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    Ursula K. Le Guin
    Image credit via Universe

    Many of the highest honors that are usually bestowed upon the most accomplished and important authors—that they were prolific, that their work was ground-breaking and redefined a genre, that their books reached huge numbers of readers—can also be applied to Ursula K. Le Guin, who died on Monday at age 88.

    But Le Guin also had qualities that many of the best authors do not, including the fact that she was comfortable speaking freely and candidly in interviews and essays. She was a truth-teller, cutting and funny with a performative streak, willing to reflect upon her own impact as an author who deeply examined gender, sexuality, mortality, and the role of philosophy in science fiction. In the days after her death, a plethora of fascinating stories about her and her work are surfacing and resurfacing online.

    Her honesty and wit shine through every word. Take this excerpt from an essay in her 2004 collection, The Wave in the Mind, featured in Brain Pickings:

    I don’t have a gun and I don’t have even one wife and my sentences tend to go on and on and on, with all this syntax in them. Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than have syntax. Or semicolons. I use a whole lot of half-assed semicolons; there was one of them just now; that was a semicolon after “semicolons,” and another one after “now.”

    And another thing. Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than get old. And he did. He shot himself. A short sentence. Anything rather than a long sentence, a life sentence. Death sentences are short and very, very manly. Life sentences aren’t. They go on and on, all full of syntax and qualifying clauses and confusing references and getting old. And that brings up the real proof of what a mess I have made of being a man: I am not even young. Just about the time they finally started inventing women, I started getting old. And I went right on doing it. Shamelessly. I have allowed myself to get old and haven’t done one single thing about it, with a gun or anything.

    There’s a lot more where that came from. Check out another great excerpt from Brain Pickings, a wide-ranging interview in The Paris Review, an essay in Slate that Le Guin titled “A Whitewashed Earthsea: How the Sci Fi Channel Wrecked My Books,” just as a sample.

    Thinking about Le Guin’s legacy, we wanted to highlight not the science fiction and fantasy that she’s famous for, but her other work—her memoir and essays, which capture her honesty and wit, and her children’s books, which many people may not have known existed.

    And if you’ve never read any of Le Guin’s science fiction and fantasy before, we have suggestions about where to start.

    Children’s Books

    cat dreams

    Cat Dreams

    In this rhyming picture book, Le Guin constructs a cat’s fantasy world. Mice rain from the sky, there’s a fountain of cream, and dogs are nowhere to be found.  

     

     

    red mare

    A Ride on the Red Mare’s Back

    After her brother is captured by trolls, a brave girl sets out on her magical red horse in an epic quest to rescue him. The flouting of gender constructs and effortless creation of a wholly realized other world are exactly what older readers would expect from Le Guin telling a classic children’s fairy tale.

     

     

     

    catwings

    The Catwings series

    Elementary-school students are the target audience for this four-volume series, in which Le Guin recounts the adventures of kittens who are born with wings. Even Orson Scott Card, who scoffed at the premise, couldn’t help but love the honesty and depth of the characters.

     

     


    Memoir and Essays                     

    no time

    No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters

    In 2017, Le Guin published a selection of her best blog posts—reflections on aging, writing fantasy, and the state of the world.

     

     

     

     

     

    words

    Words Are My Matter: Writings about Life and Books, 2000-2016 with a Journal of a Writer’s Week

    A collection of writing about writing, this book of Le Guin’s essays, reflections, and criticism is a treasure trove of a glimpse into her mind. One reviewer said it contradicted Le Guin’s own assertion: "I seldom have as much pleasure in reading nonfiction as I do in a poem or a story." 

     

     

     

     

    finding

    Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems, 1960-2010

    Le Guin’s legacy of amazing work wasn’t limited solely to prose. This collection isn’t literally an elegy, but the poems that span much of Le Guin’s career are well worth reading in the context of the end of her life.

     





     

    The Library also has Le Guin’s books in Russian and Chinese.

    ---

    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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    We want to hear from you! Please share your thoughts with us in this short survey: www.nypl.org/podcastsurvey

     

    Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Google Play

    Books and reading are the foundation of any library but your local librarian is doing so much more: computer help, test prep and yes, even knitting. This week, Gwen and Frank talk to Erin Horanzy, an Adult Programming Librarian at NYPL's Francis Martin Library in the Bronx. Enjoy!

    Knitting Sheep

    Guest Star: Erin Horanzy

    Erin is an Adult Programming Librarian at NYPL's Francis Martin branch in the Bronx. 

    Check out classes for adults across the NYPL system.

    The Kitchen God's Wife  by Amy Tan

    The Kitchen Gods Wife

     

    Everything and anything by Carl Hiaasen

    Carl Hiaasen books

     

    Non-Book Recommendations

    Gwen and Erin: The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck October 20 and 21, 2018

    Sheep and Wool Festival

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

    Find us online @NYPLRecommends, the Bibliofile blog, and nypl.org. Or email us at nyplrecommends@nypl.org!

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    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

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

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

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

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


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    Dear Reader,

    Hello! I hope you are well.

    I imagine you share my interest in letters between writers. Recently, I took a closer look at such correspondence and was surprised to find a significant amount of trash-talk among authors' hand- and type-written pages. From subtle burns to scathing critiques, here are a few choice examples of writers telling their contemporaries how they really feel.

    Who has time for you?

    ""
    James Joyce. Image ID 1544998. The New York Public Library.


    To:James Joyce
    From:H. G. Wells

    Who the hell is this Joyce who demands so many waking hours of the few thousand I have still to live for a proper appreciation of his quirks and fancies and flashes of rendering?

    1928 | read more




     

    I did it first. And better.

    ""
    Aldous Huxley. Image ID 1264280. The New York Public Library.


    To:George Orwell
    From:Aldous Huxley

    In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Fouris destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World.

    1949 | read more





     

    You are finished.

    ""
    William S. Burroughs. Image ID 3969687. The New York Public Library.

    To:Truman Capote
    From:William S. Burroughs

    Enjoy your dirty money. You will never have anything else. You will never write another sentence above the level of In Cold Blood. As a writer you are finished.

    1970 | read more






     

    You won't get away with this.

    ""
    Anthony Burgess. Zazie44 via Wikimedia Commons.

    To:Anthony Burgess
    From:Hunter S. Thompson

    I want that Thinkpiece on my desk by Labor Day. And I want it ready for press. The time has come & gone when cheapjack scum like you can get away with the kind of scams you got rich from in the past.

    1973 | read more




     

    (Just about the) Worst. Comic book. Ever.

    ""
    George R.R. Martin. Henry Söderlund via Wikimedia Commons.

    To:Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
    From:George R.R. Martin

    You were just about the World's worst mag when you started, but you set yourself an ideal, and, by gumbo, you achieved it!

    1963 | read more






     

    Oops! It looks like that George R.R. Martin line—written when he was a 15-year-old fan of Fantastic Four—actually turns out to be a compliment.

    (Don't you love happy endings? I do.)

    Sincerely,
    Courtney

    P.S. – Click on any writer's name above to explore their work in The New York Public Library's catalog. Don't have a library card? Apply for one online or in person at one of 92 NYPL locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

    P.P.S. – If you're a serious correspondence fanatic, you can find the Capote/Burroughs letter in NYPL's Berg Collection.


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

    A Broadway Musical
    Image ID: swope_621622

    We Read...

    Your guide to getting into Virginia Woolf and the many reasons we'll miss Ursula K. Leguin."Writing it was exhilarating, but I wish it hadn’t been published": Amy Tan dishes on her new book. Finally we can read the crossed-out parts of Alexander Hamilton's writing because of savvy conservationists. Get thee to those witchy vibes with these YA picks. If you want to get creative, there are some great courses you can take for free using Lynda. We think 1984 read-alikes feel like good reading selections. These books we love got a lot of rejections before they found publishers. Check out this counterculture reading list. Fan letters from author to author are pretty cool, and they're even better when they're written by Susan Sontag. Frankenstein just turned two hundred, and there's a reason we're still reading it. We are so inspired by Masha Gessen's speech at the Library.

    Friday Feels:

    GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
    GIF made with the NYPL Stereogranimator

    TGIF:

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

     

    It's showtime!

    We've got a brand new show! Watch on Facebook Live on Fridays at noon. You can ask Gwen and Lynn to recommend your next read and hear what other patrons are loving lately too.

     

    What did you read?

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


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    The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), an initiative managed by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense, offers employers access to a database of pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities, who are interested in summer or permanent jobs. 

    Lauren Karas, business development specialist at ODEP, discusses her journey from WRP student to manager of the program in the Department of Labor blog post, The Workforce Recruitment Program:  Where Success Comes Full Circle. Karas highlights the benefits of the WRP for both students and employers. "It's my hope that more employers will reap its rewards," she says, "and that more students with disabilities use it as a gateway to a rewarding career." 

    Employment Programs

    Union Settlement offers the following Winter and Spring ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes: 

    • HSE/ABE Prep in Spanish: Mondays-Wednesdays, 6 PM-9 PM; Saturdays, 9 AM-2 PM
    • HSE/ABE Prep in English:  Mondays-Thursdays, 9 AM-12 PM, 6 PM-9 PM
    • ESL, levels 1-5: 9 AM-12 PM, 1 PM-3 PM, 6 PM-9 PM ; Saturdays, 9 AM-3 PM

    For information, contact Oilda Martinez at 212-828-6298, or at omartinez@unionsettlement.org

    Now available: Free certified career training as an Emergency Medical Technician for high school graduates interested in a career in healthcare. One of the fastest-growing industries in NYC is now recruiting for classes starting February 5, 2018. After four weeks of free work readiness and preparation training, enter the EMT training. Includes one-on-one support, tutoring, and support to complete the program, plus Metro card, internship, and text book support. Job placement support available when you complete the program successfully.

    For more information, please email sandramorales@cdi-ny.org.

    A National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Site Program is recruiting  talented undergraduate students residing in the NY area, from (but not limited to) historically disadvantaged groups, to partake in a part-time year-long program to engage in research on language(s), and benefit from workshops that will help them prepare for the next steps in their educational journey. Fourteen students will be selected for the program, and will be awarded a stipend of $6,500 a year for participation in the program.  Apply now.

    The Cooper Union Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers at CAMBA assists underemployed or unemployed immigrant engineers and IT professionals gain 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.

    Platform by Per Scholas trains local talent, using custom curriculum designed by Cognizant Technology Solutions, to ensure students are equipped with the tech skills needed to get hired by the Fortune 500 company. Over eight to 12 weeks, Platform classes, Quality Engineering, and Application Support Management will introduce  students to advanced computational thinking, business competencies, programming languages, and related topics necessary to fill IT positions at Cognizant. All eligible graduates will have the opportunity to interview with Cognizant. Classes begin monthly.  Apply now. 

    NYC Career Center Events and Recruiting

    Introduction to Services Information Session: Monday, January 29, 2018, 8:30 AM-9:30 AM, Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 East Fordham Road, 8th floor, Bronx, NY 10458.  This is for all interested job seekers.

    Upgrade a Resume: Monday, January 29, 2018, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM, Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 East Fordham Road, 8th floor, Bronx, NY 10458.  This workshop walks job seekers through the steps for upgrading their resumes, and provides intensive one-on-one feedback on each participant's resume.  Check-in is 1:00 PM-1:30 PM.  Must have resume in PDF form.

    Introduction to Services (Spanish): Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 1 PM-2 PM, 400 East Fodham Road, 8th floor, Bronx, NY 10458. This information session is for all interested job seekers.

    Job Search Planning Workshop: Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 2:15 PM-4:15 PM, Bronx  Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 East Fordham Road, 8th floor, Bronx, NY 10458. Participants will learn how to create a job search plan/strategy, search for jobs, apply for jobs, use techniques to maximize their job search, express or identify their accomplishments, and find resources and get assistance while searching for a job.

    Benefits of Exploring Job Zone Workshop: Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 2:15 PM-4:15 PM, Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 East Fordham Road, 8th floor, Bronx, NY 10458. Participants will learn and explore  how  to use Job Zone, an interactive resource, to help manage their careers. Two slots available. Must call for appointment: (718) 960-7901.

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

    Job Postings and Assistance

    Job Postings at New York City Workforce 1.Job Search Central

    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 provide job training and employment services to over 750,000 New Yorkers annually, 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 Tech (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 info@cmpny.org, 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 January 28 become available.

     

     


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    Friendship is one of the most important themes in children's literature. From the Peter Rabbit books to Winnie-the-Pooh, many of our favorite works for younger readers have retained their meaningfulness precisely because they taught us about how empathize, communicate, and play in our earliest relationships. The books we selected for our Best Books for Kids of 2017 list include a story about a child's love for an oak tree, the tale of a lost pet, and a book about growing up in 1960s Los Angeles. Have other friendship books you love? Let us know in the comment section below.
     

    Armstrong & Charlie
    Armstrong & Charlie by Steven B. Frank
    Brought together by desegregation in the 1970s, two middle-schoolers unexpectedly form a friendship in this heartfelt and comical coming of age story.

    Bertolt
    Bertolt by Jacques Goldstyn and illustrated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick
    Inviting and immersive colored pencil drawings bring to life a small child's love for an old oak tree.

    Beyond the Bright Sea
    Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk 
    Curious and loving Crow is determined to discover the truth about her birth, but will her search lead the family and home she loves into danger? Higher-level readers will appreciate the engaging and atmospheric writing.

    The Big Bad Fox
    The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner and translated by Joe Johnson
    What's a fox to do when he can't catch a chicken for dinner? Hatch his own, of course! But this is a lot harder than he thought, especially when they think he is Mom.

    Bolivar
    Bolivar by Sean Rubin
    In this ode to NYC, there really IS an antiquities-loving dinosaur living next door to Sybil!

    Captain Pug
    Captain Pug: The Dog Who Sailed the Seas by Laura James and illustrated by Églantine Ceulemans
    A silly, high-stakes adventure ensues when a water-fearing, jam-tart-loving pug follows his nose to the next picnic basket and gets separated from his girl.

    Charlie & Mouse
    Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes
    Two charming brothers use their wits in their daily escapades. They gather friends for an impromptu party, discover the rewards of hard work, and more.

    Colette's Lost Pest
    Colette's Lost Pest by Isabelle Arsenault
    Nervous about making friends, Colette invents a lost pet whose description gradually grows to be as fanciful as the brightly colored accents in these otherwise sepia-toned illustrations.

    The End of the Wild
    The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget
    Will fracking destroy Fern’s beloved forest, or will it bring industry back to a tired town? In clear, heartfelt prose, this narrative raises difficult questions and offers no easy answers.

    The First Rule of Punk
    The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
    Malú isn't the señorita Mom wants her to be. But a new school and new friends push the boundaries of her creativity and redefine her world.

    Fish Girl
    Fish Girl by David Wiesner & Donna Jo Napoli and illustrated by David Wiesner
    A budding friendship helps a young mermaid test the boundaries of her manmade prison.

    Flashlight Night
    Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine
    Three kids shine a light on their imaginations without ever leaving their backyard. Accompanied by contrasting drawings and a rhythmic text. 

    Flowers for Sarajevo
    Flowers for Sarajevo by John McCutcheon and illustrated by Kristy Caldwell
    A bereaved young boy rediscovers strength and purpose through random acts of kindness in this honest look at war-torn Sarajevo.

    The Goat
    The Goat by Anne Fleming
    When Kid catches a glimpse of a goat on her NYC rooftop, she embarks on a quest that involves her entire quirky community, leading them to face their fears and take a leap of faith.

    Hello, Universe
    Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
    A psychic, a bully, and a crush help a young Filipino boy find his inner bayani (hero).

    It All Comes Down to This
    It All Comes Down to This by Karen English
    In the midst of the racial tension of 1960s Los Angeles, Sophie—a 12-year-old African American girl—grows closer to her college-bound sister as her family begins to fall apart.

    King of the Sky
    King of the Sky by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Laura Carlin
    Soft watercolors complement this warmhearted story of the friendship between a young immigrant boy and an elderly pigeon-keeper.

    Little Fox in the Forrest
    Little Fox in the Forrest by Stephanie Graegin
    In this wordless and endearing picture book, two friends venture out into an enchanted forest to rescue a beloved stuffed animal.

    Me & Marvin Gardens
    Me & Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King
    As developers encroach upon his family farm, a nature-loving boy discovers a creature whose very existence threatens the environment.

    The Murderer's Ape
    The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius
    Sally Jones—author, first engineer, loyal friend, and gorilla—finds herself in the middle of a page-turning mystery of daring, wit, and intrigue.

    Niko Draws a Feeling
    Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Simone Shin
    No one but Niko understands his art, until a young girl recognizes the meaning of his abstract style.

    One Trick Pony
    One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale
    In a future where all technology is under attack, a robot pony may be the key to saving humanity.

    Pandora
    Pandora by Victoria Turnbull
    An injured bird chases away the clouds of loneliness for a resourceful fox. Lush, scenic images echo Pandora's changing emotions.

    Posted
    Posted by John David Anderson
    A sticky-note war at Branton Middle School leads students to confront the power of their words. Can Frost and his friends survive the war, or will it tear them apart?

    The Sand Warrior
    The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel & Alexis Siegel and  illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller & Boya Sun
    Five imperiled worlds will be rendered extinct unless five ancient and mysterious beacons can be lit in the wake of erupting wars during which three unlikely heroes make surprising discoveries about their homes and themselves.

    Scar Island
    Scar Island by Dan Geimenhart
    After a freak accident frees them from adult supervision, boys at a reformatory school fend for themselves in this action-packed adventure about power struggles and redemption.

    The Shadow Cipher
    The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby
    In an alternate history of New York, three kids try to solve a modern-world puzzle and complete a treasure hunt laid into the streets and buildings of the city.

    Snow & Rose
    Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
    Two sisters, a large bear, a pair of scissors, and a whole lot of courage save an enchanted forest in this retelling of a little-known fairy tale.

    There's a Pest in the Garden
    There's a Pest in the Garden by Jan Thomas
    Duck and his friends defend their garden from a mysterious vegetable thief. A funny first reader.

    Thornhill
    Thornhill by Sam Smy
    A wrenching, chilling ghost story told in two voices: one through diary entries, the other through black-and-white illustrations.

    Tony
    Tony by Ed Galing and illustrated by Eric E. Stead
    Pencil drawings softly evoke a bygone era and a childhood friendship with the milkman’s horse.

    Train I Ride
    Train I Ride by Paul Mosier
    Transient but meaningful relationships turn strangers into family aboard a cross-country train.

    When My Sister Started Kissing
    When My Sister Started Kissing by Helen Frost
    Claire must deal with a summer of changes in this sweet and appealing coming-of age-novel told in verse from three distinct perspectives.

    A Whisper of Horses
    A Whisper of Horses by Zillah Bethell
    In a post-apocalyptic Great Britain, after her mother's death Serendipity, about twelve, leaves Lahn Dan and teams up with an orphan, Tab, hoping to find horses surviving somewhere.

    The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse
    The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen
    Textured illustrations blend perfectly with this silly story of Duck and Mouse setting up house in Wolf's stomach.

    Wolfie & Fly
    Wolfie & Fly by Cary Fagan and illustrated by Zoe Si
    An aloof girl, who prefers facts over friends, reluctantly teams up with a persistent neighbor for a cardboard submarine adventure.

    Yours Sincerely, Giraffe
    Yours Sincerely, Giraffe by Megumi Iwasa and illustrated by Jun Takabatake
    Bored and lonely, Giraffe exchanges letters with Penguin, and a long-distance friendship is born. Hilarity ensues when Giraffe tries to imagine what Penguin looks like.


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  • 01/26/18--11:30: Finding Frederick Melton
  •  

    In 1961, the photographer Frederick Melton turned over his archive of nearly 2,000 negatives to the New York Public Library’s Dance Division and set out for Puerto Rico, closing the book on his life in the New York City art world for good.

    Almost 60 years later, Melton’s photographs of one of America's most beloved ballets formed the spine of the Library for the Performing Arts’s holiday exhibition, Winter Wonderland: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®. Although other photographers (including Martha Swope, Zachary Freyman, and Radford Bascome) also documented the New York City Ballet’s original staging of The Nutcracker in 1954, more than half of the images on display were taken by Melton.

    Photo of Alberta Grant and Susan Kaufman from The Nutcracker
    Alberta Grant and Susan Kaufman from The Nutcracker, photographed by Melton. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 57282227

    “Melton’s photographs of the original 1954 production of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker define and establish the tone of the ballet," explains Linda Murray, curator of the Dance Divison and the exhibition.

    "While many view it as a confectionery work (the set of Act II is literally called Candy Land), as with all fairy tales there is a dark psychological terrain simmering beneath the surface," says Murray. "Balanchine wanted the ballet to expose the childhood experience of an adult environment where the reality of sizes and shapes is distorted (think of how the tree and mice dwarf Mary in their enormity) and where possibility is limited only by the boundaries of one's imagination."

    "Playing with exposure and shadow, Melton’s photographs alternately immerse Mary in ornate crowded rooms with other children or isolate her in pools of light amidst a vast darkness," continues Murray. "His images make us aware that in witnessing the ballet we are seeing the world through her eyes and hers alone." 

    The exhibition at the Library for the Performing Arts closes this Saturday, January 27, but Melton’s photographs will remain on permanent view in the Library’s Digital Collections portal.

    Melton's History

    Photography was a sideline for Fred Melton, who dabbled in a number of creative media but was most successful during his New York years as a silk-screen printer. Born in Atlanta in 1918, Melton came to Manhattan in 1939 with his boyfriend, writer Donald Windham, and joined a social circle of mostly gay artists.

    He rates mention in biographies of figures like W. H. Auden, Paul Cadmus, George Platt Lynes, and Tennessee Williams, who roomed with the couple for a time and co-wrote an early play with Windham. Later, in the late 1940s and '50s, Melton and a subsequent partner, Wilbur “Billy” Pippin, ran a printing press and an informal salon that served as a nexus for gay men in the arts, both of which were underwritten by Lincoln Kirstein.

    It was through his connection to Kirstein and George Balanchine, co-founders of the New York City Ballet, that Melton was engaged to photograph many of the ballet’s early productions, including The Nutcracker.

    The Search for a Rights Holder

    To digitize Melton’s photographs and use them in our publicity for the exhibition, the Library was obliged to secure permission from the current copyright holder. After Melton left New York, there was little in the public record about him, other than a paid obituary in The New York Times , which Windham placed, confirming that Melton died in Fort Lauderdale in 1992.

    It was my job to track down an estate. Because Melton’s brief death notice listed no survivors, I was concerned that I might not find one. Defining the estates of gay and lesbian artists in the era prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage presents some unique challenges. Did Melton have a partner when he died? Even if I could find one, that partner would have inherited Melton's intellectual property only if Melton specified that in a will. If the actual heirs were relatives—siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins—they might prove impossible to locate, or ill-equipped to administer an artist’s legacy.

    Snowflakes
    Snowflakes, from Melton's photographs of New York City Ballet's The Nutcracker.  NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 57282252

    Discovering a Life's Details

    When I dug further, I found an intriguing footnote in a volume of Tennessee Williams’s correspondence, which mentioned that Melton had abruptly married around 1942. Was it possible that Melton had also had children?

    A public records search revealed that Melton and his wife, Sarah “Sally” Marshall, did indeed have two sons in the mid 1940s. Although the eldest child was deceased, I eventually located Melton’s younger son, Christopher, an architect who is now restoring the Macon, Georgia home in which he grew up.

    Christopher filled me in on many of the details of Melton’s life after New York City. Frederick Melton left for Puerto Rico in the 1960s because his health was failing. Although he was only in his early forties, he had circulation problems, consumed alcohol and tobacco to excess, and decided that he would “just drink himself to death on the beaches.” (Melton may also have fallen out with his New York social circle; he told Christopher that Lincoln Kirstein had “dropped him” without explanation, a slight that still hurt decades later.)

    Instead of dying young, Melton ended up having heart surgery in a Veterans Administration hospital, getting sober, and moving to Pompano Beach, Florida, where he opened a sign shop. In 1978, with his life newly stabilized, Melton reached out to the sons he’d seldom seen since they were small boys.

    Melton had known his wife before he left Georgia, but they would begin their married life in the West Village, where Sally’s beloved boxer dog became just one source of many conflicts between Fred (not a dog enthusiast) and his young wife. Son Christopher and his brother were born in New York, but the family soon moved back to Sarah’s parents’ land in Macon.

    Melton dove into smalltown Southern life with gusto. He built a modern house and workshop on the property, painted, and worked on the newspaper and in the local theater. But the experiment in conformity didn’t last.

    Child bunny soldier
    Child bunny soldier, from Melton's photographs of New York City Ballet's The Nutcracker. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 57282225

    Early in 1948, Melton returned to New York and stayed there. "He was always this sort of mystical, magical character out there," said Christopher, who discussed how much he loved the imaginative gifts his father sent on birthdays and holidays. "They were always so terrific. I was really into pirates, and he sent me a real flintlock, not a copy. He sent me a real sword."

    When I spoke with Christopher, I was curious about the circumstances surrounding his father’s excursion into straight marriage, which seemed like a departure from a life that was perhaps as openly gay as one could be in the middle of the twentieth century.

    "We really never talked too much about this, but maybe in his early days he thought that he would end up being straight," Christopher says. “And my mother, being very beautiful and arrogant as well, thought that she would convince him that that was the best way to go." Melton’s sexuality may have been fluid, or appeared that way to others. His nickname among his male friends was Butch, and "he was pretty butch," laughs Christopher. “He rode a Harley and he was a tough little guy.”

     

    A Final Family Reunion

    When Melton wrote to his sons in 1978, Christopher’s brother "had no use for it, but I was curious." Christopher and his father became close during the latter’s final years, visiting each other in Colorado, where Christopher lived at the time, and in Florida. After Fred Melton died, his son became the keeper of his artistic legacy. As the executor of his father’s estate, Christopher (who visited Lincoln Center last month to see the exhibition) granted NYPL permission to display Melton’s work on our website.

    Although prints of many of Melton’s New York City Ballet images are held in the photograph files of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, and are currently available to researchers, the bulk of his negatives may have never been developed. Cataloging and digitizing those unseen photographs is a project the Library hopes to tackle in the near future.

     

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    Middle grade books are generally considered to be books written for readers ages eight to twelve, falling somewhere between children's literature and YA. In 2017, there were plenty of middle grade books published, and we've selected some of our favorites for our Best Books for Kids list. Some took on real life figures like Jackie Robinson. Others were distinctly fantastical. All are great choices for the growing reader in your life. Have other middle grade reads you love? Make sure to share them in the comment section below.

    42 is not just a number
    42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero by Doreen Rappaport
    A fun, fast read that gives deeper insight into the background and motivation of the groundbreaking icon.

    American Pharoah
    American Pharoah: Triple Crown Champion by Shelley Fraser Mickle
    Racehorse history is made in this winning book that gives an insider's view of a whole team that raised a champion.

    Armstrong & Charlie
    Armstrong & Charlie by Steven B. Frank
    Brought together by desegregation in the 1970s, two middle-schoolers unexpectedly form a friendship in this heartfelt and comical coming of age story.

    Bats
    Bats: Learning to Fly by Falynn Koch
    A fast-paced introduction to the world of bats, perfect for those who love science along with their laughs.

    Beyond the Bright Sea
    Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk 
    Curious and loving Crow is determined to discover the truth about her birth, but will her search lead the family and home she loves into danger? Higher-level readers will appreciate the engaging and atmospheric writing.

    The Big Bad Fox
    The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner and translated by Joe Johnson
    What's a fox to do when he can't catch a chicken for dinner? Hatch his own, of course! But this is a lot harder than he thought, especially when they think he is Mom.

    The End of the Wild
    The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget
    Will fracking destroy Fern’s beloved forest, or will it bring industry back to a tired town? In clear, heartfelt prose, this narrative raises difficult questions and offers no easy answers.

    The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora
    The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
    A new crush, an ailing abuela, and a villainous real estate developer threaten Arturo's relaxing Miami summer.

    The First Rule of Punk
    The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
    Malú isn't the señorita Mom wants her to be. But a new school and new friends push the boundaries of her creativity and redefine her world.

    Fish Girl
    Fish Girl by David Wiesner & Donna Jo Napoli and illustrated by David Wiesner
    A budding friendship helps a young mermaid test the boundaries of her manmade prison.

    Forever, or a Long, Long Time
    Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter
    With the help of their adoptive mother, two siblings go on a quest to find their origins. In the process, they learn to trust in their forever home.

    The Goat
    The Goat by Anne Fleming
    When Kid catches a glimpse of a goat on her NYC rooftop, she embarks on a quest that involves her entire quirky community, leading them to face their fears and take a leap of faith.

    Hello, Universe
    Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
    A psychic, a bully, and a crush help a young Filipino boy find his inner bayani (hero).

    It All Comes Down to This
    It All Comes Down to This by Karen English
    In the midst of the racial tension of 1960s Los Angeles, Sophie—a 12-year-old African American girl—grows closer to her college-bound sister as her family begins to fall apart.

    The Many Worlds of Albie Bright
    The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge
    In a quest to find a dimension where his mother is still alive, can the Quantum Banana Theory help Albie travel to alternate realities?

    Me & Marvin Gardens
    Me & Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King
    As developers encroach upon his family farm, a nature-loving boy discovers a creature whose very existence threatens the environment.

    The Murderer's Ape
    The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius
    Sally Jones—author, first engineer, loyal friend, and gorilla—finds herself in the middle of a page-turning mystery of daring, wit, and intrigue.

    Niko Draws a Feeling
    Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Simone Shin
    No one but Niko understands his art, until a young girl recognizes the meaning of his abstract style. 

    One Trick Pony
    One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale
    In a future where all technology is under attack, a robot pony may be the key to saving humanity.

    Posted
    Posted by John David Anderson
    A sticky-note war at Branton Middle School leads students to confront the power of their words. Can Frost and his friends survive the war, or will it tear them apart?

    Refugee
    Refugeeby Alan Gratz
    Alternating narratives chronicle the harrowing journeys of a Jewish boy in 1938, a Cuban girl in 1994, and a Syrian boy in 2015 as they all search for new homes.

     

    The Sand Warrior
    The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel
    Join Oona Lee and her ragtag crew as they embark on a mission to save 5 Worlds in this thoughtfully designed space opera.

    Scar Island
    Scar Island by Dan Geimenhart
    After a freak accident frees them from adult supervision, boys at a reformatory school fend for themselves in this action-packed adventure about power struggles and redemption.

    The Shadow Cipher
    The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby
    In an alternate history of New York, three kids try to solve a modern-world puzzle and complete a treasure hunt laid into the streets and buildings of the city.

    Snow & Rose
    Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
    Two sisters, a large bear, a pair of scissors, and a whole lot of courage save an enchanted forest in this retelling of a little-known fairy tale.

    Thornhill
    Thornhill by Pam Smy
    A wrenching, chilling ghost story told in two voices: one through diary entries, the other through black-and-white illustrations.

    Train I Ride
    Train I Ride by Paul Mosier
    Transient but meaningful relationships turn strangers into family aboard a cross-country train.

    When My Sister Started Kissing
    When My Sister Started Kissingby Helen Frost
    Claire must deal with a summer of changes in this sweet and appealing coming-of age-novel told in verse from three distinct perspectives.

    A Whisper of Horses
    A Whisper of Horses by Zillah Bethell
    In a post-apocalyptic Great Britain, after her mother's death Serendipity, about twelve, leaves Lahn Dan and teams up with an orphan, Tab, hoping to find horses surviving somewhere.

    The Whydah
    The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found by Martin Sandler
    The wild tale of a 19th-century slave ship, its second life commandeered by pirates, and the quest to find its sunken remains and legendary bounty.


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  • 01/29/18--09:14: Supermoon over Manhattan
  • On January 31, the full moon will shine for the second time this month, a phenomenon commonly known as a "blue moon." Of course, despite this expression—originally applied to a fourth full moon in a calendar season—the moon won't actually look blue.

    Another notable lunar event will coincide with this blue moon: a total lunar eclipse. Unfortunately, New York City will miss most of it because the moon will set here just before sunrise on the 31st, shortly after the eclipse begins.

    This leads us to more lunar description and terminology. A moon in total eclipse appears reddish, and is sometimes called a "blood moon." Additionally (and even better), this full moon will be near perigee, meaning it is at its closest approach to Earth, making it very close to the status of "supermoon;" a supermoon appears around 7% larger than an average full moon.

    Add this all up, and we have a "Super Blue Blood Moon." Got it? 

    Photo of Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, from Wikidata
    Lewis Morris Rutherfurd; source: Wikidata

    Shooting the Moon

    Despite the saying “once in a blue moon,” a blue moon isn’t all that rare. Regardless of which framework you use to define a blue moon, it occurs once every two to three years.

    However a “blue blood moon” is indeed rare. In North America, the last one occurred on March 31, 1866, leading us to the extraordinary lunar photographs of pioneering astrophotographer and astrophysicist, Lewis Morris Rutherfurd (1816-1892).

    Rutherfurd, a lawyer by training, abandoned his law practice to devote himself to his joint passions of astronomy and photography. He took his first photographs of the moon in 1858 and, by 1866, had taken dozens, most with an 11 1/4-inch equatorial refracting telescope he designed and constructed.

    Rutherfurd's observatory and astrophotography studio were located on the grounds of his spacious mansion, on the corner of Second Avenue and East 10th Street in Manhattan. Here's how the building looked a few decades after Rutherfurd’s death:

    Building at Second Avenue at East 10th Street, from 1922
    Second Avenue at East 10th Street, by Irving Underhill, 1922. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID:  1508679


    [For an earlier view, see Old Buildings of New York City (1907).]

    Although it doesn't appear that Rutherfurd photographed the 1866 eclipse or any full moon that year, in 1865, he immortalized the full moon of January 11. The photograph below is one of three large-scale original Rutherfurd lunar photographs in The New York Public Library's Photography Collection. We believe it to be the January 1865 full moon, since the other two, showing the first and last quarters, bear dates from January 1865 and March 1865, respectively.

    The originals are large, about 22 x 20 inches each. Even with this greatly reduced image, I hope you can get an idea of what a truly super moon shone over Manhattan that night.

    Photograph of a supermoon, by Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, probably taken January 11, 1865
    Photograph by Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, probably taken January 11, 1865; NYPL Photography Collection


    A couple decades later, Rutherfurd’s associate, O.G. Mason, described one of his nocturnal photography sessions for the Photographic Section of the American Institute. The talk was published in the Scientific American Supplement, no. 606 (August 13, 1887), pages 9684-9685, under the evocative title “A Voyage to the Moon.”

    I can’t resist quoting Mason's description at length here:

    "Our party consisted of three persons, whom we will designate as numbers one, two, and three.

    At 10:30 P.M. number two entered one of the computing rooms across the lawn and called "time," by reporting the zenith clear and the air still favorable for first-class work, a coincidence averaging about twice a year in New York City.

    Upon this announcement numbers one and three bundle up in heavy clothing as though about to visit the north pole. They know the weather is crisp and cold where the next few hours are to be passed.

    As they enter the door leading to the dome, under which stands the great equatorial, the silence is broken only by the escapement wheel of the tall sidereal clock standing against the western wall, as its heavy pendulum swings to and fro with an accuracy most wonderful.

    No other sound. Not a word is spoken; each known his assigned duty, and to it he gives his undivided attention. All feel that such time is beyond value, and must be utilized to the fullest extent.

    Number one has charge of the telescope. The dome is revolved into position, and a long, narrow section, from base to apex, swung open, leaving a strip of clear sky visible, in the center of which the moon glistens like a disk of burnished silver. The great instrument is swung into approximate position; the driving clock, constructed to run one hour, is wound; and while number one is busy making his final adjustments, we will watch number two, who has charge of the photographic department of the expedition. He has lifted a trap door in the floor near the stone pier, passed down a short ladder, and entered what may well be called a troglodyte’s laboratory, lighted by one small wax candle, as care is necessary to keep the temperature low. After a few minutes the pupils of his eyes are expanded sufficiently to permit seeing the bottles, baths, and dishes required for his work. But we have no time to describe his chemicals or his method of using them.

    Meanwhile number three, the timekeeper, has adjusted the chronograph (in whose record there will be no personal equation), placed his small, dim lights where they will illuminate the clock and the room just enough to see what is going on, and then taken his position, where he can hear distinctly the beat of the long pendulum, as its lower end, terminating in a hair-like wire, swings at each vibration through a glistening drop of mercury, closing the battery current uniting chronograph, clock, and shutter adjustment on the telescope.

    All is now ready for action. Upon a signal being given by number one, a sensitized plate is handed up from the cave, placed in its receptacle at the ocular end of the great instrument, just as it would be put into an ordinary camera.

    The touch of an electric button, and away we go, or rather, we all keep very still.

    The great clock says one, two, three, and the plate holder is opened to the light of the full moon, whose image the great glass eye, fourteen feet away, has condensed to a circle of 1 2/15 inches. The buzz of the chronograph wheels is just audible as it records the time in hundredths of a second. The heavy pendulum has beat one, and the long focused eye is closed, the plate holder is returned to the troglodyte, who reaches from below to receive it, as he hands another up.

    And so the work goes on until early morning, when the weary and thoroughly chilled party seek rest in a comfortable temperature and among surroundings which their animal natures deem far more enjoyable."

    I hope you have enjoyed this voyage through time and space, to the moon over Manhattan, just as she appeared to an inventive scientist's eyes in 1865. 

     


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    Tompkins Square Library

    The ​East Village has​​ ​a unique and inspiring history​, including a long tradition of creative activity.​ ​It​'s amazing to​ ​reflect on the spectrum of ​​artists, writers, and performers ​who started out in the neighborhood before moving on to a higher level of professional activity—and, in many instances, a considerable level of fame and success.​

    Although the East Village has changed over the years, the bohemian spirit persists. So too does its sense of community, a caring environment​ that supports individuals​ ​of various interests and persuasions​,​ ​whose​​ ​creative work is still in the​​ ​process of emerging, in getting to the next level.​

    ​Wit​h​ this dynamic in mind, we're very pleased ​​to call your attention to a project taking place at the Tompkins Square Library.​ Since September 2017​,​ we have hosted the Writing/Performance Lab, a monthly event​ ​​facilitated by Armand Ruhlman, a very grassroots​-oriented ​and devoted patron of the library.

    The ​intention​​ ​of the program is to provide artists and creatively oriented community members ​the opportunity to present and develop ​their work in a workshop atmosphere.

    Ruhlman shares his East Village inspirations and experiences: 

    “I've been living on East 9th Street (near the corner of Ave. B) in the East Village for quite some time… since the early 1980's… right across from the former P.S. 64 school building. During the 1980s and 1990s, the school building—which had more or less been abandoned by the city—served as the location for numerous community activities, including arts and activist-related events, plays, shows, presentations, and performances.

    At the same time, the surrounding neighborhood was populated by many artists and creatively oriented people. People who had moved to the area not only to seek low-cost housing (it was relatively low cost back then, at least in the early 1980s), but also to feel inspired by the creative atmosphere… the building was unofficially called Charas El Bohio, so named by the group of local artists and activists from the neighborhood who had worked to bring P.S. 64 back to life.​

    ​Looking back on that time period of the 1980s and 1990s, I'd say it was a more innocent and simple time in the neighborhood, where artists sought to create, rehearse, perform, and present their work to audiences. ​I remember that the P.S. 64 school building was constantly filled with artistic activities on a daily basis, as people filled the building at all hours of the day and night.

    Out of that milieu came many creative and artistic efforts, including some of my own theater activities. The old school building—along with the presence of so much activity—significantly contributed to the viability of the neighborhood and surely helped create the artistic/bohemian identity of the area."

    Unfortunately, the P.S. 64 school building, although still standing, is no longer available for use by the community. This loss has been deeply felt by the neighborhood. The previous era that Ruhlman describes, in which the community enjoyed access to P.S. 64, will certainly be remembered for many years to come as a special time that may never happen again (but who knows?). The story of El Bohio compelled us to create something similar and inspire our community members to share their work and make others know about them.

    Upcoming Writing/Performance Lab events

    The Writing/Performance Lab will take place Thursdays, 5:30 PM-7 PM on February 15, March 15, April 19, May 17, and June 21, at the Tompkins Square Library, 331 East 10th Street, downstairs in the Community Room.

    It's free and open to the public. You're invited to present excerpts of your work—written pieces, performance pieces, spoken-word texts, etc.—and receive brief feedback. Or, you can attend simply as audience members, to watch and listen.

    So, tell your friends and neighbors, and we'll see you there at the Writing/Performance lab!

     


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

    Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Google Play

     

    Cover of The Square and the towerWhat do Mark Zuckerberg and Martin Luther have in common? More than you think, says historian and political commentator Niall Ferguson in his new book The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook. Ferguson was at The New York Public Library to speak with Gillian Tett, U.S. Managing Editor of the Financial Times, about the power and limitations of networks throughout history.

    "The public sphere has structurally changed in such a way that Facebook has become the biggest and most powerful content publisher in history," says Ferguson, "and yet Facebook is regulated as if it were just a tech company with no liability for the content that appears on the site." Tett and Ferguson discuss the differences between "real" networks and virtual ones, and what we might be able to expect from these networks in the future.

     
    We'd love to know more about you, our listeners! Take our quick podcast survey to tell us what you like, what you don't like, and what you want to hear more of in the future!

     

    How to listen to The New York Public Library Podcast

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

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

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

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

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


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    Cover of the Chapbook Secret ID, by Alice Notley
    Secret I D, by Alice Notley

    As part of an ongoing effort to provide NYPL patrons the opportunity to discover the thriving literary community that exists outside big publishing houses, we collect chapbooks—small, paper-covered booklets that were initially popular in early Modern Europe—at The New York Public Library. This month, we showcase the chapbook series Catenary Press.

    Published in Walla Walla, Washington and in Brooklyn, these chapbooks are designed by artist and poet Rawaan Alkhatib. We had the pleasure of speaking with Catenary Press founder and co-editor Rob Schlegel about the press and their process.

    What is the Catenary Press?

    The Catenary Press is dedicated to designing and constructing handmade chapbooks by new and established poets.

    What inspired you to start this press?

    The press began out of a desire to publish long poems and sequences. We've since expanded our focus to simply publish the best poetry we can find.  

    Cover of the chapbook Gestures, by Heather Tone
    Gestures , by Heather Tone

    Why have you chosen to focus on chapbooks? 

    One very practical reason is that our hands can actually do the work of sewing chapbooks. The handmade allows us complete control over the design and feel of each finished object, and we're totally committed to making beautiful handheld vessels of exhilarating poetry.

    How do you find and select the work that you publish? 

    We read solicited and, less often, unsolicited work by new and established writers, and then share that work with each other.

    Can you choose a favorite poem or two that you've published?  

    The poem "Ash Wednesday," part of Ode Days Ode by Hanna Sanghee Park, and the poem "Combinations," ("Sun marries clouds..." to "An apple married air...") from Gestures by Heather Tone

    Tell me about the process of designing the books. How do you make your cover choices, and how do the covers relate to the work?

    We employ fairly uniform practices for each book's interior. The covers, however, are all unique and individually designed by co-editor, Rawaan Alkhatib, who maintains an uncanny sense of how a cover can inform what's behind it. Rawaan's vision is a major factor in each book's success.

    Give us some hints about what’s next. Teaser lines from the next chapbook?

    Cover of the chapbook Sous les yeux, by Bridget Talone
    Sous les yeux, by Bridget Talone

    Here are excerpts from our two most recent chapbooks:

    It claimed me like an ordinary, primitive fist.
    In our great cities, completely preserved,
    a pixilating voice began to speak and I inclined
    my head for it. There is scarcely any other matter.
    Pale candles in my hair that wouldn't light.

    I never knew when something I heard said
    moved me because it was wise or totally insane.
    But each slid a knife in me. Belief, like love,
    mattered less once it entered you. In a place
    I cannot reach. You put your voice inside mine.

    -from "The Secret Language of Flowers," featured in Bridget Talone's Sous Les Yeux

    Cover of the chapbook Hegel's Mother, by Rod Smith
    Hegel's mother/ Rod Smith

    To undo the foolishness
    of cut life & its rugged
    display-devices, the rollicking
    mutual pettiness & kind,
    inaugurated, spinning films
    of merit, of lies, of guys,
    inside flatware combing themselves
    w/ eyes — there's a hard nose
    on the face of life & a willingness
    to blow it — there's an example
    of what it means, & another, &
    another. The sidelong laced
    abracadabra boxes our miffed
    trilling. Jump to then &
    again the fame of matter
    is fulfilled.

    -from Rod Smith's Hegel's Mother

    We hope you enjoyed this short interview, and find a poem or two from this series that piques your interest. For more on Catenary Press, here are links to the Catenary Press publications in our collection:

    Secret I D  by Alice Notley   

    Sous les yeux  by Bridget Talone  

    Hegel's Mother by Rod Smith    

    Gestures by Heather Tone    

    Polis by Micah Bateman 

    Decay constant by Margaret Ross

    Foyer states by Jennifer Moxley 
     

    Additionally, there are two works from Catenary Press editors in the NYPL collection: Rob Schlegel’s collection of poetry entitled January Machine and Daniel Poppick’s The Police. You can read both of them in the Rose Main Reading Room.  

    This post was co-written with Miriam Gianni, General Research Division, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

     


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    Something big has come to New York! The 60s: The Years that Changed America is a citywide,  eight month-long festival that marks a watershed decade in America’s history. The next time you visit the Shop (The New York Public Library Shop, located inside the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street), be sure to see the Library’s exhibit You Say You Want a Revolution: Remembering the 60s. 

    Discover the counterculture of this pivotal era—from communal living and forays into expanded consciousness, to tensions around race, politics, feminism, sexuality, and the environment. Items on display, drawn exclusively from the Library’s collections, include footage of the 1969 Woodstock Festival and posters used in protest against the Vietnam War.

    As with any revolution, you need to show up prepared. So, the Shop has selected six items to get you ready to rise up!

    1. A tote for all of your resistance gear

    Tote bag with activist pins

    The Shop is excited to unveil our newest tote, commemorating the You Say You Want a Revolution exhibit. This groovy, colorful bag is covered in images of buttons and pins from the counterculture era, like “Give peace a chance” and “All you need is love.”

    Get yours here!
     

    2. A story for feminists of all ages

    Cover of the book Feminist Baby

    She likes both pink and blue! Meet the unstoppableFeminist Baby in this refreshing, rhyming board book about a girl who's not afraid to choose her own clothes and do her own thing—making as much noise as possible along the way! For all humans, ages 2 and up.

    Follow her feminist adventures!
     

    3. A tote with a straightforward message

    We Should All Be Feminists tote bag

    Less is more! This tote’s design is for the minimalist feminist: emblazoned with the title of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s timely essay, "We Should All Be Feminists" on one side, and NYPL on the reverse. Simple, no frills, powerful.

    Tote it here!
     

    4. A beautiful ring with a reminder

    Spiraled ring with quote The future depends on what you to day etched onto it.

    “The future depends on what you do today.” Mahatma Gandhi knew it, and so did the activists of the 1960s and beyond. Hand-forged, lightweight, and very comfortable, this coiled ring fits sizes 4-9. Chocolate and Steel handcrafts their jewelry in a solar-powered studio in Southern California and are committed to sustainable modern design that embodies a cheerful, adventurous spirit. Available in sterling silver and gold.

    Get your ring here!
     

    5. A can-do puzzle

    Jigsaw puzzle of the updated Rosie the Riveter illustration on the cover of The New Yorker magazine

    Featuring The New Yorker cover art by Abigail Gray Swartz, this puzzle will let you assemble a modernized Rosie the Riveter poster. This take on a classic World War II poster features a woman of color posed just like Rosie, wearing the iconic pink hat of the Women’s March.

    Get your puzzle on!
     

    6. Required reading for the revolution

    Covers from three books about the 1960s, including The 60s, The Story of a Decade.

    Ready to add more books to your to-be-read stack? Cozy up in your reading nook with literature from the counterculture:

    • Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion (1968). A nonfiction portrait of America―particularly California―in the 60s. Didion focuses on such subjects as growing up a girl in California, the nature of good and evil, and the essence of the “Summer of Love” in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture.

    • The Portable Sixties Reader, edited by Ann Charters. This thorough volume is broken up into thematic chapters, covering the myriad movements of the decade: civil rights, anti-Vietnam War, free speech, counterculture, drugs, the movement into inner space, the Beats and other fringe literature, Black arts, the Women’s movement, and the environmental movement.

    • The 60s: The Story of a Decade, featuring real-time accounts of these years of turmoil. The assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., American troops in the jungles of Vietnam, and the Six-Day War are all brought to immediate and profound life in these pages.
       

    Receive 10% off your order when you sign up for our newsletter! You’ll also get exclusive offers and updates right in your inbox!

    You Say You Want a Revolution: Remembering the 60s is on view in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building’s D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall through September 1, 2018.


    Other ways to "join the revolution:"

    Artifacts of Change through April 29 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center

    Power in Print through March 31 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

     


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    Reading Blackout

    It’s Black History Month! To celebrate, many readers are declaring a #ReadingBlackout—reading only books by Black authors for the month. (The hashtag reportedly originated with BookTuber Denise D. Cooper, who's reading only Black authors for a full year.)

    So we’ve picked out one book by and/or about African Americans to recommend for each day of February. Black authors wrote some of our favorite works in the literary canon, but we wanted to make this list contemporary—all books published within the last five years—and offer up some books for readers of every age. We also included a range of nonfiction, memoir, literary fiction, and genre fiction (with science-fiction, romance, graphic novels, and more) to properly showcase the diversity of African American authors writing today.

    This list is just the beginning, and by no means comprehensive! Tell us some of your must-reads in the comments.

    Adults

    Back to Your Love by Kianna Alexander: A sweet romance about a successful doctor going back to her hometown for a wedding, and maybe finding love of her own.

    White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson: A readable, compelling history of African Americans written by an Emory professor. 

    The Mothers by Brit Bennett: A critically acclaimed debut novel about secrets, friendship, love, and growing up.

    Ghost Summer by Tananarive Due: Dark short stories about ghosts real and imagined.

    Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones: Beautifully written, riveting fiction about a bigamist with two families, one secret and one public, set in 1980s Atlanta.

    Pleasantville by Attica Locke: A fast-paced thriller about a lawyer fighting his last case, and becoming tangled in a web of politics and scandal.

    The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation by Natalie Moore: Longform journalism at its personal best. 

    Charcoal Joe (or any of the Easy Rawlins mysteries) by Walter Mosley: Easy Rawlins is an unforgettable detective, and Mosely is a master of the genre. 

    Everfairby Nisi Shawl: Steampunk at its most creative. An alternate history about a utopia that's a safe haven for people from the Congo and escaped slaves.

    The Noble Hustleby Colson Whitehead: You might have read his fiction, but have you read his brilliant half-memoir-half-investigative-exploration into the world of high-stakes competitive poker?

    Bunk by Kevin Young: The subtitle says it all: "The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News."

    Vengeance by Zane: Urban erotica with an unforgettable main character: a pop star hellbent on revenge.

     

    YA

    The Blacktop series by LJ Alonge: Each installment in this basketball series features a different player. Easy to read and hard to put down.

    The Black Panther series by Ta-Nehisi Coates (plus World of Wakanda by Roxane Gay): Who can resist this comic—in book or movie form?

    Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor: The second book in a beautifully creative fantasy series about a magical teen who's trying to save humanity.

    X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz: The story of Malcolm X's childhood, co-authored by his daughter.

    Now or Never! 54th Massachusetts Infantry's War to End Slavery by Ray Anthony Shepard: The fascinating biography of two Black soldiers in the Civil War who fought against not only the Confederates, but also the Union Army that refused to compensate them fairly for their service.

    Dear Martin by Nic Stone: The moving story of police brutality and coming of age as a young Black man. Perfect if you liked Long Way Down or The Hate U Give.

    Calling My Name by Liara Tamani: Lyrical and poetic, this book is a series of vignettes pieced together to form a story of spirituality and self-discovery.

    Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson:  A compelling story of privilege and friendship.

     

    Kids

    It All Comes Down to Thisby Karen English: Twelve-year-old Sophie is learning to navigate life in 1965 Los Angeles, and it's getting more complicated by the moment.

    One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissanceby Nikki Grimes: Poetry that creates new remixes of some of the most famous African American poets.

    Midnight without a Moonby Linda Williams Jackson: The story of a girl living with her grandparents on a cotton plantation in the 1950s. Powerful historical fiction for middle-graders.

    All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson: A picture book that explains the history of Juneteenth via elegant text and watercolor illustrations.

    Princess Hairby Sharee Miller: Every kind of hair is princess hair! This sweet picture book showcases girls with Afros, wraps, and more.

    Calico Girlby Jerdine Nolen: Beautiful middle-grade fiction about a family of slaves during the Civil War. 

    A Night Out with Mamaby Quvenzhané Wallis: What's it like to walk the red carpet? Wallis, who was nominated for an Academy Award, tells all.

    The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamondby Brenda Woods: Growing up biracial isn't easy, but Violet is determined to find out more about her father and her own identity.

    ---

    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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    Cover of the book What Momma Left Me, by Renee Watson

    Siblings Serenity and Danny are ravaged by their mother's death, attempting to fill the holes in their hearts with something, anything to alleviate the crippling pain. Luckily, their family takes them in, and their grandparents arrange for them to receive personal counseling.

    Serenity finds Maria, a new best friend at her new school and church. Danny finds Jay and Ricky… and hustling and selling drugs.

    Following their father's suicide, Danny destroys the family television and gets into a fight at school with a boy who said something about him and his sister being orphans. Serenity struggles with Maria's solicitous attitude towards former frenemy, Lisa, who gave her an expensive birthday gift. Serenity ultimately pines for Maria and becomes lonely.

    There is some light for Serenity, however. In school, the 8th grader learns about Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and other influential African-Americans, finding that her race and experience are not deleted from the American history books being used to teach her. The push-and-pull on the girl between her boyfriend, Jay, and what she knows is right, leaves her off-balance.

    What Momma Left Me by Renee Watson, 2010
     

    Another brilliant work by Watson. What Momma Left Me gives readers an inside look at the ugly world of fatal domestic violence and kids facing poverty, pushing drugs, and getting killed.


    Related Links:

    allourhistoriesnyc.com

    Books about poverty

    Renee Watson's website

     


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    We want to hear from you! Please share your thoughts with us in this short survey: www.nypl.org/podcastsurvey

    Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Google Play

    It's World Read Aloud Day, and Gwen and Frank are hearing voices... from ghosts and robots. But they still manage to keep it together to recommend some books and play an extra round of their guessing game. 

    Be sure to check out our virtual storytime on Facebook, when six of our children's librarians read their favorite children's books aloud to celebrate this day dedicated to the joy and power of reading aloud.

    What We're Reading AND Listening to Now

    Audiobooks:

    Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (166 different voices!)

    Lincoln in the Bardo

    Why Not Me?by Mindy Kaling
     
    Defy the Starsby Claudia Gray
     
     

    Books:

    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

    The Baby-sitters Club Super Special #2: Babysitters' Summer Vacation!by Ann M. Martin

    Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

     

    Non-Book Recommendations

    Frank: The Shape of Water

     

    Gwen: The TV series and books of Charlie and Lola

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

    Find us online @NYPLRecommends, the Bibliofile blog, and nypl.org. Or email us at nyplrecommends@nypl.org!

    ---

    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

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

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

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

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


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    Army veteran Keith Westler is fulfilling a lifelong career goal by working as a pediatric nurse at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Thanks to the  assistance of professional staff from the Department of Labor, American Job Centers, and the Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program, Keith achieved his career goals when his previous career came to an unexpected end. 

    You can learn about Keith's story in Vet Lands Dream Job as a Pediatric Nurse, a Department of Labor blog post written by Rhonda Burke, public affairs specalist for the Labor Department in Chicago.

    American Job Centers across the country provide veterans with one-on-one assistance. Visit www.veterans.gov for more information or call 1-877-872-5627 to find your local center.

    Employment Programs

    The Cooper Union Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers at CAMBA assists underemployed or unemployed immigrant engineers and IT professionals gain 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.

    Now available: Free certified career training as an Emergency Medical Technician for high school graduates interested in a career in healthcare. One of the fastest-growing industries in NYC is now recruiting for classes starting February 5, 2018. After four weeks of free work readiness and preparation training, enter the EMT training. Includes one-on-one support, tutoring, and support to complete the program, plus Metro card, internship, and text book support. Job placement support available when you complete the program successfully.

    For more information, please email sandramorales@cdi-ny.org.

    Queensborough Community College (QCC, CUNY), in partnership with the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare, is recruiting for the Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) training program. This free training program will prepare participants to take the IC&RC CRPA certification exam, apply to one of New York's two certification boards, and work as a CRPA. The program will also provide case-management and employment services to ensure that participants receive the support needed to successfully complete the program and begin working as a CRPA.

    For more information, please contact Guiseppina Troia at 718-281-5535.

    Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp. (NMIC) offers free, three-week training for job seekers: ServSafe Food Handling Certificate, NYC Food Protection License, Customer Service Certificate, Employment Readiness Training, and Job Placement Assistance.

    Open registration is Monday through Thursday, 9 AM-12 PM, call 212-453-5397. NMIC is at 45 Wadsworth Avenue, NY, NY 10033. Take the A Train to 175th Street or the 1 Train to 181st Street.

    Project Renewal offers free Advanced Basic Skills and HSE (High School Equivalency) Preparation Classes throughout the year. Classes are ongoing, available Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and evenings. This open enrollment accepts students ages 18 and older.  For information and sign-up, please contact Shinique James at nexstep@projectrenewal.org.

    Good Shepherd Services: Rebound Program is an innovative work readiness program that uses basketball to help youth focus on their future, and prepare for careers and college. The program targets young people ages 17 to 24, who are either unemployed or disconnected from school and community engagement, or who have been involved in the justice system.

    This sports-based program prepares youth to become work-ready by developing interview skills, proper work communication, professionalism, and time management skills. Program participants attend workshops that build these skills, and also focus on teamwork, conflict resolution, and commitment.   

    For more information, call 718-243-1528.

    NYC Career Center Events and Recruiting

    Overcoming Invisible Barriers Workshop: Monday, February 5, 2018, 12:30 PM-2:30 PM at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd floor, Flushing, NY 11355. This workshop is for all interested job seekers and dislocated workers to identify and reduce barriers to finding a job, such as age or lack of goals.  

    Job Finding Club: Tuesday , February 6, 2018, 2 PM-4 PM at Flushing Workforce 1  Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd floor, Flushing, NY 11355. This  job club is for all interested job seekers and dislocated workers to form a weekly support group focusing on obtaining  job goal(s).

    Safewatch Security Group, Inc. will present a recruitment on Thursday, February 8, 2018, 11 AM-3 PM,  for 10 security guard openings, at Brooklyn Workforce 1 Career Center, 250 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.  By appointment only.  Must bring the following documents (copies are acceptable): An up-to-date resume, Social Security card, 8-Hour Training Certificate (up-to-date), 16-Hour Training Certificate (up-to-date), Valid NYS Security Guard  License, photo identification. Note: A driver's license is a plus, but not required.

    Spanish Speaking Resume Writing Workshop: Thursday, February 8, 2018, 12:30 PM-2:30 PM at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd floor, Flushing, NY 11355. This workshop is for all interested job seekers and dislocated workers to organize, revise, and update their resume. 

    Transferring Skills Workshop: Thursday, February 8, 2018, 12:30 PM-2:30 PM at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd floor, Flushing, NY 11355. This workshop is for all interested job seekers and dislocated workers to identify their transferable skills and target them to new jobs.

    Basic Resume Writing  Workshop: Thursday, February 8, 2018, 1:30 PM-3 PM, Brooklyn Workforce 1 Career Center, 250 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Participants will learn about the purpose of a resume,  and chronological and combination resumes, and select the appropriate type for their specific needs. 

    Acing the Interview Workshop: Thursday, February 8, 2018, 2:00 PM-4:30 PM, at Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 East Fordham  Road, 8th Floor, Bronx, NY 10458. This workshop will help job seekers prepare for interviews, demonstrate how to conduct oneself during the interview, and review the follow-up required to get a job. (Duration: two-and-a-half hours).

    Job Zone Workshop:  Friday, February 9, 2018, 9 AM-11 AM at Flushing  Workforce 1 Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd floor, Flushing, NY 11355. This workshop is for all interested job seekers and dislocated workers to log in and access JZ modules. Must have ny.gov ID, and be able to use a computer.

    Job Postings and Assistance

    Job Postings at New York City Workforce 1.Job Search Central

    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 info@cmpny.org, 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 February 4  become available.

     


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    Banzai Babe Ruth book cover

    Hey again, everyone! A super, belated Happy New Year to one and all! 2017 is officially in the books, a year of many great feats during the Major League Baseball season. We saw the Houston Astros bring the state of Texas their first World Series title, and the Los Angeles Dodgers play in the Fall Classic for the first time in 29 years. The Cleveland Indians rattled off an American League-record 22-game win streak, while rookies Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger set new rookie home run records in the American League and National League, respectively. 

    Once the 2017 playoffs wrapped up, the hot stove season got underway… except it's been anything but hot. There have been far fewer noteworthy transactions this winter, with spring training just weeks away. Plenty of big name free agents are still on the market, and there are many theories as to why this offseason has been relatively dead compared to winters past.

    However, one prized free agent was reeled in back in December by the Los Angeles Angels: Japanese sensation, pitcher-outfielder, Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani will arrive this spring with ungodly levels of hype and fanfare, thanks to his unique makeup. He will be watched quite closely by fans everywhere beginning on day one. Ohtani is just the latest Japanese player to make the jump from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in Japan to Major League Baseball. Let's take a closer look at others who have done the same!

    1. Masanori Murakami

    Murakami was the first Japanese-born player ever to play stateside in the big leagues. He arrived in 1964 through a sort-of "player exchange" agreement between the San Francisco Giants organization and NPB's Nankai Hawks (known today as the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks). Murakami spent most of the 1964 season pitching sub-2.00 ERA ball for one of the Giants' minor league affiliates before receiving a cup of coffee when the big club expanded its roster in September.

    He pitched well in nine appearances, leading to a larger role with the team in 1965. After pitching that season to the tune of a 3.75 ERA, with above-average marks in both the walks-per-nine-innings and strikeouts-per-nine-innings columns, Murakami returned to NPB in 1966, and remained there until his retirement in 1982.

    2. Hideo Nomo

    Here is the "guy everybody knows" answer. Even if you don't know Hideo Nomo (inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014), he was a major pioneer. After Murakami wrapped up his brief Major League career in 1965, no Japanese players made their way to the States for 30 years, until Nomo made his arrival.

    Bleeding Dodger Blue for Tommy Lasorda's LA squad, Nomo absolutely thrived in his rookie MLB season. Posting a 2.54 ERA over 28 starts, and leading the league in shutouts, strikeouts, and strikeouts per nine innings, Nomo took home the 1995 NL Rookie of the Year Award (the fourth of five straight wins in that category for the Dodger franchise).

    While 1995 was far and away Nomo's best season, followed by a solid 1996,  Nomo often had trouble with his command, and ultimately finished his Major League career with a pedestrian-looking 4.24 ERA. Nonetheless, Nomo blazed a trail that's still burning to this day. Ever since Nomo proved he could pitch with the best in the USA in 1995, Japanese-born players have been consistently making their way to Major League Baseball. As of the 2017 season, 55 players born in Japan have played in the big leagues here, a number that continues to rise, with Nomo's arrival leading the way! 

    3. Tsuyoshi Shinjo

    A charismatic outfielder best known for his time with the New York Mets, Shinjo was the first Japanese-born position player to take the field in the United States. He spent the 2001 and 2003 campaigns patrolling Shea Stadium's outfield for the Mets, spending the season in between with the San Francisco Giants. 

    Though he didn't have a particularly long American career, Shinjo is the subject of some notable factoids from his tenure here in the U.S. In addition to being the first Japanese-born position player to come overseas, Shinjo was also the first Japanese-born player to play in, and record a hit in, the World Series, going 1-for-6 during the 2002 World Series. He is the last player to wear #5 for the Mets before future captain David Wright was given the number upon his call-up in 2004 (Wright will undoubtedly be the last Met to ever wear that number when he decides to hang up his spikes.)

    Another interesting fact about Shinjo comes from the Braves-Mets game that took place at Shea Stadium on September 21, 2001, the first major sporting event in the city after the 9/11 terror attacks. Catcher Mike Piazza came to the plate  with a runner on base in the bottom of the 8th, and the Mets trailing, 2-1. Piazza smoked an 0-1 Steve Karsay offering way over the wall in left-center to put the Mets ahead 3-2. That ended up the game's final score, sending the New York faithful home happy.

    So where does Shinjo play a part? The Mets' only other run in that game came off his bat, a 4th-inning sacrifice fly that tied the game, and set the stage for Piazza's game-winning heroics. An important note in a game no one will ever forget.

    4. So Taguchi

    This popular St. Louis Cardinals outfielder must have taken note of Shinjo and said "Hey, I want to do that too!" A year after Shinjo's 2001 rookie season with the Mets, Taguchi signed with the Cardinals in 2002. After rising through the minors that season, Taguchi debuted with the Cardinals in June of that year, ending the season with 15 at-bats and six hits.

    His playing time with the Cardinals increased each season, with 2005 Taguchi's best season in the majors, finishing with a .288/.322/.412 slash line over 424 plate appearances. Arguably, Taguchi's most memorable moment in Cardinal duds came during the 2006 National League Championship Series against the Mets. In the 9th inning of Game 2, Taguchi crushed a solo home run into the left field bullpen off Mets closer Billy Wagner, putting St. Louis up 7-6, in a game they'd hang on to win. That game and home run proved huge for the 83-win Cardinals, who squeaked past the Mets in a 7-game series, and then won the 2006 World Series against the Detroit Tigers. In no small part, thanks to Taguchi's Game 2 heroics!

    5. Micheal Nakamura 

    Born to a Japanese father and an Australian mother, Nakamura was one of four Japanese-born Major League Baseball players who played in the U.S. prior to playing in NPB. Before his debut, Nakamura participated in two Summer Olympic Games for the Australian national baseball team, 1996 in Atlanta and 2000 in Sydney.

    After spending 1998 through 2002 in the Minnesota Twins farm system, Nakamura made his major league debut in 2003. He spent the 2004 season with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he is best known for surrendering then-New York Yankee Gary Sheffield's 400th career home run. It was only after the 2004 season that Nakamura returned to his native country and play in NPB. While there, Nakamura pitched for eight seasons as a reliever, wrapping up his career with a 2.61 ERA and 104 saves in 288 Nippon Professional League games.
     

    For more on Nippon Professional Baseball's roots and how the organization's earliest ballplayers associated with American players, check out Banzai Babe Ruth by Robert K. Fitts. For more baseball books, please visit our catalog. 

     

     


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    Study Black History
     "ASALH" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1920 - 2000.  Image ID 57281859

    February is Black History Month! In honor of this important month The New York Public Library has created this list of online resources to help you explore all aspects of Black heritage—from genealogy to LGBT history to current popular culture. These online resources are accessible to anyone with a  New York Public Library card.  

    1. Genealogy

    Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1874The New York Public Library provides many databases to help you with your genealogical research, such as Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest. However, a great resource for researching African American ancestry is the Freedman's Bank Records. The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company was incorporated in 1865 by an act signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The purpose of the company was to create an institution where former slaves and their dependents could place and save their money. Twenty-nine of the thirty-seven branches of the bank had records that have survived and been digitized. 

    2. Historical Newspapers and Magazines

    Do it Loud, vol .1, issue 1, 1970. From Independent Voices
    Essence, vol .1, issue 8, 1970. From the Women's Magazine Archive

    African American Newspapers: The 19th CenturyThis full text database includes nine rare African American newspapers from the 1800s. In this database you can read Freedom's Journal, the first African American newspaper in the United States, as well as Provincial Freeman, a newspaper founded in Canada for African Americans who escaped slavery or chose to leave the United States.

    African American Newspapers, 1827-1998This database includes over 270 newspapers from 35 states, including titles such as Alaska Spotlight and Afro-Hawaii News.

    ProQuest African American Historical Newspapers. Explore African American historical newspapers from major cities from 1912 to 2005 including the New York Amsterdam News and the Chicago Defender.

    Independent VoicesThis database includes independent magazines and journals from the later half of the 20th century, with strong coverage of the Black Power movement and the post-Vietnam era.

    Essence Magazine in the Women's Magazine ArchiveRead the first issues of Essence magazine and their coverage of film, literature, politics and culture, from 1970-2005.

    3. Current Magazines 

    Image result for black enterprise cover
    Black Enterprise, Sept./Oct. Issue 2017. From Flipster

    Flipster lets you download or read online current issues of popular magazines such as, Ebony, Essence, and Black Enterprise.

    4. Historical Research

    Blacklisted African Americans
    "Blacklisted African Americans." From African American Experience

    African America, Communists, and the National Negro Congress, 1933-1947. This database includes digitized archives and manuscripts from the National Negro Congress, an organization established in 1936 to "secure the right of the Negro people to be free from Jim Crowism, segregation, discrimination, lynching, and mob violence" and "to promote the spirit of unity and cooperation between Negro and white people." This digitital archive includes over 98,600 images.

    African American Experience. This full-text digital resource explores the history and culture of African Americans, as well as the greater Black Diaspora. This database is a great resource for middle school, high school, and undergraduate researchers.

    Fight for Racial Justice and the Civil Rights CongressThis archive, from NYPL's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, documents the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) which was established in 1946.

    NAACP Papers. This fully-searchable database of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)'s archives contains nearly two million pages of internal memos, legal briefings, and direct action summaries from national, legal, and branch offices.

    ProQuest Civil War Era (1840-1865). This database includes more than 2,000 pamphlets and eight newspaper titles for the years 1840-1865, covering a vast range of Civil War Era research topics reflecting points of view of Northern, Southern, and Border States.

    Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & LawThis database brings together all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world, as well as materials on free African-Americans in the colonies and the U.S. before 1870. Included are every statute passed by every state and colony, all federal statutes, all reported state and federal cases on slavery, and hundreds of books and pamphlets on the subject.

    Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive.  A historical archive of several million cross-searchable pages of books, serials, supreme court records and briefs, and key manuscript collections from the United States, Great Britain, and France concerning debates of slavery and abolition, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the Institution of Slavery, and the Age of Emancipation.

    5. Scholarly Research

    Millie and Christine McKoy, Leeds, England, 1874.
    Millie and Christine McKoy, Leeds, England, 1874. Getty Images. From the Black Studies Center.

    African American Historical Serials CollectionThis database documents the history of African American life and religious organizations from materials published between 1829 and 1922.  The archive includes 170 titles from 75 different institutions.

    African American Periodicals, 1825-1995. This database includes over 170 periodicals, published in 26 states, by and about African Americans, such as academic and political journals, commercial magazines, institutional newsletters, organizations' bulletins, and annual reports. 

    Black Studies Center.This fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies includes scholarly essays, periodical literature, historical newspaper articles, reference books, dissertations and more.

    Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience This resource, developed in cooperation with NYPL's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, provides an encyclopedic treatment of the formation and development of Black Studies. This database provides a core collection of primary and secondary resources in Black Studies, including full-text articles, book chapters, dissertations, reference materials, timelines, images and multimedia.

    6. LGBTQ

    Black Lesbian Newsletter November 1982 Vol. I Issue. 5. From the Archives of Sexuality and Gender.

    LGBT Life with Full Text. This database provides complete indexing and abstracting of content related to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender studies in over 230 journals, magazines, and newspapers. Users can access publications such as In Life: A Black Gay Anthology and Fighting Words: Personal Essays by Black Gay Men. 

    Archives of Sexuality and Gender. This online archive contains 18 digitized archival collections exploring LGBTQ history and culture since 1940. Patrons can access independent LGBTQ publications such as, the Black Lesbian Newsletter and the National Coalition of Black Gays.

    The New York Public Library provides more than 500 online research options, 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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    To celebrate Black History Month, The NYPL Podcast compiled a list of our favorite episodes featuring some of our country's most influential Black authors, artists, and activists. These conversations and interviews reflect the powerful legacy of Black literature, music, food, journalism, and more.

    Bok covers and headshots of Angela Davis, Kevin Young, Janet Mock, Toni Morrison

    You can find all of our episodes on The New York Public Library Podcast show page.

    Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Google Play

     

    Toni Morrison and Angela Davis

    Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison came to NYPL in 2010 for a conversation with activist and author Angela Davis. Morrison and Davis discussed Frederick Douglass, education, and liberation.

     

    Kevin Young

    Executive Director of the Schomburg and poetry editor of The New Yorker, discussed his newest book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News.

     

    Janet Mock

    Writer, activist, and podcast host Janet Mock and Lisa Lucas, the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, discussesd Mock's second memoir, Surpassing Certainty: What my twenties taought me—everything from Mock’s time in the publishing industry to her work in a Honolulu strip club, to the influence of writers like Maya Angelou and Zora Neale Hurston. 

     

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Macarthur Genius Grant winner and national correspondent for The Atlantic  sat down with Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Director Emeritus of the Schomburg,  in the Fall of 2015 after the launch of Between the World and Me, which was the most checked out book of 2017 at NYPL.

     

    Raoul Peck

    The filmmaker spoke about James Baldwin, the focus of his groundbreaking documentary I Am Not Your Negro at the Schomburg Center with Kevin Young and LIVE from the NYPL's Paul Holdengräber.

     

    Timothy B. Tyson and John Edgar Wideman

    Timothy B. Tyson, author of The Blood of Emmet Till  joined John Edgar Wideman, author of Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File in a conversation with professor Nell Irvin Painter.

     

    Chimamanda Adichie and Zadie Smith

    On the heels of the blockbuster success of her novel, Americanah, Adichie sat down with Zadie Smith at the Schomburg  to discuss race, feminism, and finding one’s identity in a globalized world.

     

    Jelani Cobb

    New Yorker staff writer and Columbia Journalism School professor Jelani Cobb delivered a lecture on politics, journalism, and history entitled "The Half-Life of Freedom." Part 1: "The Media and Alternative Facts."

     

    Nikki Giovanni and Joy-Ann Reid

    The titan of American poetry talked about her latest collection,  A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter, with Joy-Ann Reid, the host of MSNBC's AM Joy.

     

    James McBride

    Musician and author James McBride, discussed his book, Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul. He was joined by journalist and author Philip Gourevitch for a conversation on the tensions and contradictions of the American experience: between North and South, black and white, rich and poor.

     

    Jesmyn Ward

    The National Book Award–winning author spoke at the Schomburg  about her most recent novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing. She read excerpts and was joined by Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation.

     

    Jessica B Harris & Carla Hall

    The James Beard Award–winning food historian and cookbook writer told stories from her memoir, My Soul Looks Back, with chef and co-host of ABC's The Chew, Carla Hall.

     

    Timbaland

    Renowned music producer Timbaland talked about his memoir, The Emperor of Sound  with New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 2015.