First Ramadan, by Karen Katz

    It's time for Ramadan to begin. Follow along with one young boy as he observes the Muslim holy month with his family. This year, he wants to try to fast like the grown-ups do.





    Ramadan count and celebrate

    Ramadan Count and Celebrate, by Fredrick McKissack Jr.

    Kids count from one to ten as they learn about the history and customs of Ramadan.




    It's Ramadan Curious George

    It’s Ramadan, Curious George, by Hena Khan

    George is so excited. He is going to celebrate Ramadan with his friend Kareem! Together they sample special treats, make baskets to donate to the needy, and look for the crescent moon. Come along to celebrate this special time of year with everyone's favorite monkey in this playful tabbed board-book book of rhymes.


     A Muslim holiday story

    Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story, by Hena Khan, illustrated by Julie Paschkis

    Yasmeen has a wonderful time celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with her family and friends.





    Under the Ramadan Moon

    Under the Ramadan Moon and e-book, by Sylvia Whitman, illustrations by Sue Williams

    Ramadan is one of the most special months of the Islamic year, when Muslims pray, fast, and help those in need. Whitman's lyrical story, with luminous illustrations by Sue Williams, serves as an ideal introduction to Ramadan.




    Laila's lunchbox

    Lailah’s Lunchbox, by Reem Farqoui, illustrated by Lea Lyon

    Now that she is ten, Lailah is delighted that she can fast during the month of Ramadan like her family and her friends in Abu Dhabi, but finding a way to explain to her teacher and classmates in Atlanta is a challenge until she gets some good advice from the librarian, Mrs. Scrabble.



    The white nights of Ramadan

    The White Nights of Ramadan, by Maha Addasi, illustrated by Ned Gannon

    Describes the celebration of the month of Ramadan by an Islamic family and discusses the meaning and importance of this holiday in the Islamic religion.





     An Eid Tale

    Nabeel’s New Pants: An Eid Tale, retold by Fawzia Gilani-Williams, illustrated by Prioti Roy

    Now that Ramadan has come to an end, and the celebration of Eid will begin tomorrow, Nabeel the shoemaker goes to buy special gifts for his family to wear to the mosque for the holiday, he is persuaded by the shopkeeper to get new pants for himself, too, but the only pair available is too long, and no one seems to have time to shorten them for him. Includes a glossary of Arabic.


     Shirin's Ramadan Miracle

    Moonwatchers: Shirin’s Ramadan Miracle, by Reza Jalali, illustrated by Anne Sibley O-Brien

    Nine-year-old Shirin wants to join her family and other Muslims in fasting for Ramadan but is told she is too young, and so she seeks other ways to participate including, perhaps, getting along better with her older brother, Ali.




    Ramadan moon

    Ramadan Moon, by Na’ima B. Robert, illustrated by Shirin Adi

    A joyful evocation of the great Muslim festival of Ramadan and Id for children.






    A Party in Ramadan

    A Party in Ramadan, by Asma Mobin-Uddin, illustrated by Laura Jacobsen

    Ramadan is coming and Leena is excited. Although she is too young to fast each day during the Muslim holy month, she decides to fast on a Friday that her aunt will be visiting. Now Leena has a dilemma. She receives an invitation to a party which happens to fall on that same Friday. Leena doesn't want to miss the party, but she doesn't want to miss fasting either. So Leena decides to go to the party, but not eat or drink Later, she will join her family for the meal known as iftar, when the daily fast is broken. But when Leena, who is the only Muslim at the party, sees her friends enjoying fresh lemonade and chocolate cake, her stomach starts to growl and her head begins to hurt. Will she keep her Ramadan fast?


    Children’s Nonfiction Books

    Celebrating Ramadan and Eid a-Fitr

    Celebrating Ramadan & Eid a-Fitr, by Deborah Heiligman, consultant Neguin Yavari

    Explains the history and traditions that are a part of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.






    Ramadan and Id-Ul-Fitr

    Ramadan and Id-Ul-Fitr, by Roslind Kerver

    Introduces this Muslim holiday, discussing when it takes place, its history and significance, preparations, how it is celebrated, and the foods that are eaten on it.





    Rashad's Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr

    Rashad’s Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr, by Lisa Bullard, illustrated by Holli Conger

    Explains the history of the holiday, discussing the customs and the celebration Eid al-Fitr.






    Ramadan, by Suhaib Hamid Ghasi, illustrated by Omar Rayyan

    Describes the celebration of the month of Ramadan by an Islamic family and discusses the meaning and importance of this holiday in the Islamic religion.




    Ramadan, by Julie Murray

    Presents information on Ramadan the sacred month in the Muslim calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims fast, pray and read the Koran.





    Celebrating Ramadan

    Celebrating Ramadan, by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith, photographs by Lawrence Migdale

    Follows Ibrahim’s family through the month of praying and fasting until the feast that ends Ramadan, explaining the basic beliefs of Islam and the life of the Prophet Muhammad and looking at an Islamic American family.   





    Ramadan, by Susan L. Douglas, illustrated by Jeni Reeves

    An introduction to Islamic observances during the month of Ramadan and the subsequent festival of Eid-al-Fitr.






    Celebrating Ramadan

    Celebrate Ramadan, by Laura S. Jeffrey

    Discusses the significance of Ramadan, a month-long observance celebrated in the Islamic faith.






    Book and E-Book for Teens / Young Adults

    Fasting in Islam & the Month of Ramadan

    Fasting in Islam & the Month of Ramadan, by Ali Budak

    This book seeks to explore the divine institution of fasting in Islam by providing comprehensive information on its place in the Islamic doctrine and on the month of Ramadan in which fasting is observed. Major topics include fasting in Islam and other faiths; merits and benefits of fasting; types of fasts; charity in Ramadan; fasting and health.





    The American Muslim Teenager's Handbook

    The American Muslim Teenager’s Handbook, by Dilara Hafiz, Imran Hafiz and Yasmine Hafiz

    Timely and engaging, The American Muslim Teenager's Handbook conveys the basics of the fastest-growing, most stereotyped and misunderstood religion in America in a progressive, open-minded manner. By explaining Islam from a fresh perspective, it brings relevance, humor, and understanding to an audience in search of answers.





    Books about Ramadan in Arabic/  كتب عن رمضان باللغة العربية

    Samīrah fī al-ʻĪd = Samira's Eid, by Nasreen Aktar, illustrated by Enebor Attard ; Arabic translation by Azza Habashi. = سميرة في العيد 

    The sighting of the thin new moon signals the start of the Muslim festival of Eid, a day of celebration for Samira and her family. The Ramadan fast is over and now it is time for prayers and presents. But what is the story that the surprise visitor has to tell?

    ʻIndamā duqqā al-bāb / qiṣṣāt Taghrīd ʻĀrif al-Najjār ; rusūm Rīm Walīd al-ʻAskarī. عندما دق الباب / قصة تغريد عارف النجار ؛ رسوم ريم وليد العسكري.

    Riham and her friend help mother in making colorful lanterns to decorate the house in celeberation of the coming holy month of Ramadan. But suddenly the power supply was off and they hear the sound of a knock on the door -- wonder who is out there.

    Ramadan Books in Bengali / বাংলা ভাষায় রমজান বই

    Samīrāra Īda = Samira's Eid, by Nasreen Aktar, illustrated by Enebor Attard ; Bengali translation by Sujata Banerjee. = সমীরার ঈদ.

    The sighting of the thin new moon signals the start of the Muslim festival of Eid, a day of celebration for Samira and her family. The Ramadan fast is over and now it is time for prayers and presents. But what is the story that the surprise visitor has to tell?

    Ismat's Eid, by Fawzia Gilani-Williams, illustrated by Proiti Roy,  Ismater eid / punrkathana, Fawzia Gilani-Uiliẏāmsa ; citra, Proiti Roy ; anubāda, Ūshaśī Dāsa.


    Ramadan Book in Urdu / اردو میں رمضان کی کتاب

    Samīrā kī ʻīd = Samira's Eid / written by Nasreen Aktar ; illustrated by Enebor Attard ; Urdu translation by Qamar Zamani

    The sighting of the thin new moon signals the start of the Muslim festival of Eid, a day of celebration for Samira and her family. The Ramadan fast is over and now it is time for prayers and presents. But what is the story that the surprise visitor has to tell?


    Ramadan Book in Turkish / Ramazan kitabi

    Samira'nın Bayrami = Samira's Eid / Nasreen Aktar ; illustrated by Enebor Attard ; Turkish translation by Kelâmi Dedezade.

    The sighting of the thin new moon signals the start of the Muslim festival of Eid, a day of celebration for Samira and her family. The Ramadan fast is over and now it is time for prayers and presents. But what is the story that the surprise visitor has to tell?


    Ramadan Book in Spanish / Libro de Ramadán en Español

    El Ramadan

    El Ramadán by Katie Gillespie

    Did you know that Ramadan has been celebrated for about 1,400 years? The first White House Ramadan celebration was held in 1805. Explore these and other fascinating facts in 'Ramadan', a Celebrate American Holidays book.

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    Storme DeLarverie program for
    "The Jewel Box Revuew," 1950s;
    Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division,
    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture


    In honor of Pride Month, Schomburg Librarians Tiana Taliep and Megan Williams write about the importance of one of our newest acquisitions, icon Storme DeLarverie's personal archive: 

    The Schomburg Center for Research of Black Culture recently acquired a collection from performer and gay rights activist, Storme DeLarverie. The collection includes letters, programs, flyers, newspaper clippings, certificates, photographs, videos, and audiotapes. DeLarverie was born December 24, 1920 in New Orleans, Louisiana, to an African-American mother and a white father. She was known for being a singer, male impersonator, bouncer, and gay civil rights activist.

    Through the 1950s and ‘60s, DeLarverie was the emcee and Master of Ceremonies of the Jewel Box Revue, a traveling variety show. The show was dubbed “25 men and 1 girl,” as DeLarverie was the sole drag king among a cast of men performing as women. She was one of the most successful male impersonators of her day. The Jewel Box Revue was the first racially integrated show of its kind and attracted multiracial and mainstream audiences. The Revue was a favorite act on the black theater circuit and regularly played the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York.

    On the night of June 28th, 1969, patrons of the now iconic Greenwich Village gay bar, Stonewall Inn, fought back against the harassment they faced at the hands of the city police force. At 50 years old, DeLarverie is credited as having thrown the first punch, which sparked a three-day protest and ignited the modern gay civil rights movement. DeLarverie’s participation in what has become known as the Stonewall Uprising made her a legendary figure in the LGBT community.

    After the Stonewall Riots, DeLarverie continued her role as a self-appointed guardian of the community in the LGBT movement. For years she worked as a bouncer at lesbian bars in the city, including the Cubby Hole and Henrietta Hudson. She was a member of the Stonewall Veterans’ Association, holding the offices of Chief of Security, Ambassador, and Vice President. In 2000, she received the Gay Lifetime Achievement Award from Senior Action in Gay Environment (SAGE). DeLarverie was well known as a regular leading the annual New York City Gay Pride Parade with the Stonewall Veterans and in the historic 1969 Cadillac convertible “Stonewall Car,” which she called “Storme’s baby.”

    Located in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, the Storme DeLarverie Papers are comprised of personal items including her passport, correspondence, Jewel Box Revue journals, numerous awards and certificates celebrating her dedication to the LGBT community. This collection also features DeLarverie’s iconic leather jacket and helmet, and is available upon request.

    The Storme DeLarverie Photograph collection in the Photographs and Prints Division includes 8 x 10 black and white photographs of DeLarverie in costume performing in the Jewel Box Revue, as well as portraits and headshots of her with other performers and friends. It also contains largely unidentified personal snapshots featuring friends at various events and gatherings during the latter half of DeLarverie’s life. A finding aid will be available on site.   

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  • 06/24/17--04:29: The Quotable Ambrose Bierce
  • Ambrose Bierce
    Ambrose Bierce. Image via Wikimedia.

    Ambrose Bierce was an American satirist, journalist, and author in the late 19th and early 20th century. Bierce was an expert short story author -- his war fiction, based on his own experiences in the Civil War, is particularly acclaimed -- but he is also just as well known for his humorous works, including The Devil's Dictionary, a compendium of comical definitions that satirizes human nature and American culture. Over a century after its publication, this quippy book still makes us laugh -- here are just a few of our favorite quotes:

    Ambrose Bierce
    Ambrose Bierce. Image via Wikimedia.

    Acquaintance, n. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. A degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.

    Actually, adv. Perhaps, possibly.

    Advice, n. The smallest current coin.

    Amnesty, n. The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.

    Ambrose Bierce
    Ambrose Bierce. Image via Wikimedia.

    Critic, n. A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him.

    Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.

    Famous, adj. Conspicuously miserable.

    Idiot, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.

    Ambrose Bierce
    Illustration of Ambrose Bierce. Image ID: 1110705.

    Novel, n. A short story padded.

    Philosophy, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

    Piano, n. A parlor utensil for subduing the impenitent visitor. It is operated by depressing the keys of the machine and the spirits of the audience.

    Plagiarize, v. To take the thought or style of another writer whom one has never, ever read.

    Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.

    What are your favorite quotes from Ambrose Bierce? Let us know in the comments. 

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    The Secret Language of Sisters

    Mathilda and Ruth, aka Tilly and Roo. Two sisters, so excited to be in the same school again once Tilly entered ninth grade. They understand each other and tell each other almost everything. They share their lives, they commiserate about their parental units, they gripe and complain to each other. One does not fully exist without the other.

    Then a dog runs in front of Roo's vehicle as she is traveling to pick up Tilly. The ensuing crash devastates her life.

    Locked in syndrome.

    Ruth Ann is now fully paralyzed except for vertical eye movements. However, she is perfectly conscious and sentient; she can hear and see what is going on around her. Luckily, one of the doctors is able to accurately diagnose her and set up a computer to help her communicate. Roo can now speak in full sentences, and the computer decodes her thoughts.

    Roo's world consists of staving off despair; her salvation comes in the form of her doctors, her mother, her sister, and friends.

    The Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice, 2016


    I am always a sucker for sister books.


    Luanne Rice's web site

    Books on locked in syndrome


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    Mr. Bologna Juns Exhibition
    Broadside advertisement for Mr. Bologna Jun.'s exhibition of amusements

    The Pforzheimer Collection recently acquired a  rare piece of ephemera: the only known copy of an 1811 broadside advertisement for an "Omnigenous Routine of Amusements" produced in London by one Mr. Bologna, Jun.

    John Peter Bologna (1775-1846), also known as "Jack Bologna" was an actor and dancer best known for his pantomime performances alongside the celebrated clown Joseph Grimaldi, his close friend and brother-in-law. Bologna was also an amateur machinist, and devised a number of the mechanical special effects and tricks used in his plays.

    Bologna's show, at King's Arms Hall, Cornhill—deemed "a very ingenious mechanical and philosophical Exhibition" by the actor, composer and writer Charles Dibdin—is apparently described in the Pforzheimer Collection's broadside more completely than anywhere else. It demonstrated several imaginative machines and featured performances of theatre, dance, music and magic. Below follows a summary of each part of the exhibit.

    The 2 a la Russia Rope Dancers

    The broadside claims the dancers to be "[j]ust arrived from Petersburgh," but it is important to note that Bologna grew up in a circus family; his father, Pietro Bologna, was a noted clown and rope dancer, and his siblings Louis and Barbara were both performers. It is possible the rope dancers were, in fact, Bolognas.    

    The Swan of Oblectation

    Automaton swans began appearing in Europe in the 18th century, the most famous extant being James Cox's Silver Swan, built in 1773, now at the Bowes Museum in Teesdale, Durham, England. Bologna claims that the Swan of Oblectation (meaning delight or pleasure) is the "ne plus ultra" of the genre: not only could it swim around in a bowl full of water, changing course upon cue, it could play card tricks.

    The Curious Mechanical Windmill and The Conjurer from Constantinople

    For an audience before the advent of electric motors, a machine that could "go and stop at the word of command" must have been quite a wonder. The broadside doesn't provide enough information to allow for much speculation as to the workings of the device; perhaps it was clockwork, or perhaps the commands directing the windmill were simply a ruse concealing a human in control.

    The Conjurer from Constantinople performed "numberless deceptions with cards, watches, figures, &c." Bologna's show seems to be his sole appearance.  

    Mr. Bologna Jun-r as Kalim Azack in Aladdin or the Wonderful Lamp
    Mr. Bologna Jun-r as Kalim Azack in Aladdin or the Wonderful Lamp [1813]

    Lilliput Island, or the World in Miniature

    A shadow-puppet play "taken from the justly admired Ombres Chinois," Lilliput Island was entirely the production of Bologna and had several scenes displaying his range of talent. The play began with an "elegant" Stag Hunt, with moving figures of the horses and dogs, culminating in "the whole Bustle of the Chace." This was followed by several comedic pieces, and A Gamekeeper and His Man, which promised "shooting, fishing, &c. exemplified in a peculiar and uncommon manner."

    Musical Glasses and Philosophical Fire-Works

    Musical glasses—  also collectively called a "glass harp" —  were at the height of their poularity in 1811. Tones are made by rubbing wet or chalked fingers around the rims of different sized goblets, sometimes filled with varying amounts of water. Though Bologna identifies the musical glasses performer only as "a celebrated professor," the pairing with "philosophical fire-works" strongly suggests it was John Cartwright, long-time master of the instrument, who had counted Marie Antoinette among his students. Cartwright had included the "fire-works" — a gas-powered light show, free of noise and smoke — in his musical glasses performances for years. In Bologna's exhibition the imitation pyrotechnics formed pictures of "Temples, Palaces, Groves, &c."


    Bologna's 1811 exhibition was not his first. Around 1803 he produced a moderately successful magic lantern show called Phantascopia at the Lyceum. Little description of it is known to survive, save that it was meant to be an improved version of the wildly popular skeleton-and-ghost-filled Phantasmagoria horror spectacle which debuted in London in 1801, having been developed on the Continent a few years earlier. Phantasmagoria influenced the titling of Fantasmagoriana, the collection of ghost stories read by Shelley, Byron and company during the summer of 1816, when Mary Shelley was inspired to being writing Frankenstein.   

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  • 06/26/17--08:42: Queering Parents
  • LGBTQ+ literature often explores difficult relationships between queer and trans people and their parents. But what about parents who are themselves queer or trans?

    This list includes  a variety of queer and trans people writing about their experiences of pregnancy and raising children. It also features stories about queer and trans children with closeted parents, such as Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical comic Fun Home and Mia McKenzie’s debut novel The Summer We Got Free. This pride month, check out some fiction and nonfiction titles about  LGBTQ+ parents.

    The Argonauts

    The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

    A blend of queer theory, philosophy, and personal essay, The Argonauts explores what it means to queer the family. Maggie Nelson writes about her experiences being pregnant at the same time her partner starts taking testosterone and gets top surgery. Challenging many of the stereotypes of pregnancy and motherhood, The Argonauts is as much about the writers and theorists who become our “queer mothers” as it is about the queer nuclear family. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to challenge the idea that having children is a form of assimilation


     Nine Long Months Spent in Drag

    Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag by A.K. Summers

    Based on Summers’ pregnancy, Pregnant Butch is a graphic novel that follows Teek Thomasson through life as a pregnant butch lesbian. Dealing with the stereotypes of traditional femininity associated with pregnancy, Teek tries to find ways of making pregnancy a butch experience. For example, she imagines breastfeeding as a superpower (introducing the Boobed-Avenger!). I recommend this graphic novel to anyone who thinks suspenders are excellent maternity wear.


     A Family Tragicomic

    Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

    Bechdel’s most famous graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is an autobiography about coming out and the life of her closeted gay father before his suicide. The comic is interwoven with passages from her father’s favorite literature as Bechdel tries to understand a man that hid in fiction his whole life. Fun Home is so popular, it was adapted into a musical in 2013. I recommend Fun Home to anyone who has grappled with understanding their parents.


    The Summer We Got Free

    The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie

    After the death of her brother, Ava Delaney loses her ability to feel. That is until her sister-in-law Helena arrives. Everything starts to change for Ava who is uncontrollably attracted to Helena while her father tries to push away the coming changes. Switching between the 1950s and 1970s, The Summer We Got Free explores Ava and her father's inability to talk to each other about their experiences of racism, homophobia, and religious zealotry. I recommend this book to anyone who loves McKenzie’s website Black Girl Dangerous and can’t wait to experience her skills as a fiction writer.


    Sister Outsider

    Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

    A collection of 15 essays by black lesbian socialist poet and writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider is a fundamental feminist text as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1984. Lorde covers a wide range of topics including poetry, racism, sexuality, and motherhood. In the chapter “Man Child: A Black Lesbian Feminist’s Response”, Lorde explores raising a boy as a lesbian. I recommend Sister Outsider to anyone who identifies as a feminist.


    Labor of Love

    Labor of Love: The Story of One Man’s Extraordinary Pregnancy by Thomas Beatie

    Probably one of the most well known trans parents, Beatie made headlines in 2008 when he was pregnant. Labor of Love chronicles his experiences coming out as trans, as well as his pregnancy. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read beyond the media circus that surrounded Beatie’s pregnancy to the actual experiences of a trans parent.

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    Come join us this July at Mid-Manhattan Library for the final installment of our Author @ the Library Program before renovation begins. This month, we'll be delving into NYC history, climate change, and the CIA, among other topics.

    Author talks take place at 6:30 PM on the 6th Floor of the library, unless otherwise noted. You can also request the authors' books by clicking on the book covers below.  Seating is first come, first served; no reservations are required.  Please also note that events at The New York Public Library may photographed or recorded. By attending these events, you consent to the use of your image and voice by the Library for all purposes. 

     Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues



    Wednesday, July 5, 2017
    "How the Books We Read Shape Our Lives" with Pamela Paul, the author of five books, most recently, My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues, and the editor of The New York Times Book Review.
    This talk explores how the books we reads shape ours lives and how each of us, through those books, constructs our own life stories.
     The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters


    Thursday, July 6, 2017
    The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters with Thomas M. Nichols, Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College, and an adjunct professor at the Harvard Extension School.
    This illustrated lecture explores the perils of un-vetted information, that credentials are still important, and that giving experts their due is democratic.
     How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts


    Monday, July 10, 2017
    The Seasons Alter: How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts with Philip Kitcher, professor of philosophy at Columbia University.
    This illustrated talk presents the realities of global warming in the most human of terms―everyday conversation. 
     New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics


    Wednesday, July 12, 2017
    Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics with Kim Phillips-Fein, author of Invisible Hands, and an associate professor of American history in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University.
    This illustrated lecture provides an epic, riveting history of New York City on the edge of disaster―and an anatomy of the austerity politics that continue to shape the world today.
     The Age of Consequences


    Thursday, July 13, 2017
    Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences with Matthew Christopher, photographer and writer.
    The author returns to the Library for another installment of Abandoned America.
     Coastal Habitats, Plant Life, Fish, Seabirds, Marine Mammals, & Other Wildlife


    Monday, July 17, 2017
    A Field Guide to Long Island Sound with Patrick Lynch, author, illustrator, photographer, and designer.
    This illustrated lecture introduces the audience to the rich natural history of Long Island Sound and its New York and Connecticut coastlines. 
     A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System


    Thursday, July 20, 2017
    A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System with T. R. Reid, one of the nation's best-known reporters through his books and articles, his documentary films, and his reporting for the Washington Post and NPR.
    This illustrated lecture looks to other countries to rethink America's complicated tax code and features sensible, efficient tax systems from around the world that the United States could emulate. 
     How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science


    Monday, July 24, 2017
    Not A Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science with Dave Levitan, a journalist.
    This illustrated lecture features an eye-opening tour of the political tricks that subvert scientific progress.
     Crime and Punishment in Black America


    Wednesday, July 26, 2017
    Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America with James Forman Jr., professor of law at Yale Law School.
    This illustrated lecture enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in America. 
    Whistleblower at the CIA


    Thursday, July 27, 2017
    Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence with Melvin A. Goodman, writer and former senior analyst and Division Chief at the CIA from 1966 to 1990.
    This lecture presents a rare insider's account of the inner workings of America's intelligence community. 


    Monday, July 31, 2017
    Sellout: How Washington Gave Away America's Technological Soul, and One Man's Fight to Bring It Home with Victoria Bruce, journalist and author, in conversation with Jim Kennedy, the protagonist of Sellout.
    This conversation tells the story of one citizen's fight to preserve a US stake in the future of clean energy and the elements essential to high tech industries and national defense.

     Although the library will be closing for renovations in August, we still have quite a few events happening in July. 

    We have:

    • Open Book Night: Our theme this month is Liberty & Happiness.  If you enjoy getting and giving book recommendations, come discuss with us your favorite titles on the themes of different types of freedom and happiness.
    • Summer Reading programs: This summer, join us as we Build a Better World Through Reading.  The Mid-Manhattan Library is offering a variety of events to help you expand your horizons through our Summer Reading Program.
    • Film screenings
    • Computer and technology classes

    Our Contemporary Classics Book Discussion group and our Story Time for Grown-Ups program are on haitus until we move to our new space in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.  We hope you will continue to join us for programs in our new space!

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    Declaration of Independence
    On Display: The Declaration of Independence, Handwritten by Thomas Jefferson.

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

    The Women Behind "Salome of the Tenements"
    The Women Behind "Salome of the Tenements"

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    6/27: Surpassing Certainty: Janet Mock in Conversation with Lisa LucasJanet Mock, the writer, TV host, and advocate, discusses her new memoir, Surpassing Certainty, with Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. 7 PM.

    6/28: The Women Behind "Salome of the Tenements": Salome of the Tenements is a now-lost classic of 1920s silent film, a tale of romance and struggle among Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side. Behind the plot of the movie lay a tale perhaps even more remarkable, that of the four women who helped bring it to life. Author Alan Robert Ginsberg discusses this fascinating story with broadcast journalist Budd Mishkin. 6:30 PM.

    6/29-7/3: On Display: The Declaration of Independence, Handwritten by Thomas Jefferson: The Library is honored to share one of the rarest and most important documents in its collections: an original manuscript of the Declaration of Independence handwritten by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson. In celebration of the birth of the United States and the democratic values upon which it was founded, Library visitors may view the manuscript for free. Please note that the exhibition is only open until 5 PM each day.

     Elaborate Disruption and Black Creativity
    Zines: Elaborate Disruption and Black Creativity.

    The Schomburg Center

    6/27: Zines: Elaborate Disruption and Black CreativityContemporary zine creators Devin N. Morris, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Kevin Harry, and Jermel Moody come together with author Steven G. Fullwood to discuss the past, present, and future of zines dedicated to creating space for diverse and marginalized voices. 6:30 PM.

    6/29: 16th Annual Dr. Betty Shabazz Awards CeremonyThe Dr. Betty Shabazz Awards Ceremony honors women of all backgrounds and faiths who demonstrate unwavering and courageous dedication to helping others. This year’s honoree is Professor Sonia Sanchez, renowned poet, activist, and educator. 6 PM.

    7/7: Film Screening and Talkback: JuiceJoin us for a 25th anniversary screening of this 90s classic and talkback with director Ernest Dickerson and actors Kahlil Kain and Jermaine Hopkins, moderated by Fab 5 Freddy. Following the film will be a 90s music-themed after party. 6:30 PM.

     American Waves
    Library Listen Fest 2017: American Waves.

    Library for the Performing Arts

    6/29: Yvonne Rainer's Person Place ThingWitness a live taping of Person Place Thing with Randy Cohen, an interview podcast that invites guests to speak about a person, place, and thing that are important to them, featuring choreographer Yvonne Rainer. 6 PM.

    6/30: Library Listen Fest 2017: American WavesHeading into Independence Day weekend join us for an evening of casual listening, featuring rarely heard historic political speeches, radio broadcasts, and music that celebrates our nation's history. 7 PM.

    7/1: New York Opera Forum Presents: Don GiovanniRichard Nechamkin music directs this concert version of Mozart's opera, Don Giovanni. 1:30 PM.

    Science, Industry and Business Library
    Saving and Investing for Retirement.

    Science, Industry and Business Library

    6/27: Saving and Investing for RetirementMitchell J. Smilowitz, CPA reviews sources of income in retirement, how much you need to save, and the types of savings opportunities that can help you achieve your financial goals. Learn about the tools and techniques available for managing risk, and how to achieve a financially secure retirement. 6 PM.

    6/28: Thinking Through the Job InterviewAll job interviews address three key questions: Can you do the job? Will you love the job? Do I really want to work with you? Celia Currin, executive career coach, teaches you how to answer these three unspoken questions and more in this workshop.

    6/29: Video Marketing and LivestreamingVideo is a great opportunity for growing businesses to attract new customers and serve existing clients. Digital communications expert Jill Schiefelbein will walk you through the best ways to create and distribute video content for your business. 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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                                                                                                Olivia at Mulberry Street Library 

    Olivia is an avid reader and patron of the Mulberry Street Library. As part of a school internship program she put together  this summer vacation book list and book display for the library. She is a student at Pathways Children's Services

    A little bit about me: 

    ❤️ fashion/shopping
    ❤️ swimming
    I dream of opening a library with a spa and boutique attached to it. 
    I love my mom and dad. I also love my family, cousins and last but not least, my helper Joy.
    I am an only child, so I am the princess of the house. I have a dog named Ling Ling, she think's she's a princess too. 
    I live on the Upper East Side but I also have a summer house in Connecticut where I go on vacation. 
    -- Olivia
    no love allowed

    No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista

    Caleb needs a girl to take to his wealthy father's law firm parties. Preferably someone pretty enough to impress his father but who won't take it too seriously and fall in love with him. This is his last chance to prove to his father that he's  mature enough to put off college. Lucky for him, Didi just got fired and is need of some cash. She promises to leave feelings out of there businness arrangement but maybe it's Caleb who should watch himself.

    The Fixerby Jennifer Lynn Barnes
    When her grandfather falls ill, Tess is whisked off to Washington D.C. by her older sister who she barely knows. Her sister is a "fixer" for Washington's powerful, political elite and there's no problem she can't fix. When problems and dead bodies crop up at her new school and around her new friends, Tess learns that her sister's fixer skills might run in the family.  If you love the show Scandalous, you'll love this!  The sequel is The Long Game
    Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
    For most of his war-torn life, Lazlo Strange, junior librarian, has dreamed of the mythical lost city of Weep but he's never been bold enough to go in search of it himself. Now his opportunity to be bold has arrived in the form of a hero named Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors. As Lazlo contemplates his quest he wonders why the Godslayer needs his help and who is the beautiful, blue-skinned girl who fills his dreams.
    A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
    In this new take on a classic tale, Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson are the descendants of  the infamous Holmes and Watson and attending a Connecticut boarding school.  When one of their classmates turns up dead they find themselves the prime suspects in his murder. To clear themselves, they can trust no one but each other.  The sequel is The Last of August. 
    Tiny Cooper doesn't let anything stand in his way - not ex-boyfriends or homophobic coaches can stop him from living his life out loud. Here, he inparts his wisdom on growing up and his quest for love via his very own musical.  Companion to Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
    Fall in love with Dewey, who at just a few weeks old was stuffed into the return box at the Spencer, Iowa Public Library, on the coldest night of the year.  Crippled with frostbitten paws, Dewey still managed to crawl his way into the hearts of the library staff and townspeople.  For the next twenty years that he lived at the library, he had a knack for knowing who always needed his love most. 
    stranger than fanfiction
    Stranger than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer
    Four fans jokingly invite their favorite celebrity, world famous actor Cash Carter, on a cross-country road trip with them and to their astonishment he accepts. Now these friends are on a road trip of a lifetime, being hounded by paparazzi and reporters, and finding that being a celebrity is not all it's cracked up to be. 
    boys of summer
    Boys of Summer by Jessica Brody
    Meet the boys of Winlock Harbor. Grayson, the football prodigy, Mike, the local heartthrob and Ian, the handsome musician. Best friends since they were kids, every summer they come together for beachfront barbecues, bonfires and late night swims but this summer their loyalties and bonds of friendship will be tested to their limits.
                                                                                         Olivia with Mulberry Street Librarians
                                                                                                     Anne Rouyer and Annie Lin

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    The long-awaited and much-needed full renovation of Mid-Manhattan Library is moving forward as expected, with the building scheduled to close to the public on August 1, 2017. Work will begin immediately, and the building is expected to reopen in early 2020.

    A bright and modern building atrium reveals multiple floors with library shelves and workspaces
    Rendering of Mid-Manhattan Library renovation

    During this closure, all staff and services offered at Mid-Manhattan Library will relocate to other nearby Midtown locations, including an interim space on the ground floor of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building located across Fifth Avenue.

    That space—accessible via the 42nd Street entrance and called “Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street”—will hold Mid-Manhattan’s circulating collections and offer computers, programming spaces, and tables for quiet study. Mid-Manhattan holds will also be sent here for pick-up.

    The temporary space will open to the public on August 29 to allow time for Mid-Manhattan’s hundreds of thousands of books, as well as its furniture, to move across the street. Hours for the new space will be Monday, Thursday: 8 AM–8 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday: 8 AM–9 PM; Friday: 8 AM–6 PM; Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM; and Sunday: 10 AM–5 PM. Between August 1 and August 29, Mid-Manhattan patrons can send their holds to any other NYPL location. After August 29, holds will be defaulted to Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street. Holds placed for pick-up at Mid-Manhattan before August 1 but not picked up or delivered by closing will be sent to the Children’s Center at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

    To further meet the needs of Mid-Manhattan patrons, hours will be extended at many nearby Midtown branches, and programs currently offered at Mid-Manhattan will be temporarily moved. Below are options for Mid-Manhattan patrons during the closure, and any new services that those branches will offer as of August 1. The new hours will go into effect the following Monday, August 7 to give Mid-Manhattan staff time to transition to their new roles:

    Grand Central Library | 135 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

    • New hours are Monday–Thursday: 10 AM–9 PM; Friday: 10 AM–6 PM; and Saturday: 10 AM–5 PM
    • Additional 8 hours per week
    • Additional services include IDNYC and SingleStop

    Science, Industry and Business Library | 188 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

    • New hours are Monday–Friday: 10 AM–8 PM; and Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM
    • Additional 4 hours per week
    • Additional services include TechConnect and citizenship classes

    Children’s Center at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building | 42nd Street entrance

    • New hours are Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday: 10 AM–8 PM; and Sunday: 10 AM–5 PM (Sunday hours begin again in September)
    • Additional 3 hours per week

    53rd Street Library | 18 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

    • Hours are Monday, Wednesday: 11 AM–7 PM; Tuesday, Thursday: 11 AM–6 PM; and Friday, Saturday: 10 AM–5 PM

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building | Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street

    • Hours are Monday, Thursday–Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday: 10 AM–8 PM; and Sunday: 1–5 PM (Sunday hours begin again in September)
    • Additional services include the Picture Collection, which will remain at Schwarzman after Mid-Manhattan reopens, and TechConnect classes
    • This location is for research, quiet study, and programming only; except for the Children’s Center, patrons cannot pick up holds or check out books here

    To share feedback or ask questions, please email


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  • 06/27/17--13:47: Podcast #170: David Grann
  • 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.

    Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Google Play


    Cover of 'Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI'
    Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

    Today’s episode is a conversation with New Yorker writer David Grann, whose most recent book is called Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. Grann came by the library to talk about the book last month, and he was for the special reason that he actually worked on it here as a fellow of The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.


    Grann's new book covers a series of cold-blooded murders that took place among the richest people per capita of the 1920s: the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma, who had become oil millionaires after black gold was discovered under their land. The series of mysterious deaths was one of the earliest cases investigated by the FBI, under a very young J. Edgar Hoover. Grann was joined in conversation by the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin.




    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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    Paul Bunyan
    Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Image via Wikimedia.

    The folklore of North America is full of tall tales and wild stories from the North Woods and the Wild West -- most of them too fantastical to be believed. But as with a lot of oral tradition, some of those stories are actually rooted in true figures from history. Can you separate fact from fiction? Test your knowledge with our "real or not" folklore quiz!

    This quiz was researched in part with the Library's online databases, including the Literature Resource Center, Biography in Context, American History, and American National Biography

    Sources & Further Reading

    The Encyclopedia of American Folklore. Linda S. Watts. New York: Facts on File, 2007. 

    Was Paul Bunyan a Real Person? Sarah Pruitt., A+E Networks, 2015.

    "Bunyan, Paul.Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature, Merriam-Webster, 1995. Literature Resource Center. Accessed 28 June 2017.

    The Strangely True Tale of Johnny Appleseed. Kee Malesky. NPR, 2012. 

    Taking Swings at a Myth, with John Henry the Man. William Grimes. New York Times, 2006. 

    On the Trail of the Real John Henry. John Garst; response by Scott Nelson. History News Network, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, George Washington University, 2006. Accessed 28 June 2017.

    Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth. Kristen Iversen. Boulder: Johnson Books, 1999. 

    Just Who Was The "Unsinkable Molly Brown?" Mario Ritter. VOA News, 2010. 

    Pecos Bill. The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2014. Accessed 28 June 2017.

    Joaquin Murieta. Outlaws, Mobsters & Crooks, vol. 5, Gale, 2002. Biography in Context. Accessed 28 June 2017.

    Who Was the Real Ichabod Crane? Michael Pollak. New York Times, 2015.

    David Crockett. Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Accessed 28 June 2017.

    Buffalo Bill Cody. American History,  ABC-CLIO,  2017. Accessed 28 June 2017.

    Earp, Wyatt. Vernon Maddux. American National Biography Online, February 2000. Accessed 28 June 2017.

    Wyatt Earp. Anne Blaschke. American History, ABC-CLIO, 2017. Accessed 28 June 2017.

    Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp. Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Accessed 28 June 2017.

    Brave, Courageous... and Crooked? Allen Barra. American History, vol. 51, no. 5, 2016, p. 20+. Biography in Context. Accessed 28 June 2017.


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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.

    Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Google Play

    The hosts of WNYC's Nancy podcast join Gwen and Frank for a conversation about queer books, making podcasts, and Xena Warrior Princess... while they were on vacation, no less! Kathy and Tobin—BFFs who are super queer and super fun, according to their Official Podcast Description—called in from California to talk about their favorite reads past and present and the stories they can't wait to tell.

    (This episode has some less than perfect audio, which is particularly embarrassing giving our super professional radio guests. We promise it's still a great episode, and we're sorry!)


    Guest Stars: Kathy Tu and Tobin Low from Nancy

    Hot Dudes Reading: the book in the Library, the Instagram, the Twitter

    hot dudes

    The End of Eddy by Édouard Louis 

    The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

    The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

    I’m a Librarian by Brian Biggs

    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

    A cigarette card  featuring the stars of the 1939 film adaptation of Wuthering Heights. From NYPL's Digital Collections.

    Transom Story Workshop

    WNYC podcast accelerator  

    Flying Lessons & Other Stories, ed. by Ellen Oh

    Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

    Book Recommendations

    Kathy:  When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön

    Tobin: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan



    Non-Book Recommendations

    GwenHandmaid’s Tale on Hulu (and an interesting Vulture story on the differences between the book and the show)

    Tobin: Terrace House on Netflix

    This is a screenshot from the trailer for Season 2 of Terrace House, and it looks JUST AS AMAZING AS YOU THINK.

    Kathy: True Story (the Hamish & Andy show)


    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

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    Summer has officially begun, and though June has already slipped away, there remain two months to pack in some good reading.  The 18th class of fellows at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers—independent scholars, creative writers, and academics—has just completed its residency at The New York Public Library, and we asked them, along with Cullman Center staff members and the Library’s Mellon Director, to tell us what they are reading and recommending this summer.

    Recommendations from the outgoing Fellows of 2016-17:

    Carys Davies
    Carys Davies


    Carys Davies: I'd recommend William Maxwell's They Came Like Swallows (1937). Maxwell's slender semi-autobiographical novel is the beautiful and heartbreaking story of the impact of the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic in a midwestern town on a small boy and his father.



    Angela Flournoy
    Angela Flournoy
     photo by John Midgley


    Angela Flournoy: I'm currently (finally!) reading Marlon James's A Brief History of Seven Killings. It is entirely worth lugging around a 680-page book on the hot NYC subway.

    I'd also recommend reading Morgan Parker's poetry collection, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce.



    Jon Gertner
    Jon Gertner


    Jon Gertner:

    Independent People, Halldór Laxness(1934)

    Suspended Sentences, Patrick Modiano (1988)

    The Redemption of Galen Pike, Carys Davies (2017)


    Jennifer Homans
    Jennifer Homans


    Jennifer Homans: War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy (1869). This is my first time reading it and I am hooked.




    Daniel Kehlmann
    Daniel Kehlmann


    Daniel Kehlmann: Montauk, Max Frisch (1975). The ultimate personal nonfiction narrative. Writing about your personal life without inventing anything became quite fashionable a few years ago. But Frisch did it in the Seventies, and better than anyone has ever since.

    Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman (2017): You can read it with your children, and when your children have fallen asleep, you’ll go on, because it’s impossible to stop.


    Sally Wen Mao
    Sally Wen Mao


    Sally Wen Mao: Notes of a Crocodile, Qui Miaojin, translated by Bonnie Huie (1995; English translation 2017): This book is set in Taipei in the late 1980s and describes Lazi, a young queer woman on the margins going to University, and her circle of outcasts and weirdos. 

    Salvatore Scibona
    Salvatore Scibona


    Salvatore Scibona: I'm reading Tony Judt's beautiful and sad book of remembrances: The Memory Chalet (2010), and look forward after that to starting a new collection by Rebecca Gayle Howell, a poet who writes of the most elemental aspects of the American experience of poverty.  Her new book is American Purgatory (2017).



    Jonathan Stevenson
    Jonathan Stevenson


    Jonathan Stevenson: Over the past few weeks I have read David Bezmozgis's story collection, Natasha and other stories (2004) (prompted by the recent U.S. release of his eponymous film, based on the title story) and Marlon James's A Brief History of Seven Killings (which won the 2015 Booker Prize). I especially recommend the former.




    Recommendations from Cullman Center staff:

    Killers of the Flower Moon


    Paul Delaverdac: I'm reading David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon(2017). It tells the story of the mysterious Osage Indian murders, which began only after the Osage discovered oil on their land and accumulated substantial wealth. Grann researched this book while he was a Fellow at the Cullman Center in 2013-2014.




    Bear Down Bear North
    Give Us the Ballot

    Lauren Goldenberg: Melinda Moustakis, Bear Down Bear North  (2011) “What is the sound of a river?” Moustakis asks in the second story of this collection, a question that seems both obvious and at the same time has no one answer. These stories from one of next year’s Cullman fellows are intimate, powerful narratives of harsh lives in the wilderness and small towns of Alaska, and make for good reading to escape the heat.

    Ari Berman, Give Us the Ballot (2015): A must-read history of the passage of the Voting Rights Act and all that has followed. 


    Lacrime di SaleTears of SaltJulia Pagnamenta: I recently read the memoir Tears of Salt (from the Italian Lacrime di Sale) by Pietro Bertolo (and co-written by Lidia Tilotta). Dr. Bertolo’s unwavering commitment to caring for the refugees who have been arriving at Lampedusa day after day for years now, and his despair at having to perform autopsies for those who didn’t survive the journey, gives the unfolding crisis a human face. Tears of Salt will be published in the U.S. in January 2018 by W.W. Norton. This book is especially powerful when paired with Gianfranco Rosi’s documentary, “Fire at Sea” (“Fuocoammare”) about Dr. Bertolo and the migration crisis in the Mediterranean. 

    The Mighty Franks
    Daniel Deronda

    Jean StrouseMichael Frank, The Mighty Franks (2017)  To repeat what I wrote for the book’s jacket: “Be careful when you start reading The Mighty Franks since you won’t be able to stop. As finely drawn as it is acutely observed—painful, honest, evocative, spare—this portrait of an extraordinary family is a work of art.”

    George Eliot, Daniel Deronda (1876):  Eliot's controversial final novel, which I’m re-reading, is even better than I remembered, and remains as disturbing as it apparently was in 1876.



    Recommendations from the Mellon Director of The New York Public Library, William Kelly:

    The North Water
    Small Town Talk
    Selected Essays of William Hazlitt


    The North Water, Ian McGuire (2016)

    Small Town Talk, Barney Hoskyns (2016)

    Selected Essays of William Hazlitt 1778-1830




    Recommended recent and forthcoming titles written by Fellows:

    Fear City


    Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics, Kim Phillips-Fein (2017)

    Published this past April, Fear City is a welcome and timely new history of the fiscal crisis that engulfed New York City in the 1970s, and the lasting consequences that can be felt today. If you'd like to get a flavor of the book, read this excerpt on how New York's current inequality can be traced back to the crisis.  



    What She Ate


    What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories, Laura Shapiro (July, 2017)

    Laura Shapiro's newest work examines a wide assortment of women: Dorothy Wordsworth, Rosa Lewis, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eva Braun, Barbara Pym, and Helen Gurley Brown,  who "each, in her own way, used food as both 'her shield and her weapon.'"



    A Life of Adventure and Delight


    A Life of Adventure and Delight, Akhil Sharma (July, 2017)

    If you caught the title story of this new collection in The New Yorker in May, then we imagine you can barely wait to read the rest of these stories, and rightly so. 




    The Mountain


    The Mountain, Paul Yoon (August, 2017)

    While you'll have to wait till near the end of the summer for this new collection, we guarantee the wait is worthwhile. As noted in this starred review, "Yoon's dazzling use of wordplay, pacing, and the quiet authenticity of his characters to instill emotion in his audience makes him one of the most evocative writers working today." 



    And stay tuned for our fall programming, which will include events with Paul Yoon, Laura Shapiro, and Kim Phillips-Fein.

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    The New York Public Library holds in its vast collections one of the most important documents in American history: an original manuscript of the Declaration of Independence handwritten by Thomas Jefferson. In addition to being a cornerstone of our country, the Declaration of Independence is one of the great documents of the human intellect and has laid the foundation of democratic movements that have transformed the world for more than two centuries. 

    In celebration of the birth of the United States and the democratic values upon which it was founded, the Library is honored to share this renowned historical treasure with Library visitors for a limited time. This copy of the Declaration of Independence is significant not only for its historical importance, but also for the language it contains, which is different from the version that was eventually ratified on July 4, 1776. Notably, Jefferson's copy includes a lengthy condemnation of the slave trade:

    "he [the king of Great Britain] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."

    But before the Declaration of Independence was ratified, this passage was removed; its excision was intended primarily to appease the delegates from Georgia and South Carolina. Jefferson was distressed by the alterations to his text, and in the days immediately following July 4 he made copies of the complete text that had been submitted to Congress. These copies were sent to his fellow Virginia delegates who had been absent from the proceedings, Richard Henry Lee and George Wythe. The Library's copy of the Declaration in Jefferson's own hand is one of these very copies in which the author reinserted the portions that had been changed by Congress. Jefferson's copy of the Declaration of Independence has been safely preserved by The New York Public Library since it arrived as part of the collection of Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet in 1897.

    These changes, and others, shine a light on the fascinating politics of the Continental Congress and the American Revolution. You can read more about the document and its historical context, and plan your visit to see this piece of American history in person.

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    Subway Library

    There's so much available to read on the #SubwayLibrary — a service that delivers free e-books brought to you by MTA, Transit Wireless, and NYC's libraries— it can be hard to choose which books to peruse on your commute. Lucky for you, we're going to put together a list of our favorite titles in a given category every week, so you can get the best recommendations for what to read from our NYPL experts.

    This week's category: true stories. Our collection of nonfiction encompasses several genres, including biography, memoir, journalism, science writing, and essays. Whether you're looking to immerse yourself in a tropical exploration, learn all there is to know about the world of microbes, or just have a great laugh, you can find what you're looking for in the true stories section.

    The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

    The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

    The title says it all. In this sweet, funny, candid autobiography, comedia Issa Rae of HBO's Insecure describes what it feels like to be an introvert in an extroverted world. Excerpt, a 1-hour read.

    The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

    The Lost City of the Monkey God

    Adventure abounds in this real-life thriller, which chronicles the author's journey with a group of scientists to search for an ancient civilization in Honduras. But after their treacherous adventure ends, something even more tragic befalls the group at home: a mysterious lethal disease, contracted in the tropics. Excerpt, a 1-hour read.

    The Zombie King by Emily Matchar

    The Zombie King
    Emily Matchar traces our collective obsession with zombies back to its roots: William Seabrook, an American writer who claimed he met a real zombie on an island near Haiti in 1928. Originally published in The Atavist Magazine. Full text, a 1-hour read.

    I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

    I Contain Multitudes

    Get a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world in this engrossing, in-depth look at the smallest creatures on Earth. Excerpt, a 1-hour read.

    The Dallas Cowboys by Joe Patoski

    Dallas Cowboys

    Get an insider's look at this American football team, one of the most influential in the NFL over the course of their over-50 year history. Excerpt, a 2+ hour read.

    Check out more information about #SubwayLibrary, including more of our favorite reads and instructions on how to access. What are your favorite short reads available on #SubwayLibrary? Share them with us in the comments.

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    Our technology team gets tons of calls from patrons who want to dictate text and commands to their Windows computers. Dictation appeals to all kinds of people, from those who type slowly or have repetitive stress injuries to people who just do their best writing when thinking out loud. In a world where Siri is happy to keep your calendar straight and Amazon Echo takes 24/7 requests for your favorite tunes, why not speak your mind to the blinking cursor in Microsoft Word?

    Shockingly, for users of popular Windows screen readers like JAWS or NVDA, dictation hasn’t been that simple. Out of the box, these screen readers have not read the controls that show a speech recognition user what the computer thinks they’ve said or the available choices when they want to make a correction. Without these controls, a blind user can’t correct their work, the computer never improves as it learns from its mistakes, and the dictation experience can be downright terrible. Third-party tools like JSAY solve this problem really well, but they’re expensive, so new and casual dictation users don’t tend to have them.

    After years of missing out on dictation, a group of blind programmers, tech trainers and accessibility professionals decided to stop waiting and start solving the problem. They launched a successful crowdfunding campaign which explained the steps, resources and budget it would take to make Windows-based dictation accessible, and invited anyone to contribute any amount toward funding the project. Thanks to a supportive community of screen reader users and their allies, the DictationBridge team met is financial goals and promptly got to work on a tool that takes minutes to install, allows screen reader users to access the same on-screen information that sighted dictation users have, and is free to everyone.  Anyone with a computer running Windows 7 or later can now enjoy the first DictationBridge public beta.

    So, how can you try speech recognition for yourself?

    If you don’t have difficulty reading standard print, you can skip DictationBridge and NVDA and still get a productivity boost, and a rest for your tired hands, with Windows Speech Recognition. Just go to the start menu, type “speech”, and click Speech Recognition to get started. If you’re sighted or support friends and colleagues who are, this Youtube video for provides a visual overview of how to get up and running.

    If you’re blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-averse, check out to learn how DictationBridge works, read about the history of the project and learn what inspired the makers of DictationBridge to take on this accessibility challenge.

    The DictationBridge team chose to support the Nonvisual Desktop Access (NVDA) screen reader first, since it’s free, increasingly popular and available to any Windows user in the world. NVDA is also a creation of blind technology users who decided to make the kind of access they’d like the community to have. You can read their story and download the screen reader for free.

    Then, join us for our DictationBridge workshop on July 18 from 5:00 to 6:45 PM, where you’ll learn how to get up and running with DictationBridge, choose and position a microphone, train the computer to understand you better, and make edits and corrections using your voice. Email or give us a call at (212) 621-0627 to register.

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