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    Black-and-white photo of Benjamin and May Phelosof, standing in front of the American flag
    Benjamin and May Phelosof; photo courtesy Shulamith Phelosof

    First-generation Americans by way of Poland and Russia, Benjamin and May Phelosof were some of the first members of their families to attend college in the United States, thanks to the indispensable resources made available by The New York Public Library.

    As their daughter Shulamith says, "…my parents spent much of their time at the main branch next to Bryant Park, and the Rose Main Reading Room is where my mother 'earned her degree.' Both my folks always said they were thankful that New York City allowed them to attend college for free, but they couldn't afford the books! NYPL literally gave them one of the world's finest libraries as their playground!"

    Benjamin eventually graduated from Harvard Law School and May, from Hunter College. Shulamith herself is a proud graduate of Princeton. In appreciation for the vital role the Library played in helping his family achieve the American dream, Mr. Phelosof designated the Library as a beneficiary of his Individual Retirement Account (IRA). His generous legacy will help ensure the Library can continue to offer the same resources to families like the Phelosofs and help make the dreams and aspirations of all Library patrons a reality.

    Planned gifts, such as from a will, trust, or retirement account are a powerful way to give more than you may have thought possible to support the NYPL mission. It also entitles you to membership in Library’s Bigelow Society, whose members are invited to special private receptions—including our signature annual event, the Bigelow Society Tea, held each spring in the Bartos Forum at the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman building.

    Additionally, Bigelow Society members are invited to behind-the-scenes curatorial tours featuring notable cultural and literary figures and members of the Library’s leadership team. They also receive discounts at the Library shop, and have the option of being listed in our Annual Report.


    To learn more about arranging for a planned gift to the Library and joining the Bigelow Society, please contact the Office of Planned Giving at 212.930.0652 or  


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    Visiting the library is all about learning—whether it is checking out a cookbook, attending a genealogy course, or perfecting your resume. We also understand that there are numerous benefits to online learning. Online learners can take part in courses on their own time, at their own pace, and at any location. That is why the New York Public Library provides access to a wide range of online learning tools, take a look at the highlights below— all you need is your New York Public Library card!

    1. Learning Express

    Many patrons visit the library to find preparation materials for the SATs, AP exams, GED, occupational exams, and entrance exams. If you are searching for exam preparation materials try the LearningExpress database. This online resource provides not only test prep covering all levels and areas of education, but also courses to help adults build core skills, such as writing, math, and public speaking.

    Learning Express
    Learning Express database

    2. is a database that provides access to thousands of online courses. Have you ever wanted to learn jazz piano? Want to improve your managerial skills? Want to learn to code? Do you want to start your own podcast? provides courses on these areas and more. It also includes multiple levels so beginners and advanced skill levels can all take advantage of what has to offer. Also, check out the NYPL blog post, It's International Creativity Month and You Haven't Met Lynda?

    Poster Design, taught by Nigel French

    3. Kanopy: The Great Courses

    Kanopy is not just a great resource to watch new independent films and documentaries, you can also access The Great Courses series. You can study everything from ancient mythology to astrophysics just by signing in to Kanopy with your library card! 

    Kanopy database

    4. Small Business Reference Center 

    The Small Business Reference Center database provides instructions on all aspects of starting a small business. It also provides the full text of the business-related guides from the Nolo Press, which cover everything from how to write a business plan to which workplace technology is right for you.

    Small business
    Small Business Reference Center database

    5. Mango Languages

    Mango Languages, an online language learning program, has courses for 71 different languages, including specialties such as Pirate. Patrons may be particularly interested in the ESL courses or courses that can assist with job search and promotion, such as "Job Seeking in English" or "Legal Spanish."  You can also prepare for that upcoming vacation with courses like, "Wine and Cheese French" and "German for Oktoberfest." 

    Mango Languages
    Mango Languages database

    6. Bonus! Digital Theatre Plus

    Digital Theatre Plus does not only provide access to top-rate theater productions, but also provides learning options for theater practitioners. Take some time to explore the "Practice & Practitioners" section of this online resource and access a variety of masterclasses, covering topics such as directing, acting, and vocal work. Patrons can also access a large selection of interviews with directors, playwrights and theater actors at the top of their field. Digital Theatre Plus even has videos covering theater theory and criticism . Please note this database is available onsite only. You can access Digital Theatre Plus at any NYPL location on our computer terminals or on your own device.

    Digital Theatre Plus database

    With more than 500 online research options available, many accessible from home with a library card, we challenge you to go beyond the search engine and dig deeper online with NYPL.  

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    Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts


    red cover of sally hornets photo

    Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita is an enduring classic of the twentieth century. It has been translated into more than twenty languages and sold north of 50 million copies. But few readers are familiar with the true story of an eleven-year-old-girl named Sally Horner, whose short and tragic life bears an eerie resemblance to the events which befall Nabokov’s main character, Dolores Hayes. In The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World, author Sarah Weinman traces the connections between these two girls and their stories. Weinman stopped by the Library to question the role of facts within fiction and to revisit the research she did at NYPL using the Library's collection of Nabokov’s papers.

    Interested researchers can contact the Berg Collection of English and American Literature to find out how they might access the archive, which consists of manuscripts and typescripts, correspondence, diaries, notebooks, legal documents, portraits, and photographs.


    Click here to find out how to subscribe and listen to the Library Talks podcast.


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    Happy September! It’s the month for getting back to school,  the start of fall, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and more.  We'll help you "fall" into the season with these fun recommendations for young readers.

    Get back to school with classic stories and characters

    I Am Too Absolutely Small for School book coverI Am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child

    Lola doesn’t think she needs to go to school. She’s definitely not big enough and she already knows how to count to ten, what more does she need to know?  Can Lola's big brother Charlie convince her that school is good for her?

    Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School book coverAmelia Bedelia's First Day of School by Herman Parish

    Spend a day with the lovable and amusing Amelia Bedelia as she begins school, meets new friends, and gets crafty.


     David Goes to School book coverDavid Goes to School by David Shannon

    Mischevious David learns how to behave in school and earn a gold star. This fun read is sure to get giggles from little ones.


    How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? book coverHow Do Dinosaurs Go To School by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague

    Dinosaur is off to school and he's on his best behavior as he makes friends and helps out classmates.  Perfect for young dinosuar fans with full-page colorful illustrations.


     Wemberly Worried book coverWemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

    Wemberly worries about everything, big and small.  So it’s no surprise that when it’s time for the first day of school, her list of worries grow. Can Wemberly overcome her fears and start school with the other kids?  


    Commemorate Patriot Day and the heroes of Sept 11

    Fireboat book coverFireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman

    Based on the true story of the John J. Harvey fireboat, from its making in the 1930s to its role in the tragedy of 9/11. Provides an introduction to the events of 9/11 for younger audiences.  



     Saved by the Boats book coverSaved by the Boats: The Heroic Sea Evacuation of September 11 by Julie Gassman

    This nonfiction picture book is based on the story of the heroic boat captains and crews who helped thousands of people get to safety on 9/11.  A gentle introduction to 9/11, and a story of hope and humanity for young readers.


    Celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day on Sept 19

    Twenty-six Pirates book coverTwenty-Six Pirates by Dave Horowitz

    Meet twenty-six pirates in this alphabetical rhyming book!




    Captain Monty Takes the PlungeCaptain Monty Takes the Plunge by Jennifer Mook-Sang

    Captain Monty is a brave pirate with a not-so-brave secret. When he meets a mermaid named Meg, Monty struggles to keep his secret to himself. Perhaps Meg can help Monty let go of the secret that's holding him back.


    No Pirates Allowed! said Library Lou book coverNo Pirates Allowed! said Library Lou by Rhonda Gowler Greene

    Pete the pirate is searching for treasure in the library! But first, he must learn all about letters and words to search for clues to the fortune.



    Get ready for leaf-jumping season 

    In the Middle of Fall book coverIn The Middle of Fall by Kevin Henkes

    In this beautifully painted and poetic book, watch the lovely colors and images of fall come alive. Perfect for preschoolers.


    Bella's Fall Coat book coverBella's Fall Coat by Lynn Plourde

    Little Bella loves all things fall, especially her favorite fall coat from Grandma. But when Bella can no longer fit her coat, Grandma must come to the rescue.


    Pick a Circle, Gather SquaresPick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky

    On a fall hayride, a family finds different shapes throughout the pumpkin patch.  Collage-style art with fall colors make this a perfect pick for preschoolers.


    Wonderfall book coverWonderfall by Michael Hall

    A tree goes through the "wonderfall" season of fall and into winter. Told through short poems with lively digital artwork, this is a great read for all ages.






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    M.I.A. and Akil Kumarasamy
    M.I.A. and Akil Kumarasamy

    Welcome to our bi-weekly update on events happening during the next two weeks at The New York Public Library. With 92 locations across New York City, there's a lot going on! 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 to receive our round-up in your inbox, sign up here. We look forward to seeing you at the Library soon. 

    Selected Events:

    Talks at the Schomburg: The Startling Life of Pauli Murray
    Tuesday, September 18 | 6:30 PM
    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

    The Improbable Wendell Willkie: David Levering Lewis with Lewis Lapham
    Thursday, September 20 | 6:30 PM 
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Amateur: Thomas Page McBee with Amanda Hess
    Monday, September 24 | 6:30 PM 
    Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street

    Voter Registration Day
    Tuesday, September 25
    All Library locations

    A Terrible Country: Keith Gessen and Michael Vazquez
    Tuesday, September 25 | 7 PM
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Eternal Life at Bioscleave House and Beyond
    Wednesday, September 26 | 6:30 PM 
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Border Crosser: M.I.A. with Akil Kumarasamy
    Wednesday, September 26 | 7 PM
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Glory: A Life Among Legends
    Thursday, September 27 | 6 PM
    Library for the Performing Arts

    Fall Open Houses
    Saturday, September 29
    All Library locations

    Nomadland: Jessica Bruder with Margaret Talbot
    Wednesday, October 3 | 6:30 PM
    Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street

    Business, Career & Finance

    Thursday, September 20 | 6 PM
    Science, Industry and Business Library

    Understanding and Building a Socially Responsible Investing Portfolio
    Tuesday, September 25 | 3 PM
    Science, Industry and Business Library


    E-Book Help Hour
    Monday, September 24 | 1:15 PM
    Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street

    Create a Website with HTML and CSS
    Tuesday, September 25 | 10:30 AM
    Columbus Library

    More Events

    NYCitizenship Information Sessions
    Multiple times and locations

    Braille Study Group
    Wednesday, September 19 & 26 | 11:30 AM
    Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library

    The Kings & I: My Life with the Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein
    Saturday, September 22 | 2:30 PM
    Library for the Performing Arts

    Howling for Jeremy Steig: Solo Flute Festival
    Saturday, September 22, 2018 | 2:30 PM
    Tompkins Square Library


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    Covers for five Chinese language books

     该列表有PDF格式 - The list is available in PDF format.

    Call No.  CHI FIC CHANG

    Author: 陳浩基

    Title: 網內人

    ISBN: 9789573333166



    Call No. CHI FIC GUO

    Author: 果红 著

    Title: 金融行动

    ISBN: 9787559409492





    Call No.  CHI 158.1 LIN, FUYUAN

    Author: 林富元 著

    Title: 用快樂投資人生

    ISBN: 9789571370651






    Call No.  CHI 363.25 HUANG

    Author: 黃, Sir.

    Title: 奇案. 01, 背影

    ISBN: 9789887809104


    ~ 香港史上真正的「末代死囚」所犯何事?


    ~ 庭上的丈夫頃刻老淚縱橫,心底裡恨不得逐個將兇徒碎屍萬段!


    ~ 由都市傳說、人為慘劇,以至天災,西環觀龍樓劫數連連。


    ~ 香港深水?的一楝戰前唐樓內,上演如同日本鬼片般恐怖的劇情。



    Call No. CHI 649.124 CEN, HAOXUA

    Author:                岑皓軒

    Title: 放養孩子 : 育出自學力    

    ISBN: 9789888395620






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    Covers of 5 Russian language books

    Cписок доступен в формате PDF - The list is available in PDF format.

    Call No.  RUS FIC AKUNIN Author: Борис Акунин

    Title: Вдовий плат

    ISBN: 9785171072599


    'Москва идет! Хоронись!' кричали на Руси испокон веков, боясь скорой на расправу и безжалостной власти.Роман 'Вдовий плат', действие которого происходит в 1470-х годах, посвящен столкновению двух систем государственного устройства: тоталитарной московской и демократической новгородской. Роман является художественным сопровождением третьего тома 'Истории Российского государства', посвященного периоду освобождения Руси от иноземного владычества до великой Смуты. Source:



    Author: Харрис Р.

    Title: Конклав

    ISBN: 9785389122215


    Автор бестселлеров «Энигма» и «Фатерлянд» на этот раз предлагает нам крутой детектив, в котором людское честолюбие бросает вызов власти Господней.Умирает папа римский, и на его место претендуют несколько кандидатов. Организовать и провести конклав по выбору нового папы поручено Якопо Ломели, декану Коллегии кардиналов. Выбор труден, не каждый из претендующих на Святой престол светел и чист душою, а некоторые из них готовы ради власти на любое злодейство. К тому же выясняется, что и прежний папа был далеко не ангел…



    Call No.  RUS FIC IAN

    Author: Ян Василий Григорьевич

    Title: Полное собрание исторических романов и повестей

    ISBN: 9785992225853


    В одном томе публикуются все исторические романы и повести известного российского писателя-историка Василия Григорьевича Яна (1874—1954) — «Чингиз-хан», «Батый», «К «последнему морю», «Юность полководца», «Молотобойцы», «Финикийский корабль», «Огни на курганах», «Спартак». Source:



    Author:  Анна Александровна Матвеева

    Title: Есть!

    ISBN: 9785171032593

    Анна Матвеева — автор романов 'Перевал Дятлова, или Тайна девяти', 'Завидное чувство Веры Стениной', сборников рассказов 'Подожди, я умру — и приду', 'Девять девяностых', 'Лолотта и другие парижские истории', 'Горожане'. Финалист премий 'Большая книга', 'Национальный бестселлер'. Главная героиня романа 'Есть!', популярная телеведущая Геня Гималаева — молода, талантлива и успешна: она ведёт авторское кулинарное шоу, её репутация и вкус не подвергаются сомнению, поклонники преданно заглядывают в глаза и ждут новых гастрономических откровений… Но однажды Геня встречает словно бы копию самой себя: те же пристрастия и привычки, детали биографии и методы игры… И самое главное — соперница хочет занять её место! Но возможно ли победить собственное отражение? Source:



    Author:  Александр Васильевич Панкратов-Чёрный

    Title: Судьба-злодейка

    ISBN: 9785040898077

    Александр Панкратов-Чёрный — знаменитый актер и кинорежиссер, человек, полный искрометной взрывной энергии. В его фильмах, среди которых 'Мы из джаза', 'Жестокий романс', 'Зимний вечер в Гаграх', 'Палата №6', 'Импотент' и другие замечательные картины, зритель видит и чувствует, что его герои — органичные, живые, настоящие. О том, как в детстве автор чудом избежал смерти, о голодных годах в театральном училище, о счастливом знакомстве с Высоцким, о Панкратове-поэте, сложных отношениях с КГБ, режиссерстве в армии, о том, как Александр Васильевич рисковал здоровьем на съемках 'Сибириады', цензуре, запретах его фильмов и многом другом — в рассказе честного человека, любящего жизнь и дело, которому он предан.Source:



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    Prado Looking North, Havana, Cuba. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 67653

    In Spanish, "dar un paseo" means to take a leisurely stroll. Today, with this post, I invite you to "dar un paseo" with me along one of Havana, Cuba’s most popular avenues, the Paseo del Prado.

    This past summer, I was one of the lucky art librarians that traveled to Havana as part of this year’s Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) study tour, organized by the International Relations Committee (IRC). It was a jam-packed week during which we explored and learned about the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, cultural institutions, and Cuba’s artistic culture. With Hispanic Heritage Month kicking off, I think this is an opportune time to share a bit of what we learned during our trip to the Cuban capital by strolling down this famous avenue and exploring some of the city's history and architecture.

    The Paseo

    The Paseo del Prado is a tree-lined street (not to be confused with the Paseo del Prado in Madrid, Spain) that dates back to 1772 and is one of the oldest streets in Havana. It runs north-south from the Malecón (a six-lane avenue that runs along the coastline) to the Parque de la Fuente de la India.

    Throughout its existence, the avenue has been known by different names, including Alameda de Extramuros, Paseo de Isabella II, and Paseo de Martí (as pictured below). It wasn’t until French landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier redesigned the avenue in 1928 that we would get the marble and stone benches, as well as the bronze lions that we see today. Walking along, you do notice the similarities between the Paseo and the popular avenues of Europe (for me, Las Ramblas in Barcelona comes to mind).

    Photo of Marti Avenue, Havana. n.d.
    Marti Avenue, Havana. NYPL Picture Collection


    On June 2, twenty art librarians descended onto Old Havana and had the pleasure of staying in a hotel situated on the Paseo del Prado. The hotel, today known as the Hotel Sevilla, first opened in 1908, and the first architects had envisioned it with an Andalusian theme. The original structure had a Moorish Revival style architecture; today you can still see that reflected in the hotel’s main entrance and lobby.

    No. 39 HABANA Hotel Sevilla-Seville Hotel. NYPL Picture Collection
    Hotel Sevilla / Seville Hotel. NYPL Picture Collection


    In 1919, with a growing interest in Cuba as a vacation destination, the American corporation Bowman-Biltmore Hotels purchased the hotel. They renamed it the Hotel Sevilla-Biltmore and, in 1924, enlisted the services of the New York architectural firm Schultze & Weaver (who were gaining popularity for their luxury hotels) to renovate it.

    New York Times, January 28, 1923, with the headline, "Bowman to Build Big Havana Hotel"
    New York Times, January 28, 1923. ProQuest Historical Newspapers

    With the boom of American tourism to the island, a ten-story tower was added, with the top floor serving as a rooftop ballroom where elaborate parties were hosted. American tourists looking for leisure and entertainment, associated with the laid-back feeling of the islands, enjoyed live Cuban and American music, dancing, and the legal sale of alcoholic beverages (illegal in the U.S. at the time). Today, the ballroom is the location of  the La Torre Del Oro Roof Garden restaurant, which served as the meeting place for our daily complimentary breakfast.

    On our first full day in Havana, the group was treated to a walking tour of Old Havana. We met our tour guide "Ale" in the Andalusian-style lobby of our hotel at 9 AM and headed south on the Paseo del Prado. As a major avenue, the Paseo serves as a great location for people-watching. The trees that line both ends of the terrazzo pavement allow for families to hang out, children to play soccer, and skateboarders to practice their skills. It is also a great place for artists to sell and showcase their work.

    The Parque Central

    Further south is the Parque Central (Central Park). It's not all that big (more reminiscent of a small city park), but the park is one of the most recognizable parts of Havana due to its central location, the iconic architecture surrounding the park, the classic cars that park alongside, and the statue of Cuba’s national hero, José Martí.

    Postcard photo of Havana's Central Park and Hotel Inglaterra
    Central Park and Hotel Inglaterra, Havana, Cuba. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 67651

    Surrounded by beautiful palm trees, and in front of José Martí, the group received a history lesson about the park and surrounding architecture. Like the street name, the architecture has changed over the years. One of the oldest structures still in existence is the Hotel Inglaterra, originally designed in the neoclassical style, and the oldest hotel in Cuba. It first opened on December 23, 1875, has served as host to world-renowned intellectual figures (Gabriela Mistral, Ruben Dario) and has played a role in important historical events.

    For example, on April 26, 1879, in the hotel’s El Louvre Café, Martí gave a speech honoring the Cuban journalist Adolfo Marquez Sterling. Martí had no idea that one day that same street would bear his name.

    The postcard above, from 1904, shows the hotel as the center building in the background. In front of the building, we can see a pedestal where the statue of Isabella II of Spain once stood. The statue was removed in 1899 during the US intervention in Cuba that began after the Treaty of Paris came into effect. That same year, the newly independent nation held a survey in the Cuban journal El Fígaro, asking the people which historical figure should be erected in that space. In 1905, a year after this postcard was published, a statute of José Martí was erected. Today it is the oldest statue of Martí on the island.

    To the left of the Hotel, we can see the Tacón Theatre. During its existence, the theater served as one of the most luxurious spaces in Havana. Today, in its place stands the Gran Teatro de La Habana (Great Theatre of Havana). This Neo-Baroque style building opened its doors in 1915 as the Galician Centre of Havana. It was the building that caught my eye among all the structures that surround the park. This is probably in large part due to the imposing facade and sculptures that adorn it.

    The sculptures were commissioned to Italian sculptor Giuseppe Moretti and represent: Charity, Education, Music, and Theater. Today, it is the current home to the Cuban National Ballet. As irony would have it, we were unable to attend a performance since the ballet was scheduled to perform in New York.

    Photo of Parque Central, Havana Cuba, 1954
    Parque Central, Havana, Cuba, 1954. NYPL Picture Collection

    The Explanada del Capitolio

    As we continue our stroll south on the Paseo, we see the National Capitol Building, otherwise known as El Capitolio (its dome bears a striking resemblance to the U.S. Capitol). The structure was constructed in 1929 and was meant to serve as the seat for the two Cuban chambers of Congress. However, after the 1959 revolution, it was repurposed as the headquarters of the Cuban Academy of Sciences. In the last decade, the Cuban government has undergone a restoration process so it can serve its original purpose. During our walking tour, we did notice scaffolding surrounding the dome.

    Photo of Havana, with a palm tree in the foreground and capital building behind it
    National Capitol Building and National Theatre, American Photo Studios, Havana. NYPL Picture Collection

    The Parque de la Fuente de la India

    Fuente de la India en el Paseo De Isabel II. From "Album Pintoresco de la Isla de Cuba, 1853”; General Research Division
    Fuente de la India en el Paseo De Isabel II. From "Album Pintoresco de la Isla de Cuba, 1853." NYPL General Research Division

    The Paseo ends at the Parque de la Fuente de la India. In the park is a white marble statue that was transported from Italy and is the work of sculptor Giuseppe Gaggini. The Neoclassical statue is supposed to represent the indigenous woman "Habana," the wife of the cacique "Habaguanex" and the namesake of the city. Cuban legends tell of an indigenous woman sitting in the harbor, noticing the Spanish ships approaching. With a circular motion, she pronounces the word "Habana," which lead the Spanish to believe she was referring to the area around them.

    Thank you for joining me as we strolled along one of the main attractions in Havana, the Paseo del Prado and its four sections: the Paseo, the Parque Central, the Explanada del Capitolio and the Parque de la Fuente de la India. It was an exciting opportunity to stroll down the streets of a city that once served as the key to the Indies, and I am grateful for this opportunity to share some of it with all of you…

    If you are planning a trip, or just interested in learning something new about a particular place, why not see how we at NYPL can help? This blog post was researched using resources from within the NYPL Research Collections, and most of the images come from the Wallach Division of Art, Prints & Photographs. Come by to visit us.


    Aniceto Ramos, Rolando. (1998). El capitolio de La Habana. La Habana, Cuba: Centro Capitolio de La Habana: Editorial José Martí.

    Augier, Ángel. (1968). Cuba y Rubén Darío. La Habana, Cuba: Instituto de Literatura y Lingüística, Academia de Ciencias de Cuba.

    B. May y Ca. (1853). Album pintoresco de la isla de Cuba. Berlin: Storch & Kramer

    "BOWMAN TO BUILD BIG HAVANA HOTEL" New York Times (1923-Current file), Jan 28 1923, p. E1 ProQuest. 17 August 2018.

    Cuevas Toraya, Juan de las. (2001). 500 años de construcciones en Cuba. Madrid: Chavín, Servicios Gráficos y Editoriales.

    García, Guadalupe. (2016). Beyond the Walled City: Colonial Exclusion in Havana. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.

    Griffith, Cathryn. (2010). Havana Revisited: an Architectural Heritage. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

    "Havana the Greatest Club City in the World." July 1917, Vol. 45 Issue 1, p24-43. Bulletin of the Pan American Union. Washington, D.C.: The Union

    Lamonaca, M., & Mogul, J. (2005). Grand Hotels of the Jazz age: the Architecture of Schultze & Weaver. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press

    Lejeune, JF., Beusterien J., Menocal N. G. (1996). "The City as Landscape: Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier and the Great Urban Works of Havana, 1925-1930". The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Art, 22, 150-185.

    Mistral, Gabriela. (2017). La lengua de Martí y otros motivos cubanos. Santiago [Chile]: LOM Ediciones.

    Schwartz, Rosalie. (1997). Pleasure Island: Tourism and Temptation in Cuba. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

    Trask, David F. (1981). The War With Spain in 1898. New York : Macmillan ; London : Collier Macmillan, c1981.

    Treister, Kenneth. (2009). Havana Forever: A Pictorial and Cultural History of an Unforgettable City. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.

    Veigas, José. (2005). La escultura en Cuba : siglo XX. Santiago de Cuba: Fundación Caguayo : Editorial Oriente.

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    Gwen and Frank discover two very different alternate worlds that speak to our present times. Their seemingly mismatched books offer stellar writing and clever takes on fantasy, dystopias and cringe-worthy identity politics. Plus: Frank has some, um... words for the author of his book.

    Gwen's Book Recommendation

    Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

    Spinning Silver

    Frank's Book Recommendation

    Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk

    Adjustment Day



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

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


    Want Personalized Recommendations?

    Tune in to the NYPL Recommends Facebook TV show, every Friday at noon EST and ask Gwen and Lynn in Readers Services for live reading recommendations. Just leave a comment telling what you're looking for and that you're a fan of the podcast! And don't forget to subscribe to the show so you don't miss future episodes!


    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

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    Through hard work and a unique apprenticeship program, Antonio Williams of Louisana has transitioned from the military to the tech industry after a 22-year career in the U.S. Army as a culinary specialist.

    Apprenti is a program from the Washington Technology Industry Association Workforce Institute that addresses the workforce shortage in the tech industry through paid, on-the-job training and education. The program began in Washington state and has since expanded nationally through a U.S. Department of Labor apprenticeship intermediary contract.

    This "pre-apprenticeship" phase allowed Antonio to learn foundational skills related to hardware, networking, software deployment, and troubleshooting. He received certifications in A+, Network+, Linux+, and Server+ before being placed as a data center technician apprentice with a technology company in Portland, Oregon.

    "The program provided a great avenue to change careers after the military," said Antonio. "I would recommend this program to anyone."

    You can learn more about Antonio's story from the Department of Labor blog post "After the Army, a New Career in Tech," written by Leo Kay from the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Public Affairs in San Francisco.

    If you're eager for a high-skilled, high-paying career, the Department of Labor's Apprenticeship progam can match you with employers seeking to build and train a qualified workforce. Find the apprenticeship that is right for you here.

    Employment Programs

    The Staten Island Economic Development Corporation has launched the SI Works Program to help industrial businesses fill open positions. A job fair will be hosted on Thursday, October 11, 2018. Top jobs available include: CDL Drivers Class A & B, Warehouse Inventory & Facility Maintenance Workers, Warehouse Forklift/Pallet Operators, Bicycle Mechanics, Printing Press Mechanics, HVAC Technician, Sign/Storefront Installers, Handyman (with plumbing, carpentry, and electrical skills). To schedule your appointment time, register by emailing with your resume attached.

    Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation's (NMIC) Train and Earn Program provides free food service training to young adults (age 16-24) not currently working or in school. In just five weeks, participants can receive a $500 completion stipend, with certifications in Customer Service, ServSafe, Microsoft Office, and NYC Food Handlers, plus Employment Readiness Training, Academic Tutoring, Paid Intership, Education/Career Counseling, and much more. NMIC is located at 45 Wadsworth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10033, Monday through Thursday, 9:30 AM-4 PM. For more information, call 212-822-8325 or 212-453-5378. 

    Brooklyn Networks is a free six-week training program that helps unemployed and underemployed individuals access career in low-voltage cabling. The course prepares graduates to obtain the industry-recognized BICSI credential, followed by work in fields like voice and data cabling, security system installation, broadcast cabling, and A/V system installation. For more information, call 718-237-2017 x149 and attend an information session

    School Professionals, the leading provider of substitute teachers for NYC Charter, Independent Parochial Schools, and Universal Pre-K, is currently seeking Teachers, Assistant Teachers and Tutors for Pre-K through 12th grade. Qualified individuals will have a bachelor's degree or higher, and 6+ months of experience as a lead teacher, co-teacher, or tutor in a pre-K-12th grade setting. School Professionals is also seeking UPK Teachers, and Teacher Aides for Nursery and Preschool. Qualified individuals will have a high school diploma (or equivalent) or higher; 6+ months of experience as a lead teacher or teacher; 6+ months of experience as an afternoon teacher or assistant teacher, day care or summer camp counselor, or Sunday school teacher, or similar experience working with children age 2-6 years.

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

    The Cooper Union Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers at CAMBA assists underemployed or unemployed immigrant engineers and IT professionals in gaining access to higher-paying  jobs through training and job placement assistance. The program includes night and weekend courses in information technology and chemical, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering, taught by Cooper Union faculty and field experts. Since its inception in 1987, the Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers has placed 3,000 immigrant engineers into careers.

    Opportunities For a Better Tomorrow TechSTART program will immerse participants into the world of modern digital technology by providing the opportunity to develop in-demand computer programming and coding skills. Program participants will cultivate critical thinking skills, learn to design websites, and achieve technological literacy. Upon completion of the 12-week program, participants will receive assistance with job placement assistance, advanced training, and/or support with college admittance. Classes are Monday to Friday, 9 AM-4 PM at the  Innovation Lab at 87 35th Street, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11232.

    Opportunities For a Better Tomorrow Youth Education and Job Training Program. Get the credentials and skills you need to gain employment and thrive in your career. You will receive preparation to take the exams required to achieve certifications in Microsoft Service, Hospitality Front Desk, and/or National Retail Federation Customer Service. You will be assigned to a supervisor (counselor) who monitors your progress and offers one-on-one assistance with personal, educational, and career problems, and also helps you improve your soft skills, such as professional behavior, attire, attitude, and communication. Classes run Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM-4:00 PM. For more information, call 917-342-5279.

    YearUp aligns job training with corporate partner needs and market trends to ensure that the skills students learn will be in demand. Learn valuable technical and professional skills, and gain work experience during internships at top companies. Earn a stipend throughout the program (while you train and during your internship) and complete courses eligible for college credits.

    Discover Accounting includes state-by-state guides on becoming a CPA, salaries, and educational requirements. If you are looking for more advanced accounting topics, you'll find information in their comprehensive career guide and career comparisons.

    New York City Career Center Events and Recruiting

    Intro to Social Media Workshop: Monday, September 24, 2018, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM at Brooklyn Workforce 1 Career Center, 250 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11021.  Get an understanding of social media, and learn how you can use social media sites to help your job search. For more information, call 718-780-9200.

    Overcoming Invisible Barriers Workshop: Monday, September 24, 2018, 12:30 PM-2:30 PM at Flushing  Workforce 1 Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd floor, Flushing, NY 11355. Identify and reduce barriers to your job finding (such as age, lack of goal). For more information, call 718-661-5012.

    Recruiting Event - Alliance Computing Solutions: Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 10 AM-12 PM for Robotics Technician (20 openings) at NYC Workforce 1 Career Center, 215 West 125th Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10027. Alliance Computing Solutions, Inc. is currently recruiting for a Robotics Technician training program.  

    Job Finding Club: Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 2 PM-4 PM at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd floor, Flushing,  NY 11355. Weekly support group focusing on obtaining job goals. For information, call 718-661-5012.

    Harlem Mini Job Fair: Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 11 AM-1 PM at NYC Workforce 1 Career Center, 215 West 125th Street, 6 th floor, (between 7th and 8th Avenues), New York,  NY 10027. Participating  businesses: PAE,  Momofuku, Lord and Taylor. Job opportunities in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens. Meet with businesses for positions in Administrative, Food Service, Retail.

    Brooklyn Mini Job Fair: Thursday, September 27, 2018, 10 AM-1 PM at New York State Department of Labor, 250  Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.  Participating businesses: Penda Aiken, PAE, The New Jewish Home, New York Cruise Lines, New York & Company. No appointment or registration  necessary.  Please bring several copies of your resume. Professional attire. Must bring I.D.

    Recruiting Event - Military Sealift Command: Thursday, September 27, 2018, 10 AM-12 PM at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd floor, Flushing, NY 11355. Military Sealift Command (MSC) offers careers in the maritime industry, and combine job security with training and advancement opportunities. This combination can take your career further, faster. Careers with MSC include federal benefits, paid leave, and flexibility. MSC is currently recruiting for: Ships Communication Officer, Chief Radio Electronics Technician, Steward Cook, Chief Radio Electronics Technician, and First Radio Electronics Technician.

    Transferring Skills Workshop: Thursday, September 27, 2018, 12:30 PM-2:30 PM at Flushing  Workforce 1 Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd floor, Flushing, NY 11355. Identify your transferable skills and target them to new jobs. For information, call 718-661-5012.

    Basic Resume Writing Workshop: Thursday, September 27, 2018, 1:30 PM-3 PM at Brooklyn Workforce 1 Career Center, 250 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Participants will learn the purpose of a resume, and chronological and combination resumes, and select the appropriate type for their specific needs.

    Job Postings and AssistanceJob Fair Sign-up Table

    Job Postings at New York City Workforce 1.

    Apprenticeship Opportunities in New York City.

    Available jobs via Brooklyn Community Board 14.

    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, 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 free training in Quickbooks, Basic Accounting, and Excel. This training is open to anyone receiving food stamps but no cash assistance. Classes run 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 receiving food stamps but no cash assistance. Training runs Mondays through Fridays for six weeks, and includes test prep and 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 on the above CMP training programs, email, call 212-571-1690, or visit the CMP website. CMP also provides tuition-based healthcare and business training 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 that this page will be revised when more recruitment events for the week of September 23  become available.

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    We are pleased to announce that Emily Bass has been selected as The New York Public Library’s Martin Duberman Visiting Scholar for 2018–2019. Emily Bass has spent more than twenty years writing about and working on HIV/AIDS in America and East and Southern Africa. Her writing has appeared in Esquire, The Lancet, Ms., n+1, Out, POZ, Slice and many other publications, and has received notable mention in Best American Essays. For the past thirteen years, she has worked at AVAC, a New York-based advocacy group, where, as Director of Strategy and Content, she seeks to build powerful, transnational activist coalitions that use data to guide campaigns for accountability and change. A writer and social justice activist with a strong dedication to queer and women’s health agendas, she has served as an expert advisor to the World Health Organization and is a member of the What Would an HIV Doula Do Collective. The Plague War, her book on America's war on AIDS in Africa is forthcoming from Public Affairs Press in 2020. During her Fellowship, she will explore the history of America-based AIDS activists engagement with AIDS epidemics in Africa and the Caribbean, and with foreign aid as possible remedy. 

    The Martin Duberman Visiting Scholar program at The New York Public Library fosters excellence in LGBT studies by providing funds for scholars to do research in the Library’s preeminent LGBT historical collections. The Fellowship is open to both academic faculty and independent scholars who have made a significant contribution to the field. For more information, visit the fellowship page.

    The Martin Duberman Visiting Scholars are funded by the generous support of Martin Duberman and Eli Zal.


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    cover of book with coins

    The world’s leading philanthropists are constantly working to “make the world a better place,” leading passionate campaigns against everything from climate change to poverty that had once been the province of governments. Journalist Anand Giridharadas asks whether those rich and powerful people who have most benefitted from “our highly inequitable status quo” are in fact the best candidates to take on these challenges. When are their solutions democratic and universal, and when do they reflect and support the biases that introduced the inequity in the first place?
    In conversation with Joy-Ann Reid, political analyst for MSNBC and host of AM Joy, Giridharadas  discussed his new book, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, a call to action—for elite and everyday citizens alike—to build more egalitarian institutions.



    Click here to find out how to subscribe and listen to the Library Talks podcast.


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    The following post was written by Natasha Soto.

    Latin America is known for its rich literary tradition, marked during the 1960s and 1970s by the Latin American Boom, a movement that introduced the world to such heavyweights as Julio Cortazar, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

    While these male authors get a lot of time in the limelight, talented women have also captured the political and emotional landscape of Latin America in their books, from the Boom and beyond.

    In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, here is a selection of recommended books by classic and contemporary female Latin American and Latina authors for you to enjoy! These are in no particular order and are all available through the NYPL catalog.

    Estados Unidos de Banana book cover

    Estados Unidos de Banana / United States of Banana by Giannina Braschi 

    Giannina Braschi was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and  currently lives in New York City. She writes in three languages: "Spanish, Spanglish, and English," a medley familiar to countless Latinos in the United States.  

    United States of Banana is an absurdist novel that takes place at the Statue of Liberty in post-9/11 New York City. Three unlikely characters—Hamlet, Zarathrustra, and Giannina—are determined to free Puerto Rican prisoner Segismundo.

    Segismundo has been imprisoned by the King of The United States of Banana, who also happens to be his father, for the crime of being born. Eventually, the king reconciles, frees his son, makes Puerto Rico the fifty-first state of the country, and grants American passports to all Latin American citizens. Unexpected power shifts ensue.

    While United States of Banana is available through the NYPL in Spanish, Braschi's book Yo-Yo Boing! is primarily written in English and also available.

    Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral book cover

    Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral by Gabriela Mistral

    The first Nobel Prize in literature awarded to a Latin American writer went to Mistral, a Chilean poet. Though famous and beloved in Latin America and Europe, Mistral’s reputation in the United States has has often been overshadowed by fellow countryman, Pablo Neruda.

    Translations and selections of her poems in Spanish have tended to soften her work towards the realm of tenderness and motherhood; this translation includes the strangeness, darkness, and intensity of her poems.


    In the Time of the Butterflies book cover

    In the Time of the Butterflies / En el tiempo de las mariposas by Julia Alvarez

    Julia Alvarez was born in New York City, then raised in the Dominican Republic until her family had to flee during General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo’s regime in 1960.

    Months after Alvarez and her family escaped the island, three sisters were found dead due to a jeep accident, according to official reports. What these official reports failed to mention was the three sisters were among the leading opponents of Trujillo’s dictatorship. They were known popularly as Las Mariposas (The Butterflies).  

    With her imagination and heart, Julia Alvarez brings the Butterflies back to life again to expose the human cost of political repression.

    Leaving Tabasco book cover

    Leaving Tabasco by Carmen Boullosa

    Boullosa is a Mexican novelist who has written widely on issues of feminism and gender roles. In her family saga, Leaving Tabasco, Boullosa follows protagonist Delmira Ulloa through her difficult journey out of the imagined state of Tabasco, where magic is embedded in everyday life.

    In this town, Delmira’s grandmother floats over her bed at night, stones have been known to turn into water, and torrential downpours can be purchased at the market during the rainy season. 


    Her Body and Other Parties book cover

    Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

    In the stories of Her Body and Other Parties, Machado unflinchingly reveal the implicit violence of inhabiting a female body. A wife refuses her husband’s wish to remove a green ribbon from her neck, a woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity, and a weight loss surgery results in a shadowy houseguest.

    A writer of Cuban descent, Machado received her MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop. She credits Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez as influences.


    Absolute Solitude book cover

    Absolute Solitude by Dulce Maria Loynaz

    Until being awarded the Cervantes Prize in 1992, Cuban poet Dulce Maria Loynaz lived in relative obscurity in her homeland. Absolute Solitude presents a selection of her prose poems about nature, emotions, and love.

    The book includes Loynaz's works from the 1950s through her emergence in the 1990s. During her life, Loynaz came into personal contact with writers such as Federico Garcia Lorca, Gabriela Mistral, and Alejo Carpentier.


    El Infinito en la Palma de la Mano book cover

    El Infinito en la Palma de la Mano / Infinity in the Palm of her Hand by Gioconda Belli

    Gioconda Belli grew up in upper-class Managua Nicaragua. In 1970, a blossoming awareness of the social inequities in Nicaragua led her to join the Sandinistas in the struggle against the Samoza dictatorship. Her book, A Country Under My Skin, chronicles her journey from society girl to paramilitary rebel.

    She later published El Infinito en la Palma de la Mano, a parable about Adam and Eve. This book follows the couple as they come to grips with their expulsion from paradise, discover their responsibilities and limits, and make sacrifices to survive in a world of their own making.

    In the Vortex of the Cyclone book cover

    In The Vortex Of The Cyclone by Excilia Saldana

    Saldana is an Afro-Cuban poet, translator, and professor who won the prestigious Nicholas Guillen Award for Distinction in Poetry in 1988. This first-ever bilingual anthology contains a wide-ranging selection of her work including lullabies, erotic letters, autobiographical poems, and quiet reflections on Cuba.

    Cola Franzen, translator of Jorge Guillen's Horses in the Air and Other Poems said about Saldana's collection, "A wonderful book, strong, with enormous energy, fast-paced, truly poetic, with a varied and rich vocabulary ranging from the vernacular to the exalted. This is poetry to be said aloud, sometimes chanted, sometimes shouted, sometimes sung… a book that is both original and significant."

    Thus Were Their Faces

    Thus Were Their Faces by Silvina Ocampo

    Argentine writer Ocampo has been called "one of the twentieth century’s great masters of the short story." Italo Calvino once said about her, "I don’t know another writer who better captures the magic inside everyday rituals, the forbidden or hidden face that our mirrors don’t show us." 

    Thus Were Their Faces collects a wide range of Ocampo’s best short fiction and novella-length stories from her writing life. Her spooky stories include the likes of a marble statue of a winged horse that speaks to a girl, a house of sugar that is the site of an eerie possession, children who lock their perverse mothers in a room and burn it, and a lapdog who records the dreams of an old woman.

    A House of My Own book cover

    A House of My Own by Sandra Cisneros

    Rounding out the list is a more recent book from the beloved Mexican-American author of The House on Mango Street.

    A House Of My Own centers on Cisneros’s search for her own constructed space, drawing inspiration from the Chicago streets where she grew up to a place in Mexico where "my ancestors lived for centuries." This compilation of nonfiction stories creates an intimate album of this literary legend’s life and career.




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    The following post was written by New York Public Library Short-Term Fellow Carla Della Gatta, University of Southern California.

    The Festival Latino (1976-1991) was one of the most successful cultural programs produced in New York in the late twentieth century. It was co-produced by Joseph Papp and The New York Shakespeare Festival (NYSF) and a pair of South/Central American producers, bringing together performances by Spanish, Central American, and South American companies, as well as Latinx companies from within the United States.

    Festival Latino Program cover, 1990
    Festival Latino program, 1990

    The festival grew each year and, in 1986, satellite festivals were held in Washington, D.C., Montreal, San Francisco, Mexico City, and San Juan. The Festival Latino was so popular that in a proclamation from the State of New York Executive Chamber, Governor Mario Cuomo declared August 1989 as "Joseph Papp’s Festival Latino Month." By 1990, the festival spanned over a month with more than two hundred scheduled events. When the NYSF abruptly cut funding in 1991, the Festival Latino disappeared, not only from New York, but also from cultural and theater history. 

    The Billy Rose Theatre Division, at the Library for the Performing Arts, is the public archive that holds the largest collection of materials of the Festival Latino, which includes recordings of both live and televised performances, news coverage, audio recordings of board meetings, scripts, and some programs and ephemera. Last summer, I spent three weeks probing more than 30 audio and video recordings from the Festival Latino, as well as numerous folders of mixed materials. 

    Together, these materials helped me create a clearer context of the larger festival culture in New York and the Festival Latino’s position in it. By the end of my fellowship, I had a revised understanding of why this long-running and successful festival was canceled. 

    Discovering the Festival Details—and Its Downfall

    The card catalog led me to boxes of mixed materials including newspaper clippings about various other cultural festivals in New York during this period including Lincoln Center festivals, youth festivals, the Italian festival of San Gennaro, and the Avant Garde Festival. I viewed a 1991 interview with Cecilia Vega, one of the two co-producers of Festival Latino, and listened to the conversation in Spanish with artists in Guanajuato, Mexico, the home of Mexico’s long-standing arts festival, the Cervantino. 

    Artists in Guanajuato asked if there was discrimination in the United States toward Latin American and Latinx artists. Vega’s response was candid: "If you aren’t white, absolutely." She mentioned the work of John Leguizamo, the success of the Nuyorican Poets Café, the Los Angeles Theatre Center, and Míriam Colón’s Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (PRTT) as progress, and a growing sign of community across Latinx cultures and artists.

    I viewed video recordings of the controversial Brazilian, Portuguese-language production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which included nudity, and a recording of the Venezuelan production of The Tempest, both from the summer of 1991. These productions became the first, and the last, that the Festival Latino co-produced with the Free Shakespeare in the Park series, staged at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. It is widely believed these productions served as a motivation for the NYSF to defund the festival.

    But viewing more than a dozen news clips covering the productions revealed that few theatergoers and critics took issue with the nudity. News coverage, in both English and Spanish, focused more on the acrobatics and use of trapeze in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and revealed the show was so popular that it sold out of tickets. 

    The bare-chested male and female fairies were perceived by some to be a gimmick to draw crowds, and others laughed off claims that the nudity was "destroying Shakespeare" by pointing to the bare-chested statue of Juliet in Central Park.  The production itself featured only one fully naked woman, the character Titania, Queen of the Fairies, in a scene where she bathes in the forest. In an interview, the director stated the concept for the production was meant to comment on Brazil’s endangered rainforests. 

    The audio recording from the first NYSF board meeting after Papp’s death in late 1991 reveals the multiple reasons for the cancellation of the Festival Latino by the new artistic director. The two productions were mentioned, not for their controversial use of nudity or bias that Shakespeare was performed in a language other than English, but in the context of the physical space of the Delacorte that they had taken over. 

    Previously, Festival Latino productions were performed indoors at The Public Theater and other locations. Among other concerns about finances, the scope of the festival, and new directions for The Public, there was a turf war for theater space. In a recording of the board meeting, one board member states, "The two shows in the park last summer were theirs essentially." Although a combination of factors contributed to the cancellation of the Festival Latino, the materials I accessed during my NYPL Fellowship increased my understanding of the importance of geographic space in the sustainability of cultural festivals such as the Festival Latino.


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    The following post was written by Music and Recorded Sound volunteer, Isaac Maupin. As part of a summer project, Isaac compiled the Otto Hess Photographs (which had been dispersed across Music's Iconography Files) into a single collection, created an inventory, and wrote the historical and descriptive notes for the collection. All photographs featured in this post are from the collection.

    In the process of assembling the Otto F. Hess Photographs collection, I came across unique photographs of an historic New York City concert. As I put photos into folders sorted by artists’ names, I noticed pictures of many different groups, all on an outdoor stage decorated with stars and stripes, and featuring a large banner advertising the New York City radio station, WNEW.

    Ivie Anderson singing with the Duke Ellington Band
    Ivie Anderson singing with the Duke Ellington Band at Randall's Island Stadium, 1938

    I thought these photographs must be from the same concert, so I did some digging. In Hess’s photography notebook (Series VII in the collection), I found a hint: his list of 35mm negatives includes an event titled "Randall’s Island Jazz Festival 1938." Further investigation revealed this one-of-a-kind event was actually billed as the "Carnival of Swing" and is now considered to be one of the first major jazz festivals.

    On May 29, 1938, the Carnival of Swing, a benefit concert, was held at Randall’s Island Stadium, erstwhile home of the New York Black Yankees Negro League baseball team. The concert was emceed by Martin Block, a celebrity DJ on WNEW, and its proceeds went to the New York Musicians Hospital Fund.

    Sponsored by the local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM),  the concert yielded a turnout of more than 23,000 attendees (as reported by the New York Times) to see their favorite jazz bands play for nearly six hours of swing. A carnival indeed. 


    Photo from Jazz concert at Randall's Island, 1938; Lester “Pres” Young on tenor saxophone with the Count Basie Band
    Lester Young on tenor saxophone performing with the Count Basie Band

    At times, the crowd was unruly, fights broke out, and some overly enthusiastic “gators” (a colloquial term for white swing fans) had to be restrained by the police. The New York Times continues, "Some of the bands were hot and some were sweet, but none committed the sin of playing corny." (According to the article, the audience of swing enthusiasts was not as receptive to the "sweet" acts). A list of the performers—each received ten minutes on stage—includes such big names as Stuff Smith and his Onyx Club, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Vincent Lopez, Kay Kyser, Artie Shaw, and Ella Fitzgerald.

    The "Carnival" was brought to an uproarious close in the nick of time by former Benny Goodman drummer, Gene Krupa, and his big band. The audience was shouting for Goodman with growing impatience. Goodman—still riding the popularity high from his landmark performance at Carnegie Hall the preceding January—was booked in Atlantic City and unable to make the Randall’s Island gig. Luckily, Krupa, idiosyncratically chomping gum, was able to tame the masses with his similar, hard-swinging dance music.

    A Photographer in the Crowd

    One of the many jazz enthusiasts in attendance was Otto F. Hess, a German immigrant. Hess moved to the United States in 1930 and, eight years later, began his career in photography. The burgeoning photographer left his Brooklyn home and crossed the Triborough Bridge with the rest of the sizable Sunday morning crowd. (Fans lined up by 8:00 AM for the 11:00 AM show). Upon arriving, Hess captured photos of the performances of several groups, but also took candid pictures of artists outside of the spotlight, such as alongside their tour buses.

    Photo of Duke Ellington at the piano, performing at Randall's Island Stadium, 1938
    Duke Ellington performing at Randall's Island Stadium, 1938

    While Hess did not capture every single act—newspapers reported up to as many as 30 bands—his collection of photographs features many of the artists: Count Basie, W.C. Handy, Teddy Bunn, Teddy Hill, Jonah Jones, Gene Krupa, Joe Marsala, Stuff Smith, and Chick Webb. Most notable in the collection are photos taken of Duke Ellington, an audience favorite. Among other tunes, Ellington’s band performed its arrangement of "St. Louis Blues," featuring  vocalist Ivie Anderson.

    Following the performance, W.C. Handy, the composer of "St. Louis Blues," appeared on stage and told the audience, "I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did." Astutely, Hess captured two photos of Duke Ellington and W.C. Handy together at the concert.

    W.C. Handy and Duke Ellington
    W.C. Handy and Duke Ellington at Randall's Island Stadium concert

    Hess did not exclusively photograph celebrities; he had a knack for capturing both sides of the musical event. Included in the collection are photos of fans approaching the stadium, and the massive crowd packed into the stadium’s grandstands. (I have included one of these outstanding pictures here.) 

    In addition to Hess’s photos, some video footage of the Basie Band’s performance was broadcast on the news (though it lacks audio), and the concert was, in part, broadcast on WNEW.


    If you have further interest in swing-era jazz or New York City history, I highly recommend you peruse the Otto F. Hess Photographs available in the Special Collections Reading Room ​at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, call number JPB 17-12.


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    gray cover with a sketch of a woman

    When famed fashion and society photographer Bill Cunningham died in 2016, he left behind not only an incredible archive of New York Times columns and photographs, but two identical copies of a secret memoir that he apparently hoped someone would find. His family discovered the book, which Cunningham himself titled Fashion Climbing.

    The Library celebrated its release with the book’s editor, Christopher Richards, and New Yorker critic Hilton Als, who wrote its preface. They were joined by artist and co-founder of PaperKim Hastreiter, who was a close acquaintance of the late photographer. 



    Click here to find out how to subscribe and listen to the Library Talks podcast.


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    Melmoth, Sarah Perry
    Melmoth by Sarah Perry

    Welcome to our bi-weekly update on events happening during the next two weeks at The New York Public Library. With 92 locations across New York City, there's a lot going on! 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 to receive our round-up in your inbox, sign up here. We look forward to seeing you at the Library soon. 

    Selected Events

    Good and Mad: Rebecca Traister with Aminatou Sow
    The bestselling author of All the Single Ladies visits the Library to launch her latest work, on the enduring power of female anger—and its ability to ignite a political movement.
    Tuesday, October 2 | 6:30 PM
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    LIVE from the NYPL: Laurie Anderson with Sjón
    Creative pioneer Laurie Anderson speaks with Icelandic novelist and poet Sjón about his new book, CoDex 1962, his band The Sugarcubes, writing lyrics with Björk, and more.
    Wednesday, October 3 | 7 PM
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    If They Come for Me in the Morning: What Will Be Different for U.S. Historians
    Join the Schomburg Center for a discussion about the ethical and responsible role of historians in public discourse, particularly when “alternative facts” have become commonplace. Moderated by activist Gina Belafonte.
    Wednesday, October 3 | 7 PM
    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

    Democracy and Voting Rights in the United States
    This 5-session course will examine the history of democratic participation in the U.S., with an emphasis on disparities in access to the ballot, racial discrimination, and violence.
    October 6, 20, 27, November 3 & 10 | 3 PM
    Jefferson Market Library

    Isaac Bashevis Singer: Before Everything Else a Writer
    Actors, artists, and writers pay homage to the Nobel Prize-winning author in an evening of reading, film, and conversation. Co-presented by the Yiddish Book Center.
    Wednesday, October 10 | 6:30 PM
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Theatre Library Association Book Awards
    Attend the annual book awards in celebration of this year's great accomplishments in theater, film, writing, and research.
    Friday, October 12 | 7 PM
    Library for the Performing Arts

    Wildlife: Screening and Talkback with Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan
    Paul Dano's directorial debut, adapted from Richard Ford’s 1990 novel, tells the story of a family pulled apart by a forest fire in rural Montana. Dano and Zoe Kazan, who co-wrote the screenplay with him, will do an audience Q&A following the free screening of the film.
    Tuesday, October 16 | 6 PM
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Melmoth: Sarah Perry with Aidan Flax-Clark
    Sarah Perry, bestselling author of The Essex Serpent, will speak with Aidan Flax-Clark, host of The New York Public Library podcast Library Talks, about her highly anticipated new novel, Melmoth, that pays homage to the traditions of 19th-century Gothic horror and explores clashes between faith and reason, guilt and absolution, justice and the law.
    Wednesday, October 17 | 6:30 PM 
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Business, Career & Finance

    Start and Grow Your Business with IBIS World
    Learn how to access the IBIS World database to make your small business a success.
    Thursday, October 4 | 6 PM
    Science, Industry and Business Library

    Why Work with a Staffing Agency
    Join us for a panel discussion on how staffing agencies work and why to include them in your job search.
    Friday, October 5 | 3:30 PM
    Science, Industry and Business Library

    When Should You Take Your Social Security Retirement Benefit?
    Join David Mendels for a review of the retirement planning options for singles, married couples, widows and widowers, and those who are divorced.
    Thursday, October 11 | 3 PM
    Science, Industry and Business Library


    Basic Digital Photography Workshop
    Saturday, October 13 & 27 | 2 PM
    Sedgwick Library

    Social Media and Your Privacy
    Monday, October 15 | 3 PM
    Columbus Library

    More Events

    Nomadland: Jessica Bruder with Margaret Talbot
    Wednesday, October 3 | 6:30 PM
    Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street

    Ruminations: A Documentary Film Portrait of Rumi Missabu
    Thursday, October 4 | 6 PM
    Library for the Performing Arts

    A Worldly Affair: Pamela Hanlon with James Wurst
    Wednesday, October 10 | 6:30 PM
    Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street

    Let's Talk Democracy: Learn About The Structure of Federal, State and City Governments
    Thursdays in October | 5:30 PM
    Tompkins Square Library

    Meet the Artist: Letha Wilson
    Monday, October 15 | 12:30 PM
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Upcoming Events

    Mid-Sentence: Art and Activism
    Monday, October 15 | 6:30 PM
    Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street

    The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: Dawn Raffel with Laurie Gwen Shapiro
    Wednesday, October 17 | 6:30 PM
    Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street

    Kind of Blue: Meghann Riepenhoff
    Wednesday, October 17 | 6:30 PM
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Mid-Sentence: Riddance—Shelley Jackson with Maria Dahvana Headley
    Monday, October 22 | 6:30 PM
    Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street

    Hemingway’s Artifacts: Michael Katakis with Declan Kiely
    Tuesday, October 23 | 6:30 PM 
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

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    Are you interested in learning Japanese? Well, the Library can help! Here's an overview of Japanese, followed by a list of links and books in the NYPL catalog that can help you learn the language. 

    An overview of Japanese

    There are three writing systems in Japanese: There is kanji, which are characters borrowed from the Chinese language. There are over a thousand kanji characters and this system takes the most time to learn. Next is hiragana, which is used just for Japanese words, and then katakana, used to write foreign words. Both hiragana and katakana have about 46 characters, based on the syllables in the Japanese language—compared to the thousands of kanji, many people start by learning those alphabets first.

    Once you know both hiragana and katakana, you can start reading some board or picture books. To make life a bit easier, a lot of these books and guides use or start with roomaji—a romanized version of the letters, intended to help teach you Japanese phonetically. However, if you want to become fluent, literacy is key in the long run.

    Grammar-wise, unlike the English structure of subject-verb-object ("I eat apples"), Japanese uses subject-object-verb ("I apples eat"). Another potential obstacle is the verb conjugation, which can also vary based on politeness factors. There are also counter words, or different ways of counting certain things as well (counting people is different than counting a number of books).  

    On the positive side, there is no gender in Japanese as compared to the romance languages such as Spanish and Italian. Instead, you have language particles that indicate which word is the subject, which is the object, and so on. 

    No matter what your reason is for learning Japanese—anime, the food, the culture—despite the challenges involved, these resources should be able to help you in your quest.

    Learning Japanese: books

    Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese by Eri Banno

    This was the textbook I used when taking Japanese in college. After you have completed both volumes of this series, you should have a definite fundamental understanding of basic Japanese. You will have to learn hiragana and katakana for the majority of chapters though, but the investment is worth it.

    Japanese Hiragana and Katakana for Beginners book cover

    Japanese Katakana for Beginners by Timothy Stout 

    This book is useful for those wanting to learn their hiragana and katakana. There are some names that are translated into Japanese, and mnemonics for each character to help you learn. You should be able to write your own name in Japanese when finished.




    Japanese for Busy People

    Japanese for Busy People. 1 by Kodansha International 

    This is useful if you want to jump in and get started learning grammar, but are still struggling to learn the different kanas. Japanese for Busy People goes over some basic grammar and the different verb conjugations, which are essential. It also includes answers in the back, so you can quiz yourself.




    Essential Japanese Kanji book cover

    Essential Japanese Kanji by Tuttle Publishing

    This book is wonderful for learning kanjii, showing how each character particularly evolved from its pictograph version, and more. It also shows how each is written, and vocabulary that uses that kanji.




    Easy Japanese Step-by-Step book cover

    Easy Japanese Step-by-Step by Gene Nishi 

    This book is unique because it offers translations with both the romanized version and the written Japanese version of sentences. It also includes a lot of grammar, with various sentence examples to learn from.



    Intermediate Japanese book cover

    Intermediate Japanese: Your Pathway to Dynamic Language Acquisition  by  Michael Kluemper 

    Once you have mastered all the other books and are ready for the next step, Intermediate Japanese is key. The book comes with cultural notes, and teaches some kanji and mnemonics to help you remember.

    While most textbooks have a dialogue to read at the beginning of each chapter, this one has a twist, putting the dialogue in comic book (or manga) format, so it feels like you are reading an actual Japanese manga.

    Learning Japanese: websites

    Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese has been the go-to for Japanese language learners for years. This is a comprehensive guide that should enable you to know a lot of core concepts of Japanese grammar.

    Imabi is remarkable site that not only covers the basics, but also goes above and beyond with a guide to classical Japanese, even covering Okinawan!

    Maggie-Senseiis fun, with lessons given in both Japanese characters and roomaji. Plus, there’s cute pictures of animals!

    Erin’s Challenge has many videos that can help one get into the Japanese culture. These are ideal because they have options to read in Japanese with kanji, the kana only, roomaji, and English. This is recommended for anyone who wants to work on their reading and listening skills.

    Jisho is a a resourceful dictionary. If you have a kanji you are not sure about, you can even draw to figure it out.

    Mango Languages, offered by the Library, can help you start learning Japanese, and other languages if you are interested.

    Duolingo offers a nice beginner’s course in Japanese. If you’ve used Duolingo before, this is definitely ideal. You can even join a club and compete with others in your learning journey.

    Memrise offers something for everybody. You can start with the courses created by Memrise, which are decent as they have a version with the writing system and a version with roomaji. If you are too advanced for that, you can take other user-created courses instead.

    Children's books

    Once you have mastered hiragana and katakana, and know some grammar, these books will make you feel proficient at Japanese. These are also useful if you are trying to teach your child Japanese as well.

    ももも is the peach book. If you are trying to at least read one book, this is as basic as it gets.  

    バナーナ!  is a favorite with Mosholu staff! Bana-a-na, doko doko? Koko da yo! If you are planning on doing a read-aloud or storytime, this book is very fun!

    いただきますあそびis a cute book about various characters eating some delicious food. It is a lift-the-flap, and also makes for a good read-aloud book too.  

    あかいのあつまれ is another short and simple board book that teaches you the names for some fruits and veggies.

    ミッフィーのたべものなあにis another board book that teaches some vocabulary for fruits and veggies.

    これなあに can only be described as cute, with lots of food one would typically see in a Japanese bento box.

    10分で読める名作. 一年生is part of a level-graded series the Library has for different grades, including 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades (and more). This particular book is meant for first graders, which can be a good place to start—then, work your way up to higher grades. Each book includes different short stories for you to practice and learn some new vocabulary.

    斎藤孝のイッキによめる!音読名作選 : 小学2年生is another graded reader series with all sorts of short stories for you to grow in your Japanese language studies.


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    For many of us, children's books are our first encounter with literature. Perhaps we fell in love with stories reading The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats or the stories of Beatrix Potter.

    As adults, nostalgia may lead us to revisit and reconsider the stories of our youth, so we've assembled this list of adult books that turn a critical eye toward children's favorites.

    Have more recommendations? Share them in our comment section below.

    Alice had been looking over his shoulder with much curiosity
    From NYPL's Digital Collections, ca. 1901. ID:1704728.


    Wild Things

    Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as Adults by Bruce Handy
    A nostalgic ramble through classic children's literature by a Vanity Fair  contributing editor. This book explores the stories of forefront authors and illustrators and also reveals the wisdom that can be found in children's masterpieces, from The Cat in the Hat and Charlotte's Web to Goodnight Moon and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.




    A Boy Named Shel

    A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein by Lisa Rogak
    A revealing portrait of the little-known life of the children's author best known for poetry collections like Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic describes his forays into songwriting and scriptwriting, his jet-setting residences throughout the country, and his complicated personality.


    Was the Cat in the Hat Black?

    Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books by Phillip Nel
    Nel presents five serious critiques of the history and current state of children's literature's tempestuous relationship with both implicit and explicit forms of racism. Rooted in research yet written with a lively, crackling touch, this book delves into years of literary criticism and recent sociological data to show a way forward. The text concludes with a short and stark proposal of actions everyone—reader, author, publisher, scholar, citizen—can take to fight the biases and prejudices that plague children's literature.



    Girl Sleuth

    Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak
    All those mysteries solved by Nancy Drew, the brainchild of children's story mogul Edward Stratemeyer, were created by two different women who published under the pseudonym "Carolyn Keene." Working from correspondence, articles, and other archival materials, Rehak recreates the lives and careers of Stratemeyer, his daughter Harriet, and writer Mildred Wirt Benson, in an engaging book for grown-up Drew aficionados.


    Enchanted Hunters

    Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood by Maria Tatar
    Tatar challenges assumptions about childhood reading. By exploring how beauty and horror operate in children's literature, she examines how and what children read, showing how literature can transport and transform lives.





    Little Author in the Big Woods

    Little Author in the Big Woods: A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Yona Zeldis McDonough
    A narrative portrait of the author of the beloved Little House series details her real life as a young pioneer traveling west with her family and homesteading on new territories, revealing how her actual life differed from the adventures in her books.

    The Secret History of Wonder Woman

    The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
    This cultural history of Wonder Woman traces the character's creation and enduring popularity, drawing on interviews and archival research to highlight the pivotal role of feminism in shaping her seven-decade story.



    Book descriptions taken from the NYPL catalog.

    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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    Baseball card photo of Mickey Mantle
    Mickey Mantle via Wikicommons

    Our favorite time of year is finally here… it's October! Not only do we have the whimsical New York Comic Con at the top of the month, but now that the Major League Baseball regular season has come to a close, postseason play is underway.

    Last season provided us with many memorable moments, with none bigger than the Houston Astros bringing the state of Texas its first ever Commissioner's Trophy as World Series Champions. When you take into account the devastation that Hurricane Harvey brought to Houson last year, the Astros' seven-game World Series victory (which featured arguably one of baseball's wildest games in Game 5) is definitely all the more gratifying.

    Couple that with the Wild Card-winning Yankees' incredible postseason run (which included knocking off the 102-win Cleveland Indians), and the 104-win LA Dodgers making their first World Series appearance since 1988, and it was, without a doubt, a great October in 2017.

    With the 2018 edition of playoff baseball starting, it's always fun to reminisce about postseasons gone by. To recall incredibly memorable moments, and then wonder what's going happen this time around to join the ranks…what could be better? So as we did in 2015 and 2017, let's talk about postseason home runs you may have forgotten.

    1. Donn Clendenon, 1969 World Series, Game 2

    It's really hard to emphasize just how important Donn Clendenon was to the Mets in the 1969 World Series. And if it weren't for a series of topsy-turvy circumstances, he may have never become a Met in the first place.

    A Pittsburgh Pirate from 1961 to 1968, Clendenon was dealt to the expansion Montreal Expos in the winter of '68 as part of the league's expansion draft (with four new teams entering the league in 1969). But before playing a game for Montreal, he was sent to the Houston Astros, where Clendenon refused to play for manager Harry Walker due to his alleged racism. Thus he ended up back in Montreal, until a move sent him to the New York Mets at the June trade deadline.

    Anyway, Clendenon was really acquired to platoon with Mets incumbent first baseman Ed Kranepool—thus he never even took an at-bat in the Mets NLCS victory over the Atlanta Braves. That all changed in the World Series. After dropping Game 1 to the Baltimore Orioles, Clendenon gave the Mets an early lead in Game 2 with a 4th inning solo home run. That would end up being monumental as the Mets would win Game 2 by a slim 2-1 margin.

    The Mets ended up not losing another game in the series, en route to their first World Series title. Clendenon would end up hitting three home runs in the Series, taking home MVP honors along the way. In all three games in which Clendenon went yard, the Mets won by either one or two runs. That's how vital an acquisition Donn was for the club in 1969.

    2. Scott Leius, 1991 World Series, Game 2

    Let me start by saying the 1991 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins is one of the best of all time. The number of classic moments and heroes in that Series is remarkable, and I wish I could do a whole blog post on that Fall Classic alone. From Kirby Puckett, to Queens-bred Gene Larkin, to Jack Morris, to Chuck Knoblauch's little deke, to Kent Hrbek'… little stunt, the 1991 Series had it all.

    But one guy who doesn't get talked about is Scott Leius. Born in Yonkers, Leius played in 109 games for the Minnesota Twins in 1991, but only accrued 235 plate appearances that year, to the tune of a useful .286/.378/.417 slash. However, in the '91 World Series, Leius would pick up his biggest hit of the season (and, who're we kidding, his life).

    Leius came to the plate in Game 2 to face Tom Glavine, with the game knotted at 2. Leius drove Glavine's first pitch up over the plexiglass wall in left field to give the Twins a 3-2 lead they would never surrender. The World Series wasn't decided until the 7th and final game, in an extra 10th frame, but without Leius' Game 2 heroics, the Twins may have never reached that classic Game 7. 

    3. Mark Bellhorn, 2004 ALCS, Game 6

    Similar to the 1991 World Series, the 2004 American League Championship Series was one of those playoff series you never forget. With a seemingly endless list of unforgettable moments and heroes, the series made me feel lucky to have been alive and locked in when it was going down. There was incredible drama everywhere.

    Fighting for a spot in the 2004 World Series, The New York Yankees jumped out to a commanding three-games-to-none lead over their nemesis Boston Red Sox. While all seemed lost, Boston pulled out Game 4. Then they pulled out Game 5 in 14 innings (with help of a forgotten moment which, if it had not happened, would have changed history forever). Boston, basically playing with house money, traveled to the Bronx for Game 6 hoping to perform the unthinkable.

    Fast forward to the game's 4th inning. Boston has a 1-0 lead with 2 Red Sox on base, for 2nd baseman Mark Bellhorn. Bellhorn tattooed a Jon Lieber offering off the hands of a fan sitting in the first row of the left field bleachers. Initially not ruled a home run, it took a dispute from manager Terry Francona and an umpire huddle-up for the ruling on the field to be righted. It was a gigantic 3-run home run for Bellhorn, the Red Sox would win 4-2, and you know the rest: The unforgettable 2004 Boston Red Sox became the first ballclub to overcome a 3-0 game deficit to win a series, and would go on to break the Curse of the Bambino, sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in four straight games. 

    4. Mickey Mantle, 1952 World Series, Game 6

    Let's take a trip back in time. The 1952 World Series pitted bitter rivals against one another, the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The two teams traded victories through the first five games, with Brooklyn winning an extra-inning affair in Game 5 on the strength of a Duke Snider RBI double. This put the Yankees' backs against the wall, down three games to two.

    In Game 6 at Ebbets Field, Mantle came to the plate in the 8th inning with the Yankees hanging on to a 2-1 lead. He clubbed a solo shot over the wall in right off of Vic Raschi, an insurance run to put the Yankees up, 3-1. Brooklyn answered when Snider went yard in the bottom half of the frame, but that would do it for the scoring. The Yankees eked out the 3-2 victory to force a Game 7, in which they broke the see-saw battle and won 4-2. In that Game 7, Mantle collected his 2nd career World Series home run, Billy Martin made a huge play in the infield, and Casey Stengel's squad took home their 4th straight World Series title, and 5th in 6 years. An absolutely dominant stretch for the Bronx Bombers. 

    5. Rick Monday, 1981 NLCS, Game 5

    Let's conclude this year's list with an absolute classic! It was October 19, 1981, a day forever known in Canada as Blue Monday, all thanks to Rick Monday. Let's review.

    1981 was a messy Major League Baseball season, interrupted on June 12th due to a players' strike and then resuming again in August. The owners decided to split the season into two halves; not fair to a couple of teams, but that's a story for another time. (The book Split Season by Jeff Katz is a fantastic summary of exactly how 1981 ended up breaking down.)

    For the sake of our blog post, just know the Montreal Expos and LA Dodgers met in that season's National League Championship, especially meaningful to the Expos fan base and city of Montreal, since postseason success had completely eluded the franchise up to this point. But in their 13th season of existence, the Expos found themselves in a winner-take-all Game 5 at Olympic Stadium, with the score tied 1-1 in the top of the 9th. Expos manager Jim Fanning turned to stalwart Steve Rogers to take the mound. Rogers had earned a complete-game victory in Game 3, and would later become the Montreal Expos' all-time winningest pitcher with 158 wins. However on this day, his good fortune would not be present.

    Rogers retired the first two batters in that 9th inning before Rick Monday came to the plate. Monday hit a flyball to center that kept carrying and carrying, bringing center fielder Andre Dawson to the wall, until it flew beyond it. That home run was the nail in the coffin for the '81 Expos , as they'd lose, 2-1. It would be the franchise's final postseason appearance until 2012, seven years after they left Montreal for Washington DC, and 31 years after Blue Monday.


    For more books on the beautiful game of baseball, please check out the NYPL catalog's extensive offerings. Enjoy the playoffs!

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