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    Even before Dewey the Small-Town Library Cat hit the scene, feline friends held a special place in many librarians' hearts. Cuddling up with a cat and a book is an ideal state for many of us (although we're also equal-opportunity pet lovers! We love our literary dogs, too, and probably birds and lizards and snakes and guinea pigs...).

    woman holding cats

    So, in the spirit of feline companionship, we asked our NYPL book experts: which books star your favorite literary cats? Here's what they said.

    Fantastical Felines

    Catwings, in which Ursula LeGuin writes about the adventures of cats who were born with wings. I have no idea why this isn’t an animated series with plush dolls and t-shirts and fan cons with cosplay cat ears and wings. —Judd Karlman, Pelham Bay

    What’s better than a cat who’s a celestial being with purple eyes and sassy attitude? My favorite cat is Faithful in In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce and then reappears again as Pounce in the Beka Cooper series Terrier, also by Pierce. Chantalle Uzan, Francis Martin

    The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Jim Butcher’s second foray into high fantasy, features a race of hyper-intelligent felines who serve the lords of the Spires. Or are they the lords? —Joshua Soule, Spuyten Duyvil

    Ursala K. LeGuin’s No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters is a collection of the prolific author’s essays on a variety of topics like ageing, writing, our socio-political landscape, and culture. Any cat lover, though, will probably find themselves most delighted by the vivid, playful, and soulful stories of her cat Pard that are sprinkled throughout. —Beth Dukes, Enrichment Zones

    fantastical cats

    My Cat Yugoslavia. Dating can be hard, especially when your boyfriend is a sexy, bigoted, and capricious cat who doesn’t get along with your free-range snake. In Pajtim Statovci’s novel he weaves in this fanciful story line while addressing immigration, Balkin weddings, and isolation. —Richard Dowe, Aguilar

    The Rabbi’s Cat swallows a parrot, gaining the ability to speak. Belonging to a rabbi and all, the cat decides he must be Jewish and demands a bar mitzvah. Calamity ensues in this graphic novel set in 1920’s Algeria. —Charlie Radin, Inwood

    First mentioned in Rosemary and Rue, Tybalt, King of the Court of Cats in San Francisco, is the Cait Sidhe that eventually paws his way into the hearts of readers throughout the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. —Kate Fais, Bloomingdale

    How can we forget the most magical cat of all? Through thick and thin, Salem sticks (sometimes reluctantly) by Sabrina’s side as she navigates her witchy power and flirts with her dark side in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack. —Susen Shi, Mid-Manhattan

    Classic Cats

    No literary cat list would be complete without the magical and jellicle cats of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. These fun poems extoll the virtues and sins of irrepressible felines and the joys of owning one - or is it the cat(s) own us? Join Mr. Mistoffelees, Rum Tum Tugger, Mungojerrie. Rumpleteazer, Skimbleshanks and more as their poetical antics burrow there way into your hearts. Bonus points for the edition that includes the lovabley mischievious cat illustrations of Edward Gorey. —Anne Rouyer, Mulberry Street

    It would be hard not to mention Behemoth from The Master and Margarita. Alongside his boss, Satan, Behemoth wreaks havoc on 1930s Moscow while eating and drinking endless amounts of vodka, playing occasional games of chess, performing acrobatics in a demonic magic show, and (maybe) pretending to be Dostoevsky at an exclusive social club for writers. —Aidan Flax-Clark, Public Programs

    book cover with cat

    Cat, “a poor slob without a name.” Holly’s nameless moggy in Breakfast at Tiffany‘s symbolizes both her desire for freedom, and,ultimately her need to belong. We don’t know much about Cat’s past (just like I don’t know much about the past of the rescue cats I’ve adopted), and I think this is how Holly Golightly would like to be. She wants to be a cat. Or at least she thinks she does. —Philip

    Sutton, Milstein Division

    I can’t think about cats in fiction without thinking about the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The Cheshire Cat is smart, snarky, mysterious, and frequently invisible... like many cats that I have known in real life! —Andrea Lipinski, Kingsbridge

    Poetic Cats

    cats in the musical

    In Archyology II: The Final Dig: The Long Lost Tales of Archy and Mehitabelwe meet Archy the cockroach and Mehitabel the alley cat. There are several books related to these characters created in the 1910s, and my sister named our first cat—whom we had as teens—“Mehitabel.” —Michael Messina, Seward Park

    No literary cat list would be complete without the magical and jellicle cats of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. These fun poems extoll the virtues and sins of irrepressible felines and the joys of owning one - or is it the cat(s) own us? Join Mr. Mistoffelees, Rum Tum Tugger, Mungojerrie. Rumpleteazer, Skimbleshanks and more as their poetical antics burrow there way into your hearts. Bonus points for the edition that includes the lovabley mischievious cat illustrations of Edward Gorey. —Anne Rouyer, Mulberry Street

    Kitties for Kids

    The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss — now there’s a cat who appreciates the power of books! Best rainy-day adventure story, ever.

    “You find magic wherever you look
    Sit back and relax.
    All you need is a book.”

    —Susan Aufrichtig, Terence Cardinal Cooke - Cathedral Library

    A classic oldie but goodie: The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. Two dogs and a cat cross the Canadian wilderness on a trip home. —Nicole Rosenbluth, Pelham Bay

    I can’t not recommend the Harry Potter series, wherein Hermione’s ginger cat Crookshanks plays a role in uncovering the fact that Ron’s rat Scabbers is actually Peter Pettigrew! —Dawn Collins, West Farms 

    Boy holding cat

    Kiki’s faithful companion Jiji, in Kiki’s Delivery Service. It just wouldn’t have been the same without the fun little feline! —Joe Pascullo, Grand Central

    When his weekending family heads back to the city without him, this clever cat takes matters into his own paws in Cross Country Cat by Mary Calhoun. —Maura Muller, Volunteer Office

    In Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes, a naive young cat confuses the moon for a giant bowl of milk and tries to catch it.  Henkes brings this adorable tale to life with simple yet beautiful black and white illustrations. Althea Georges, Muhlenberg


    Pangur from one of my new favorite children’s books, The White Cat and the Monk. I’ll just quote from the Brainpickings article on it:

    Long before the cat became a modern literary muse, a monk whose identity remains a mystery immortalized his beloved white cat named Pangur. Sometime in the ninth century, somewhere in present-day southern Germany, this solitary scholar penned a beautiful short poem in Old Irish, titled “Pangur Bán” — an ode to the parallel pleasures of man and feline as one pursues knowledge and the other prey, and to how their quiet companionship amplifies their respective joys.”

    —Kay Menick, Schomburg Center

    Without a doubt, my favorite fictional cat is Jenny Linsky, star of the Jenny’s Cat Club series by Esther Averill.  A resourceful, adventurous, red scarf-wearing city kitty with wonderful friends.  Whether dancing to the music of a hornpipe or taking classes at the school for cats, Jenny is an inspiration and her books never cease to please. —Jeff Katz, Chatham Square

    Harry Cat from George Selden’s The Cricket in Times Square. Harry is a kind and faithful friend to Tucker Mouse and newcomer Chester Cricket, and he quietly encourages Chester to follow his heart. —Annie Lin, Mulberry Street

    Musical text

    Creepy Cats

    If not for their beloved pet Winston Churchill, aka “Church,” the Creed family from Stephen King’s Pet Sematary might

    have had a completely different experience moving into their creepy new neighborhood. You’ll never again be able to hear that old song “The cat came back” without suppressing an icy shudder. Isaiah Pittman, Inwood

    Real-life Cats

    I’d like to suggest Lost Cat by Caroline Paul, which is actually a memoir about what happened when the author’s cat, Tibia disappeared and then, just as suddenly, reappeared.  She and her partner set out on a somewhat hilarious quest to figure out where their cat goes when they are not around.  It is at times funny, heartbreaking, and unbelievable, and every cat owner will relate to the never ending effort to understand their four-legged friends. —Ronni Krasnow, Morningside Heights

    Creative Cats

    One of the most charming books starring a cat that I know of is The Fur Person by May Sarton. Told from the point of view of a longtime feline member of the author’s household, it describes his journey from orphaned kitten to rowdy Cat About Town to... well, a Fur Person, settled and happy with not one but two faithful housekeepers (the author and her friend) to tend to his every need. —Kathie Coblentz, Rare Materials

    Beatrix Potter illustration of a cat

    One of my favorite literary cats is Chi from Chi’s Sweet Home. While being housebroken as a kitten, she responds to the word “Chi”—the Japanese word for “urine”—and it eventually becomes her name. Chi is mischievous and filled with adventure, wonder, and everything lovely! —Elisa Garcia, Bronx Library Center

    One of Green Lantern’s enemies is an evil house cat named Dex-Starr, which is hilarious. Dex-Starr was popular enough that he became the star of the Red Lanterns comic series. —Benjamin Sapadin, Morris Park

    Master Ren, a highly intelligent, multi-tailed mentor figure to the Monstress main character, Maika, is comprised of many excellent feline qualities. Ren is wise and cunning, but also likes to be snugly and playful (but only when not on death-defying magical adventures!). —Katrina Ortega, Hamilton Grange

    Saga‘s Lying Cat is an oversized Sphynx cat that hisses “LYING” in the presence of bald untruths. I love her because she punctures comfortable delusions, forcing those around her to confront reality. —Crystal Chen, Woodstock


    All cat images from NYPL's Digital Collections.



    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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    Covers of Chinese language books

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



    Author: 怀旧船长 

    Title:相夫 : 婚姻治疗师前传

    ISBN:  9787533948528





    Call # CHI FIC LI

    Author: 李仪婷

    Title:  走电人

    ISBN:  9789571370323 






    Call #: CHI FIC LIANG

    Author: 梁振华

    Title: 思美人. 第二卷, 湘君

    ISBN: 9787510462160





    Call # CHI 956.9104 WARRICK, JO

    Author: 沃里克, 乔比

    Title: 黑旗 : ISIS的崛

    ISBN: 9787508668512







    Call # CHI B SHAW, BUD S

    Author: Shaw, Bud

    Title: 站在器官移植前線 : 一個肝臟移植醫師挑戰極限,修復生命,見證醫療突破的現場故事

    ISBN  9789863593560





    在醫界同業對器官移植尚有疑慮之際,柏德‧蕭醫師從猶他州到匹茲堡,向全球肝臟移植先驅史塔哲(Thomas Starzl)學習,共同打造頂尖的器官移植團隊。Source:



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    Coves of Russian language books

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


    Call # RUS FIC CABRE

    Author: Кабре, Жауме. 

    Title: Голоса Панамо

    ISBN: 9785389107557



    Голоса Панамо

    На берегах горной реки Памано, затерявшейся в Пиренеях, не смолкают голоса. В них отзвуки былых событий, боль прошлого и шум повседневности. Учительница Тина собирает материал для книги про местные школы, каменотес Жауме высекает надписи на надгробиях, стареющая красавица Элизенда, чаруя и предавая, подкупая и отдавая приказы, вершит свой тайный суд, подобно ангелу мести. Но вот однажды тетрадь, случайно найденная в обреченной на снос школе, доносит до них исповедь человека, которого одни считали предателем и убийцей, другие мучеником. Source: ​


    Author: Кузнецов, Сергей ​

    Title: Дымов : роман ​

    ISBN: 9785171053796


    Дымов : роман 

    В "Учителе Дымове" внимание писателя концентрируется на одной семье. На фоне сменяющих друг друга эпох. От послевоенных огородов на Пречистенке до сегодняшних барбершопов там же, от самиздата до посиделок в "Жан-Жаке", от эха лагерей и шарашек до фриланса. Каждое новое поколение будет не похожим на предыдущее, как не похожа Москва XXI века на полуразрушенный город конца сороковых годов. Но какие бы ветра перемен не гуляли в столичных переулках и на бульварах - они всегда дуют в лицо, заставляя персонажей сопротивляться им. Эта борьба с условиями времени и станет объединяющем началом для трех возрастов семьи Дымовых. Source: ​



    Call #: RUS 973.0491 SOLOVEV, VL

    Author: Соловьев, Владимир ​

    Title: США, pro et contra : глазами русских американцев 

    ISBN: 9785386101053


    США, proetcontra : глазами русских американцев ​​​

    Актуальная книга о США от Владимира Соловьева и Елены Клепиковой, известных американских писателей и политологов родом из России. Сложный, противоречивый, парадоксальный совокупный портрет Америки - от океана до океана, от Нью-Йорка и Нью-Гэмпшира до Аризоны и Аляски, с парадного подъезда и с черного хода, извне и изнутри - глазами русских американцев. Source: ​





    Author: Чайковская, Елена

    Title: Конек Чайковской : обратная сторона медалей 

    ISBN: 9785179831402


    Конек Чайковской : обратная сторона медалей 

    Через призму удивительной судьбы Елены Чайковской проявляется яркий срез биографии всей страны на протяжении ХХ века, свидетельницей которого стала знаменитый тренер. Особенно ее спортивной жизни, где были сложные решения, непростые ситуации, слезы, разочарования и, конечно, великие победы.​ Source:




    Call # RUS B KISIN, EVGE K

    Author: Кисин, Евгений ​ Title: Воспоминания и размышления  ​​​

    ISBN 9785906848475


    Воспоминания и размышления  ​​​

    В 1982 году 10-летний пианист Женя Кисин впервые выступил с оркестром, исполнив 20-й концерт Моцарта. Год спустя дал свой первый сольный концерт. В 18 лет дебютировал в США, где исполнил 1-й и 2-й концерты Шопена с Нью-Йоркским филармоническим оркестром под управлением Зубина Меты. А неделю спустя выступил с сольным концертом в Карнеги-холл. Сегодня Евгений Кисин — всемирно известный пианист, которому с радостью предоставляют сцены знаменитые залы Америки и Европы. Он работал с лучшими дирижёрами XX века — Караяном, Джулини, Ливайном. Source: ​

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    Spring is finally here, and with it comes every kid's springtime best friend: the puddle. Pull on your rain boots and jump into our favorite books about an unsung childhood hero.

    little bird

    Little Bird Takes a Bath by Marisabina Russo

    The morning after a big storm, Little Bird soars over all of Manhattan trying to find the perfect puddle.

    This book is: colorful, a good read-aloud, playful.



    puddle pug

    Puddle Pug by Kim Norman, art by Keika Yamaguchi

    How can one librarian even write an annotation that captures the adorableness for this book? I mean, it's a pug... in a puddle... it doesn't get better than that.

    This book is: an adventure story, silly, sweet.




    Puddle by Hyewon Yum

    An ingenious mom uses the magic of drawing to turn one kid's grouchy rainy day into a happy one.

    This book is: artistic, colorful, upbeat.



    Mudkin by Stephen Gammell

    When a mischevious new friend emerges from a puddle, a little girl learns the endless possibilities of playing with mud. 

    This book is: almost wordless, creative, imaginative.



    Estamos en Primavera = It's Spring by Jackie Heckt, art by Aurora Aguilera

    Puddle season is the best season of all!
    This book is: bilingual, bright, easy to read.
    deep deep
    The Deep Deep Puddle by Mary Jessie Parker, art by Deborah Zemke
    A quirky counting book! Starting with one shaggy dog, everyone begins falling into a gigantic puddle on a city street. Two cats, three squirrels, four pigeons... where will the silliness end?  
    This book is: funny, offbeat, visually stimulating.





    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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    Chatham Square Library once again invites you to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with us every Saturday in May.* The program kicks off on May 5 with a screening of the iconic film, Chan is Missing (1982), directed by Wayne Wang. Then, on May 12, we'll screen the documentary, Breathin': The Eddy Zheng Story, which delves into the fascinating story and life of an immigrant arrested at age 16 and tried as an adult for kidnapping and robbery. Finally, on May 19, author Lauren Hilgers will discuss her new book, Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown.  Here are details, with links, on each of the three events: 

    Saturday, May 5 at 1 PM: Chan is Missing film screening

    Chan is Missing movie cover

    Acclaimed filmmaker Wayne Wang's feature film, Chan is Missing(1982), follows the adventures of two cabbies on their search through San Francisco's Chinatown for a mysterious character who has disappeared with $4,000 of their money. Their quest to figure out what happened to Chan and their missing cash leads them on a humorous journey that illuminates the pitfalls of Chinese-Americans trying to assimilate into contemporary American society. (synopsis courtesy Kanopy

    Chan is Missing won Best Experimental/Independent Film from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and, in 1995, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."  

    Wayne Wang later went on to direct the beloved film, The Joy Luck ClubThis screening of Chan is Missing celebrates the role and influence of Chinese-American filmmakers on American independent cinema.

    Saturday, May 12 at 1 PM: Breathin': The Eddy Zheng Story film screening

    Breathin': The Eddy Zheng Story is a 2016 documentary from Ben Wang, about the youngest San Quentin state prisoner on The Eddy Zheng Story movie cover his road to freedom. While in prison, Eddy learned English, earned his college degree, published his poetry, and transformed into a nationally recognized leader—inspiring youth, activists, and politicians on issues of prison reform and youth violence prevention.

    As an advocate for Ethnic Studies in the prison college curriculum, Eddy was sent to solitary confinement for 11 months, where he garnered support from community activists and leaders. Even as Eddy fought systemic injustices, he continued to fight an internal battle. Spending nearly two decades in prison left a physical and mental toll on him, an all-too-common phenomenon for the incarcerated.

    Despite being released from immigration custody in 2007, Eddy has been ordered deported to China and awaits the final court decision. With the looming possibility of deportation, Eddy must negotiate what it means to “live freely”—attempting to rebuild a family, reconcile with his victims, and make a lasting change in society at large. (synopsis courtesy Breathin' official website)

    Breathin' won the Audience Award for Documentary Feature at CAAMFest, Jury Award for Best Documentary and Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Austin Asian American Film Festival, and the Jason D. Mak Social Justice Award at the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon. This screening aims to highlight a highly unique and lesser known immigrant story, and celebrate up-and-coming independent filmmakers from the AAPI community.

    Saturday, May 19 at 2 PM: Author talk with Lauren Hilgers

    Patriot Number One - American Dreams in Chinatown book cover

    Author Lauren Hilgers will join us for a talk about her highly praised new book, Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown, a deeply reported look at the Chinese immigrant community in the United States. Hilgers follows a dauntless family through a world hidden in plain sight: a byzantine network of employment agencies and language schools, of underground asylum brokers and illegal dormitories that Flushing’s Chinese community relies on for survival. With a novelist’s eye for character and detail, Hilgers captures the joys and indignities of building a life in a new country—and the stubborn allure of the American dream.

    About Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

    (from the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month government website)

    May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

    Like most commemorative months, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month originated with Congress. In 1977 Reps. Frank Horton of New York introduced House Joint Resolution 540 to proclaim the first ten days in May as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. In the same year, Senator Daniel Inouye introduced a similar resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 72. Neither of these resolutions passed, so in June 1978, Rep. Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 1007. This resolution proposed that the President should “proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” This joint resolution was passed by the House and then the Senate and was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978 to become Public Law 95-419 (PDF, 158kb). This law amended the original language of the bill and directed the President to issue a proclamation for the “7 day period beginning on May 4, 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” During the next decade, presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week until 1990 when Congress passed Public Law 101-283 (PDF, 166kb) which expanded the observance to a month for 1990. Then in 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 (PDF, 285kb) which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

    The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

    Formerly known as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the name officially changed to Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May 2009, with President Barack Obama's signing of Proclamation 8369. The official website still refers to the commemoration as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, so it seems they need an update! 

    *Please note we are closed Saturday, May 26 in observance of Memorial Day.

    Additional Reading

    Barack Obama, "Proclamation 8369—Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2009," May 1, 2009. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project;

    "A Chinese Revolutionary, Reinventing Himself in American Exile." The New York Times. March 21, 2018.

    "Wayne Wang- He Made it the Year's Unlikeliest Hit." New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast) ed.May 30 1982. ProQuest


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    Welcome to The Librarian Is In, the New York Public Library's podcast about books, culture, and what to read next.

    Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on Google Play


    Dan Kois is a writer and editor for Slate. His recent book is called The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America. It's a collection of oral histories, beautifully arranged by Kois and his co-author, Isaac Butler. Together, they interviewed nearly 250 people about Tony Kushner's iconic play—directors, producers, and actors from Broadway to small-town theater productions.

    Kois talks to Gwen and Frank about creating the book, the enduring impact of Angels in America, and getting the inside scoop from Kushner himself.

    The World Only Spins Forward cover of an Angel with wings spread

    And we couldn't resist this photo, which is part of Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers by Robert Giard in NYPL's Digital Collections:

    Tony Kushner among Karl Marx pillows, ca. 1995... yeah, we're not sure what that's about either.


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

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


    Want Personalized Recommendations?

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


    How to listen to The Librarian Is In

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

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

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

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

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

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    YLFA 2018

    We're pleased to announce the finalists for the eighteenth annual Young Lions Fiction Award, honoring the works of five talented young authors. 

    The finalists for 2018 Young Lions Fiction Award are:

    What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky

    What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
    A debut collection by a prize-winning writer explores the ties that bind people to each other and their homes as reflected in stories featuring generations of women haunted by the ghosts of war, a daughter who is outraged by the return of her believed-dead mother and a decimated refugee world where resolutions have unforeseen consequences.


    Black Jesus and Other Superheroes

    Black Jesus and Other Superheroes by Venita Blackburn
    Black Jesus and Other Superheroes chronicles ordinary people achieving vivid extrasensory perception while under extreme pain. The stories tumble into a universe of the jaded and the hopeful, in which men and women burdened with unwieldy and undesirable superhuman abilities are nonetheless resilient in subtle and startling ways. Venita Blackburn's characters hurl themselves toward the inevitable fates they might rather wish away. Their stories play with magic without the sparkle, glaring at the internal machinations of the human spirit. Fragile symbols for things such as race, sexuality, and love are lifted, decorated, and exposed to scrutiny and awe like so many ruins of our imagination. Through it all Blackburn's characters stumblealong currents of language both thoughtful and hilarious.


    Stephen Florida

    Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash
    A coming-of-age story follows a troubled college wrestler in North Dakota who falls in love and becomes increasingly unhinged during his final season. Profane, manic, and tipping into the uncanny, it's a story of loneliness, obsession, and the drive to leave a mark.



    Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
    A tale told from multiple perspectives traces the complicated relationship between Ann and Wade on a rugged landscape and how they came together in the aftermath of his first wife's imprisonment for a violent murder.


    Sour Heart

    Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang
    A collection of stories explores the hearts and inner lives of a group of adolescent girls from China and Taiwan who come of age and come to terms with their pasts in a New York City artist community.

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

    The winning writer will be awarded on June 7, 2018 at 7 PM during a ceremony held in the Celeste Bartos Forum of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Young Lions members are invited to attend the reception and ceremony. Learn more here.

    About the Young Lions Fiction Award

    Founded in 2001  by Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, Rick Moody, and Hannah McFarland, the Young Lions Fiction Award is given annually to an American writer age 35 or younger for either a novel or a collection of short stories. Each year, five young fiction writers are selected as finalists by a reading committee of writers, editors, and librarians. A panel of award judges—which this year includes Carys Davies and 2017's winner Karan Mahajan—will select the winner of this year's $10,000 prize

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

    The Award is made possible by an endowment created with generous gifts from Russell Abrams, Nina Collins, Hannah and Gavin McFarland, Ethan Hawke, Stephan Loewentheil, Rick Moody, Andrea Olshan and Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. 

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    Tens of millions of babies were born in the United States between 1946 and 1964, resulting today in nearly 70 million people between the ages of 60 and 78.  People age 65 and older are projected to make up 23 percent of the civilian non-institutional population in 2024, up from 18.1 percent in 2014 and 15.5 percent in 2004. Our aging population will need more workers to care for them in nursing care facilities, retirement communities, or at home.

    According to Department of Labor Statistics, occupations related to elder care are expected to add more than 1.6 million new jobs—that's about 1 in 6 new jobs—to the economy by 2024. These occupations include Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides, Registered Nurses, Nursing Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN).  You can take a closer look at some of these jobs in The Growing Need for Eldercare Workers, a U.S. Department of Labor blog post written by Emily Rolen, an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Employment programs

    Friends of the High Line's Internship Program is a paid 14-week program that offers interns the opportunity to kick start their career within their dream profession, while receiving work readiness and career planning services at the Park in the Sky. Apply now.

    NYC Building Violation Jobs Available: Building Violation Professionals will be trained and paid $10 per hour, with the possibility to grow and help expedite correction and remediation of building violations, for residential and commercial buildings. You can register here or email for job requirements and qualifications. For more information, contact Building Violation LLC, 2000 Ocean Avenue, Suite 1-D, Brooklyn, NY 11230, at (866) 545-4440.

    Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow offers a web design and coding fundamentals program, immersing participants in the world of modern digital technology with the opportunity to develop in-demand computer programming and coding skills. Students will demonstrate their understanding of newly learned materials by building their own website for small businesses, nonprofits, and community organizations. Participants will also learn to create visual content using  Adobe Photoshop and will earn the Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud certification at the culmination of the program. For more information, call (718) 801-8970. 

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

    Get paid to take care of an elderly or disabled family member. Qualify Family Care will pay you $15 an hour to help care for your Medicaid-eligible family members, friends, or neighbors. No certification or background check is required. For more information, call 718-475-4735.

    LaGuardia Community College is recruiting for its next TechHire-Open Code class, which starts in May 2018. Students learn programming fundamentals, product development, and web development to prepare for jobs as front-end web developers. Training will take place at LaGuardia and in General Assembly's Web Development Immersive program. To see if you are eligible, and to begin the application process, apply here now.

    Platform by Per Scholas trains local talent using custom curriculum designed by Cognizant Technology Solutions, to ensure students are equipped with the tech skills they need to get hired by the Fortune 500 company. Over the course of 8 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

    Upgrade a Resume (English) Workshop: Monday, April 16, 2018, 1 PM-3:30 PM at 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. Must have resume in PDF form.

    Recruiting Event - Coach, Inc.:  Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 10 AM-1:30 PM for Sample Maker (five seasonal openings) at NYS Department of Labor - Workforce 1 Career Center, 250 Schermerhorn  Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. The Coach, Inc. Recruitment Team is looking to connect with candidates who have at least 10 years' Sample Maker experience in Luxury Women's & Men's Apparel, as well as Leather Goods. (No Bridal Dress Sample Makers). $30 to $35 an hour  (commensurate with experience).

    Benefits of Exploring Job Zone Workshop: Wednesday, April 18,  2018, 2:15 PM-4:15 PM at Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 East Fordham Road, 8th floor, Bronx, NY 10458.

    Sen. Krueger's Inaugural Employment Fair for Older Adults: Thursday, April 19, 2018, 10 AM-1 PM at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues), New York, NY 11021.  Participating Businesses: AARP of New York State, CBRE, DOTROT, Eneslow Pedorthic Enterprises, General Human Outreach, Good Temps, Indiana Market and Catering, NYC Department for the Aging, NYPD, NYU Langone Medical Center, and more.

    Sen. Tim Kennedy's Queen City Job Fair:  Thursday, April 19, 2018, 10 AM - 1 PM at NYS Dept. of Labor, 138 60 Barclay Avenue, Flushing, NY 11355.  Participating Businesses:  Cerebral Palsy Association of NYS, Citiview Connections Clubhouse Goodwill Industries of Greater NY/NJ, General Human Outreach in the Community, JCCA, MTA NYC Transit, WellLife Network. 

    Transferring  Skills Workshop: Thursday, April 19, 2018, 12:30 PM-2:30 PM at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd floor, Flushing, NY 11355. Identify your transferable skills and target them toward new jobs.

    Acing the Interview Workshop: Thursday, April 19, 2018, 2 PM- 4:30 PM at Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 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 Postings and AssistanceJob Fair Sign-up Table

    Job Postings at New York City Workforce 1.

    Apprenticeship Opportunities in New York City.

    Available jobs via Brooklyn Community Board 14.

    The New York City Employment and Training Coalition (NYCE&TC) is an association of 200 community-based organizations, educational institutions, and labor unions that annually provide job training and employment services to over 750,000 New Yorkers, including welfare recipients, unemployed workers, low-wage workers, at-risk youth, the formerly incarcerated, immigrants and the mentally and physically disabled. View NYCE&TC Job Listings.

    Digital NYC is the official online hub of the New York City startup and technology ecosystem, bringing together every company, startup, investor, event, job, class, blog, video, workplace, accelerator, incubator, resource, and organization in the five boroughs. Search jobs by category on this site.

    St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development provides free job training and educational programs in Environmental Response and Remediation Tec (ERRT), Commercial Driver's License, Pest Control Technician Training (PCT), Employment Search, Prep Training and Job Placement, Earn Benefits, and Career Path Center. For information and assistance, please visit St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development or call 718-302-2057 ext. 202.

    Brooklyn Workforce Innovations helps jobless and working poor New Yorkers establish careers in sectors that offer good wages and opportunities for advancement. Currently, BWI offers free job training programs in four industries: commercial driving, telecommunications cable installation, TV and film production, and skilled woodworking.

    CMP (formerly Chinatown Manpower Project) in lower Manhattan is now recruiting for free training in Quickbooks, Basic Accounting, and Excel. This training is open to anyone receiving food stamps but no cash assistance. Classes run for eight weeks, followed by one-on-one meetings with a job developer.

    CMP also provides Free Home Health Aide Training for bilingual English/Cantonese speakers receiving food stamps but no cash assistance. Training runs Mondays through Fridays for six weeks, and includes test prep and the HHA certification exam. Students learn about direct care techniques such as taking vital signs, and assisting with personal hygiene and nutrition.

    For more information on the above CMP training programs, email, call 212-571-1690, or visit the CMP website. CMP also provides tuition-based healthcare and business training free to students who are entitled to ACCESS funding.

    Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) trains women, and places them in careers in the skilled construction, utility, and maintenance trades. It helps women achieve economic independence and a secure future. For information call 212-627-6252, or register online.

    Grace Institute provides tuition-free, practical job training in a supportive learning community for underserved New York area women of all ages, and from many different backgrounds. For information, call 212-832-7605.

    Please note that this page will be revised when more recruitment events for the week of April 15  become available.

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    Editor-in-Chief of the Jerome Robbins Foundation newsletter Gregory Victor has spent many years writing in specific detail about under-reported areas of Robbins' life and career.  In this guest blog, he writes about Robbins' relationship with television.  Robbins studied the medium technically, not passively in his role as audience, and gave much thought to its capacity and its limitations as producer.

    Director/choreographer Jerome Robbins resisted working in television. Robbins had three main objections: the challenge in collapsing three-dimensional movement onto a depth-distorted screen, having to hand over creative control to a director and crew who specialized in television, and a suspicion that a studio taping would result in a performance robbed of its spontaneity, energy and life. In a 1960 New York Times article, Robbins explained: “You never sense in television the limitations of space. You cannot sense, either, the kinetic energy of the dancer nor his dangers, feats and pleasures. There is only an illusion, which the mind translates, of depth.” Although Robbins cared greatly for the preservation of his choreography, to allow someone else to frame, shoot, and edit his ballets was asking a lot. Thankfully, he did it anyway. Many of these Robbins choreographic appearances on TV can be found in the archive of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (Library call numbers are listed in parentheses in this blog) during this Robbins Centenary, and long after.

    Tonight on Broadway was a weekly show (1948-50) that aired excerpts from Broadway shows live from the theaters where they were playing. The telecasts of abridged versions of High Button Shoes (on April 20, 1948) and Look, Ma, I’m Dancin’! (on May 25, 1948) gave Robbins the opportunity to see his work on the small screen for the first time. He wasn’t thrilled. As CBS telecast, Robbins could be found in the theater basement, hovering behind TV director Roland Gillette, who watched four screens and made split-second decisions about which image to use. It was a frustrating experience for Robbins, who had staged the numbers to be seen through a proscenium. “Don’t misunderstand me,” he told the New York Herald Tribune the next day, “I think television is a wonderful new medium for ballet and I’m all for it. But it was all I could do to keep from hollering ‘Oh, no!’ a couple of times.” If television was here to stay, the lesson for Robbins was clear: “The only answer I know is that I’d better learn something about television. Dances which employ pantomime, for example, may appear to be dull on the stage but come over well on television. High altitude leaps that are breathtaking in the theater lose their effect on video because the screen fails to convey the illusion of height.”

    Ad for The Ford 50th Anniversary Show, 1953
    Advertisement appearing in newspapers nationwide for
    The Ford 50th Anniversary Show, 1953. 
    Courtesy of the Jerome Robbins Foundation.

    A new standard for TV entertainment was set on June 15, 1953, with The American Road: The Ford 50th Anniversary Show—TV’s first variety special, featuring Mary Martin and Ethel Merman, that aired live on both CBS and NBC (Call no. *MGZIA 4-6589 JRC ). There wasn’t a single commercial (unless you count the entire program as a 2-hour commercial—not only for Ford, but for television too). All of the show’s musical sequences were staged by Robbins, including: “By the Sea”—a comic dance sequence about bathing suits and manners; “Charleston” (a revised version of “Charleston” from the musical Billion Dollar Baby)—depicting characters from the “Roaring Twenties”; and “Popular Dance”—a look at popular social dances. In a clever sketch for Martin titled “The Shape,” a tongue-in-cheek narrator described the changing fashion styles from 1900 to 1953 as Martin demonstrated by rearranging a basic tubular piece of jersey, along with a hat, and adding perfect expressions to match (Call no. NCOX 2063). In a tribute to vaudeville, Merman and Martin lip-synched to a recording by the team of Billy Jones & Ernest Hare, known as “The Happiness Boys.” The highlight of the show was a medley performed by the pair of Broadway stars for a thrilling thirteen minutes. Robbins kept it simple, knowing that all he needed was a spotlight and a couple of stools, with Merman and Martin crooning. (Or was it Martin and Merman? Credit Robbins with having them switch stools once during the medley, in order to keep the billing equal.) Stools became a fixture—almost a cliché—in TV variety shows from then on. “I’ve been cursed for it ever since,” stated Robbins in the New York Times. Time Magazine wrote, “Perched on stools, both Mary and Ethel whipped through a rapid-fire medley of some of the best pop songs ever written. Televiewers hoped they would not have to wait another 50 years for so good a show. But if they do, it will be worth waiting for.” The program introduced the craftsmanship and creativity of the Broadway musical to TV. It was television, but television with the Robbins touch.

    Mary Martin as Peter Pan, T.V. Magazine (The Detroit News), 1960.
    Mary Martin as Peter Pan on the cover of T.V. Magazine (The Detroit News), 1960.
    Courtesy of the Jerome Robbins Foundation.

    Mary Martin and her husband, producer Richard Halliday, impressed with Robbins, insisted that he oversee their next project, a musical of Peter Pan. As popular as Peter Pan was on Broadway, the show reached its greatest success on its three initial TV broadcasts. Robbins adapted, directed, and choreographed the telecast in NBC’s studio in Brooklyn on March 7, 1955 (Call no. *MGZIA 4-6201 JRC). It was the first time a Broadway musical had been transferred to television intact, and it thrilled 65,000,000 viewers—40% of the population of the United States. There was a second live telecast on January 9, 1956 (Call no. *MGZIA 4-1621), and a third (filmed for posterity) telecast on December 8, 1960.

    On June 12, 1959, Robbins appeared on Person to Person, hosted by Edward R. Murrow (Call no. *MGZIA 4-6584 JRC ). Cameras visited Robbins at home and gave an intimate look at his preparations for the forthcoming tour of his company, Ballets: U.S.A. Robbins’ company next appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on July 19, 1959 (Call no. *MGZIA 4-6599 JRC), and November 29, 1959 (Call no.  *MGZIA 4-6597 JRC). By now, Robbins was allowed more creative control than most acts. He was given more time than usual to prepare (using two days for camera run-throughs) and he used seven cameras instead of the usual three. Still, Robbins was never satisfied with the result, stating in an interview, “It’s hard on television to make dance work. The screen robs the dance of a lot of personal energy; it takes away much of the effort and daring of the dance.” Other appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show included January 17, 1960 (Call no. *MGZIA 4-6600 JRC)—of which Variety wrote, “the camera work got most of the Robbins dance design”—and February 21, 1960, with the company presenting an abridged version of The Concert.

    Baryshnikov at the White House was telecast on PBS on April 15, 1979 (Call no. *MGZIDVD 5-5748). Although Robbins traveled to the White House to restage his choreography in order to make the best use of the East Room’s small stage (with its low, upstage chandelier), he remained skeptical, stating in the Los Angeles Times, “No film has ever truly recorded a ballet as a performance. The art of photographing dance for television hasn’t improved much in the last 20 years, it seems to me. One just hopes the work comes out not slaughtered.” On February 20, 1980, PBS’s “Dance in America” presented Two Duets, featuring Robbins’ Other Dances. This time, Robbins had a few demands: it was to be filmed in front of an audience, and it was to be shot on film (opting for a softer look, rather than the clarity of videotape).

     An Evening with Jerome Robbins and Members of the New York City Ballet, 1980.
    Advertisement appearing in The New York Times, 1980.
    Courtesy of the Jerome Robbins Foundation.

    On July 2, 1980 NBC devoted 90 minutes to Robbins with Live From Studio 8H: An Evening with Jerome Robbins and Members of the New York City Ballet. In deciding what to present, Robbins chose pieces intimate in nature (Afternoon of a Faun) and works with a narrative aspect (The Cage, and excerpts from Fancy Free, The Concert, and Dances at a Gathering). In this case, Robbins was not given the creative control to which he was accustomed. It was frustrating for him to have the artistic reins held tightly by NBC, and he abhorred the experience. It also ended up in 60th place in the Nielsen ratings—the week’s lowest rated program. On May 2, 1986 PBS’s Dance in America presented Choreography by Jerome Robbins with the New York City Ballet (Call no. *MGZIDVD 5-2799). The program presented Antique Epigraphs, and Fancy Free. On January 16, 1987 PBS’s Dance in America presented In Memory Of…: A Ballet by Jerome Robbins. Robbins bracketed the performance with two on-camera interviews with writer Rosalind Bernier, which proved as interesting as the ballet (Call no. *MGZIDVD 5-6087). It was during these talks that Robbins recalled George Balanchine having described a ballet choreographer as one “who dares to get his fingertips on that world where there are no names for things.”

    By the 1960s, recognizing that dance on television was entering into a time “when even TV commercials need a choreographer” as he put it, Robbins decried the lack of a proper dance archive. He helped fix that problem with his ongoing financial support of what eventually became the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, where so much of his choreography may be viewed today. In his foreword to A Bibliography of Dancing (1936), John Martin wrote, “Reading about the dance is highly unsatisfactory, but not nearly so unsatisfactory as not reading about it." So it is with viewing dance on television—even the works of Jerome Robbins. To view them live, as intended, is best. Not always possible, there is still the opportunity to view his work for the small screen as intended.


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  • 04/13/18--13:18: One Book, One New York
  • One Book One NY

    The five finalists for One Book, One New York 2018 have been announced! Vote, all through the month of April, for the one you want to read along with your fellow New Yorkers. The winner will be announced May 3rd. All titles are available in both print and ebook format. 

    Manhattan Beach

    Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
    Set in New York in the 30s and 40s, a young woman supports her mother and sister by working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 






    When I Was a Puerto Rican

    When I Was Puerto Ricanby Esmeralda Santiago
    A memoir about a young girl leaves Puerto Rico for New York's tenaments. 






    Behold the Dreamers

    Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
    Manhattan-based Cameroonian immigrant Jende Jonga gets a job chauffeuring for Lehman Brothers executive Clark Edwards.  






    If Beale Street Could Talk

    If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
    Set in 1970s New York, nineteen year old Tish's boyfriend is jailed for rape and their families unite to prove the charge false.






    White Tears

    White Tears by Hari Kunzru
    Two young white  men from disparate, dysfunctional family backgrounds meet in college, bond over an obsessive love of blues music and open a business together in Brooklyn.






    Click here to cast your vote!

    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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    Taco the opossum

    Meet Taco. He's an opossum, the only type of marsupial native to North America. While marsupials are nocturnal, and prefer to stick close to their burrows, Taco decided to come say hello to us at Parkchester Library last Thursday, before he was safely removed from the premises (and before we snapped a photo or two).

    Opossums seem more like woodland creatures at first glance. But opossum sightings are a common-enough occurrence in the five boroughs to warrant a short entry on the NYC Parks official website about urban wildlife. Urban wildlife is the designation given to animals who are native to forests, but who live amongst the skyscrapers, brownstones, and parks of New York City, home to over 600 different types of wildlife species!

    In honor of the four-legged, furry, scaly, and feathered friends that share our concrete jungle—and our friend, Taco—here are some books about urban wildlife that readers of all ages might enjoy (synopses from each book's respective publisher):


    Children’s Books

    Epposumondas book cover

    Epposumondas by Coleen Salley

    Mama and Auntie simply adore their pet possum and care for him with all the affection in the world. But they have to be careful what they say around him because, in his efforts to please them, Epossumondas takes everything way too literally.






    Urban Animals book cover

    Urban Animals by Isabel Hill

    Come to the city and you will find, animals, animals of every kind! Discover donkeys on grilles, boars guarding stoops, and elephants supporting flagpoles. The fantastic architectural animals and playful illustrations in this rhyming book will introduce children to the fanciful world of our built environment. Young children will enjoy the game of identifying animals, while older children and adults will pause over the quirky architectural details. This book includes a glossary of terms with simple, clear definitions that will empower children with new words and phrases about architecture.


    Wild Animal Neighbors book cover

    Wild Animal Neighbors by Ann Downer

    What kinds of animals are making cities their new home? How can they survive in our ecosystem of concrete, steel, and glass? And what does their presence mean for their future and ours? Join scientists, activists, and the folks next door on a journey around the globe to track down our newest wild animal neighbors. Discover what is bringing these creatures to our backyards—and how we can create spaces for people and animals to live side by side.




    Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon book cover

    Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon by Kate DiCamillo

    Deckawoo Drive's intrepid Animal Control Officer meets her match—or does she? A funny, heartfelt, and fast-paced romp from the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Francine Poulet is the greatest Animal Control Officer in Gizzford County. She hails from a long line of Animal Control Officers, and has battled snakes, outwitted squirrels, and stared down a bear. "The genuine article," Francine's dad always called her. She is never scared—until, that is, she's faced with a screaming raccoon that may or may not be a ghost. Maybe Francine isn't cut out to be an Animal Control Officer after all!

    But the raccoon is still on the loose, and the folks on Deckawoo Drive need Francine back. Can she face her fears, round up the raccoon, and return to the ranks of Animal Control? Join a cast of familiar characters—Frank, Stella, Mrs. Watson, and Mercy the porcine wonder—for some riotous raccoon wrangling on Deckawoo Drive.




    YA and Adult Books

    The Urban Bestiary book cover

    The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild by Haupt, Lyanda

    From the bestselling author of Crow Planet comes this journey into the secret lives of the wild animals at our back door. In Acclaimed nature writer Lyanda Lynn Haupt journeys into the heart of the everyday wild, where coyotes, raccoons, chickens, hawks, and humans live in closer proximity than ever before. Haupt's observations bring compelling new questions to light: Whose 'home' is this? Where does the wild end and the city begin? And what difference does it make to us as humans living our everyday lives?

    In this wholly original blend of science, story, myth, and memoir, Haupt draws us into the secret world of the wild creatures that dwell among us in our urban neighborhoods, whether we are aware of them or not. With beautiful illustrations and practical sidebars on everything from animal tracking to opossum removal, The Urban Bestiary is a lyrical book that awakens wonder, delight, and respect for the urban wild, and our place within it.




    Central Park in the Dark book cover

    Central Park in the Dark by Marie Winn

    Like her bestseller, Red-Tails in Love, Marie Winn’s Central Park in the Dark explores a once-hidden world in a series of interlocking narratives about the extraordinary denizens, human and animal, of an iconic American park. Her beguiling account of a city’s lakes and woodlands at night takes the reader through the cycle of seasons as experienced by nocturnal active beasts (raccoons, bats, black skimmers, and sleeping robins among them), insects (moths, wasps, fireflies, crickets), and slugs (in all their unexpected poetical randiness). Winn does not neglect her famous protagonists, Pale Male and Lola, the hawks that captivated readers years ago. But, this time, she adds an exciting narrative about thirty-eight screech owls in Central Park and their lives, loves, and tragedies there.

    An eye-popping amount of natural history is packed into this entertaining book—on bird physiology, spiders, sunsets, dragonflies, meteor showers, and the nature of darkness. But the human drama is never forgotten, for Central Park at night boasts a floating population not only of lovers, dog walkers, and policemen, but of regulars young and old who, like Winn, hope to unlock the secrets of urban nature. These “night people” are drawn into a peculiar kind of intimacy. While exploring the astonishing variety of wildlife in the city park, they end up revealing more of their inner lives than they expected.


    Unseen City book cover

    Unseen City: The Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness by Nathanael Johnson

    It all started with Nathanael Johnson’s decision to teach his daughter the name of every tree they passed on their walk to daycare in San Francisco. This project turned into a quest to discover the secrets of the neighborhood's flora and fauna, and yielded more than names and trivia: Johnson developed a relationship with his nonhuman neighbors.

    Johnson argues that learning to see the world afresh, like a child, shifts the way we think about nature: Instead of something distant and abstract, nature becomes real—all at once comical, annoying, and beautiful. This shift can add tremendous value to our lives, and it might just be the first step in saving the world.

    No matter where we live—city, country, oceanside, or mountains—there are wonders that we walk past every day. Unseen City widens the pinhole of our perspective by allowing us to view the world from the high-altitude eyes of a turkey vulture and the distinctly low-altitude eyes of a snail. The narrative allows us to eavesdrop on the comically frenetic life of a squirrel and peer deep into the past with a ginkgo biloba tree. Each of these organisms has something unique to tell us about our neighborhoods and, chapter by chapter, Unseen City takes us on a journey that is part nature lesson and part love letter to the world’s urban jungles. With the right perspective, a walk to the subway can be every bit as entrancing as a walk through a national park.


    Field Notes from a Hidden City book cover

    Field Notes From a Hidden City : an urban nature diary by Esther Woolfson

    Field Notes From a Hidden City is set against the background of the austere, grey, and beautiful northeast Scottish city of Aberdeen. Esther Woolfson examines the elements—geographic, atmospheric and environmental—which bring diverse life forms to live in close proximity in cities. Using the circumstances of her own life, house, garden, and city, she writes of the animals who live among us: the birds—gulls, starlings, pigeons, sparrows and others—the rats and squirrels, the cetaceans, the spiders, and the insects.

    In beautiful, absorbing prose, Woolfson describes the seasons, the streets, and the quiet places of her city over the course of a year, which begins with the exceptional cold and snow of 2010. Influenced by her own long experience of corvids, Woolfson considers prevailing attitudes towards the natural world, urban and non-urban wildlife, the values we place on the lives of individual species, and the ways in which man and creature live together in cities.



    Darwin Comes to Town book cover

    Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution by Menno Schilthuizen

    Menno Schilthuizen is one of a growing number of “urban ecologists” studying how our man-made environments are accelerating and changing the evolution of the animals and plants around us. In Darwin Comes to Town, he takes us around the world for an up-close look at just how stunningly flexible and swift-moving natural selection can be.

    With human populations growing, we’re having an increasing impact on global ecosystems, and nowhere do these impacts overlap as much as they do in cities. The urban environment is about as extreme as it gets, and the wild animals and plants that live side-by-side with us need to adapt to a whole suite of challenging conditions: they must manage in the city’s hotter climate (the “urban heat island”), and must be able to live either in the semi-desert of the tall, rocky, and cavernous structures we call buildings or in the pocket-like oases of city parks (which pose their own dangers, including smog and free-ranging dogs and cats). In addition, traffic causes continuous noise, a mist of fine dust particles, and barriers to movement for any animal that cannot fly or burrow; and food sources are mainly human-derived. Yet, as Schilthuizen shows, the wildlife sharing these spaces with us is not just surviving, but evolving ways of thriving.

    Darwin Comes to Town draws on eye-popping examples of adaptation to share a stunning vision of urban evolution in which humans and wildlife co-exist in a unique harmony. It reveals that evolution can happen far more rapidly than Darwin dreamed, while providing a glimmer of hope that our race toward over population might not take the rest of nature down with us.

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    The second annual Albertine Prize, a reader’s choice award for best French fiction, is calling all fiction enthusiasts to vote in support of their favorite work of contemporary French fiction in English translation before May 1! 

    Showcasing the diversity and inventiveness of contemporary French-language writing, the five books nominated this year map a literary journey that encompasses a Congolese orphanage in the 1970s (Black Moses, Alain Mabanckou); a young man’s sexual awakening in a French factory town (The End of Eddy, Édouard Louis); artistic rapture in the Middle East (Compass, Mathias Énard); and interior explorations of love (Not One Day, Anne Garréta) and violation (Incest, Christine Angot).

    Learn more and vote for your favorite book here!

    This year’s finalists and their works are:        


    Incest  by Christine Angot, Tr. Tess Lewis

    Amid the fallout of a torrential relationship with another woman, the narrator embarks on a journey of self-analysis, giving the reader insight into her tangled experiences with desire, paranoia, and incest as she discovers the trauma behind her pain. With the intimacy offered by a confession, Angot’s novel audaciously confronts readers with one of society's greatest taboos.




    Compass by Mathias Énard, Tr. Charlotte Mandell

    In Vienna, the musicologist Franz Ritter spends a restless night drifting between dreams and memories, going back and forth between his love for the Middle East and his elusive partner, Sarah. With exhilarating prose and sweeping erudition, Énard pulls astonishing elements from disparate sources—nineteenth-century composers and esoteric orientalists, Balzac and Agatha Christie—and binds them together in a most magical way.




    Not One Day

    Not One Day by Anne Garréta, Tr. Emma Ramadan

    Not One Day, winner of the Prix Médicis, begins with the maxim, "Not one day without a woman." What follows is an intimate, erotic, and sometimes bitter recounting of loves and lovers past, breathtakingly written, exploring the interplay between memory, fantasy, and desire. Garréta wrote the novel under strict constraints, producing one chapter per day.





    The End of Eddy

    The End of Eddy by Édouard Louis, Tr. Michael Lucey

    Growing up in a poor village in northern France, Eddy Bellgueule wanted only to be a man in the eyes of his family and neighbors. But from childhood, he was different – "girlish," intellectually precocious, and attracted to other men. The End of Eddy captures the violence and desperation of life in a French factory town, painting a sensitive, universal portrait of boyhood and sexual awakening based on the author's own undisguised experience.




    Black Moses

    Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou, Tr. Helen Stevenson

    A rollicking new novel described as “Oliver Twist in 1970s Africa” Black Moses is a vital new extension of Mabanckou’s cycle of Pointe-Noire novels that stand out as one of the grandest, funniest, fictional projects of our time.







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    To celebrate the release of NYPL Sings!, NYPL’s first album of original children’s songs, written and performed by NYPL staff, let's take another look at the method behind the music! (Here's our last conversation, about the song "Greetings from NYC.")

    The third song on the NYPL Sings! album, "I Read Everywhere", is a folksy ode to New York City and all the places where guerrilla-style reading can occur! Whether it’s on the N train in the evening or Central Park on a beautiful spring day, songwriter and performer Leah Labrecque, a children’s librarian at our 58th street branch, wants you to consider and expand your definition of where and how you read! Album producers Emily Lazio and Sean Ferguson were on hand to punch up the song with backing instruments and vocals for a breezy, beautiful, finished product.

    We asked Leah about where she gets her ideas, and how many words she had go through before finding her winning rhymes! Bonus: Leah is one of the first NYPL Sings! writer-performers we spoke with who is also a parent—so, of course we asked about raising little readers.

    This song incorporates spelling words into the lyrics, which must have been challenging. What was the writing process like?

    Is 'daunting' too strong a word? It was my first real song, and it took me a long time to find my footing. In general, I'm more confident as a writer than as a musician, so I started with lyrics. I chose a few ideas, like "words aren't just in books, look for them everywhere" and "don't leave home without a book" to focus the verses. When I came up against writer's block, I'd use what I'd written to hum and strum (tenor ukulele, if you're wondering) and that's how the melody started. Later, when I got stuck on the melody, I put it aside to figure out the spelling section, where I wanted to spell out words that New York City kids are likely to see in their daily activities.

    Pointing out environmental print—the words we see on storefronts, product packaging, street signs—is a fun and easy way to engage kids in reading on the go. And New York City is such a print-rich environment. In fact, my son's first sight words were STOP and DELI, which made it into the song. Once I'd figured out the melody and laid out the verses and chorus, Sean Ferguson and Emily Lazio disappeared with it into the forest (I think) and emerged with beautiful orchestration and a track I could sing along to. I'm especially fond of Emily's accordion.

    Where are some of your favorite places to see words and letters around New York City?

    Oh, I'm so glad you asked! If I were the subject of a TV show, and I've thought about this a lot, one of my catchphrases would be, "Ooh!  A plaque!" I'm always going out of my way to read plaques on buildings, sidewalks, monuments, really anywhere. I love to feel connected to a place through its history, and plaques help us know what people in the past wanted us to remember about this exact spot. And there's so very much to feel connected to in New York City. It's not just historical plaques, either! I love, love, love going to Hallett Nature Sanctuary in Central Park and reading the carefully labeled botanical plaques, with scientific and common names. That's where I learned about a plant called Heartleaf Foamflower, which I'm now convinced was my name in a past life where I was a mouse.

    This song has a theme of unlocking secrets in books. What kinds of secrets did books unlock for you as a child, or for your own children?

    One of the first lyrics I wrote was, "you can't keep a secret from me," and that was directly inspired by my experience as a parent watching my son's literacy blossom. When he was about four, I realized I couldn't just spell things out loud over his head when talking with my partner anymore (for example, "What kind of S-N-A-C-K-S do you want after B-E-D-T-I-M-E?") He could take the letters, sound them out, add context clues, and voilà! Understanding! I couldn't have been prouder. I like to think about unlocking the world with books, because once you can read, you can direct your own learning in new ways.

    Even reading the titles of books and seeing how many different topics there are to read about is magical, like, "Oh, there are books about that? Awesome! Now, hmm, do I want to read about giraffes or how to make paper airplanes?" Learning to read helps us shift from, "I don't understand the world," to "I don't understand the world yet." And books are right there to help us imagine and learn and empathize and grow. It's lovely to be part of things (librarianship, child-raising, this album) that give kids more keys to the world, because what we find when we unlock those doors is each other.

    NYPL Sings! banner


    Listen to "I Read Everywhere" here, and download the lyrics to all of NYPL Sings! here.


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    Selena Quintanilla was born April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas. At the age of 9, she began performing music known as Tejano, the name given to a genre that is popular in the Texas/Mexico region, joining her older brother and sister in the band her father started, Selena y Los Dinos. Although Tejano music was a heavily male-dominated genre, Selena broke through the barrier and established herself as an artist, winning the 1987 Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year.

    Selena's popularity grew exponentially after the release of hits like “Como La Flor” and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”. In 1994, she became the first female Tejano artist to win a Grammy award, for her album Selena Live! That same year, she released her album Amor Prohibido, which became one of the best-selling Latin albums in the United States.

    Right when she was on the verge of crossing over into the mainstream English lanugage market, Selena was shot and killed by a former friend and business associate. She was only 23 at the time of her death, but had already earned the titles, La Reina de Tejano (The Queen of Tejano), The Queen of Cumbia, and the "Tejano Madonna." A fashion icon, designer, spokeswoman, and an overall inspiration for young women everywhere, Selena may be gone, but she will never be forgotten!

    Selena Quintanilla's birthday, April 16, is known as Selena Day in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas—but if you can't make it to see her statue, don't worry! Here are five ways you can celebrate the life of one of the most influential Latin American artists of all time.

    Selena movie cover

    Watch the film Selena

    Released two years after her death, Selena (1997) was made with the support of the Quintanilla family, who served as advisors on the film to ensure that this was an accurate portrayal of La Reina. A cult classic, the film also became the breakout hit for Jennifer Lopez, who played Selena with the approval of the Quintanilla family. Grab some tissues, order some pizza, and bask in the glory that is Selena .




    To Selena, with Love book cover

    Read the memoir To Selena, with Love by Chris Perez

    Almost 20 years after her passing, Selena’s husband, Chris Perez, delivers an emotional and poignant glimpse into the life they shared. Perez joined Selena y Los Dinos as a guitarist in 1989, and he and Selena soon fell in love despite the disapproval of her manager father. Their instant connection, the forbidden love that eventually lead to a secret elopement, and their tragically brief marriage is reminiscent of a Shakespearean romance. Reading about how he fell in love with Selena will remind fans why they fell in love with her too.



    The Life of/La Vida de Selena book cover

    Share the picture book The Life of /La Vida De Selena: A Lil' Libros Bilingual Biography by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein

    This bilingual board book about Selena earned a place on Amazon's Top 5 Best Sellers list within the first week of its release! It's part of the Lil’ Libros Bilingual Biography series, which  highlights Latin American and Hispanic culture through child-friendly picture books. This presents the life of the singer using both English and Spanish text ,as well as colorful illustrations that will help ensure that any little one who reads it will become a fan.

    Lo Mejor de Selena CD cover

    Check out Selena's albums

    Selena released five studio albums during her lifetime, so there are plenty of hits for you to blast, aside from classics like "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom", "Como La Flor", and "Amor Prohibido" (but make sure to blast those too!). Selena was a fan of female artists such as Donna Summer, Paula Abdul, and Madonna, who all influenced her music and style. Checking out and supporting her music, and the music of other Latin American artists, will fill your day with good vibes and even better music!​

    DIY Fashion book cover

    ​Celebrate your own Selena style with DIY Fashion by Selena (not that one) Francis-Bryden

    Selena was a fashion icon who designed her own costumes and clothing line, and some of her most iconic looks were often the result of her own dedication to a glue gun and bedazzler! Why not rock your own Selena-inspired creations! Visit the DIY section of your local library and craft store and give your clothes some extra flavor. Whatever you do, don’t forget the red lipstick!

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    The Water Will Come book cover, Jeff Goodell with Meehan Crist

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

    Selected Events

    4/17: Radical Feminism and LGBTQ History Martin Duberman: Visiting Scholar Marcia Gallo discusses the underappreciated impact of feminism on LGBTQ activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  6:30 PM, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    4/18: The Water Will Come: Jeff Goodell with Meehan Crist: Jeff Goodell combines science writing and first-person journalism to illustrate a climate crisis as it unfolds. 6:30 PM, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    4/18: Berenice Abbott: A Life in Photography: Julia van Haaften, founding curator of the Library's photography collection, returns to discuss her latest book, a comprehensive biography of iconic 20th-century American photographer Berenice Abbott. 6:30, PM Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    4/19: Fear City: Kim Phillips-Fein and Alexander Burns: Past Cullman Center Fellow Kim Phillips-Fein and New York Times reporter Alexander Burns discuss her latest book, Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics, on the occasion of its paperback release. 7 PM, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    4/19: Author Visit: Jesse AndrewsJesse Andrews, author of the 2012 debut Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and 2016's The Haters presents his 2018 novel, Munmun3 PM, Grand Concourse Library

    4/20: Library After Hours: Revolutionary Journalism: Join us for the city’s most cerebral happy hour as we investigate the journalism of the 1960s. 7 PM, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    4/25: The Path Forward: A Future for Democracy? New York Public Library President Anthony Marx brings together political analysts from the right and left to ask what the future holds for American democracy and for democracies around the world. 6:30 PM, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    4/25: Bunny Mellon: Meryl Gordon with Walter Shapiro: Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend pulls back the curtain on the American aristocrat who designed the White House Rose Garden for her friend JFK, served as a living witness to 20th Century American history, and operated in the high-level arenas of politics, diplomacy, art and fashion. 6:30 PM, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    4/30: The Bridge: Peter J. Tomasi with Laura McKinley:  In his new graphic novel, author Peter J. Tomasi and illustrator Sara Duvall show the building of the Brooklyn Bridge as it has never been seen before.  6:30 PM, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    5/1: Rachel Kushner with Paul Schrader: Prison Complex: Bestselling author Rachel Kushner comes to LIVE to discuss her most recent novel, The Mars Room, set in a women’s correctional facility deep within California’s central valley. She is joined in conversation by legendary screenwriter and director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, American Gigolo). 7 PM, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Business, Career & Finance

    4/18: Navigating the New World of Work: Today’s work landscape is constantly changing. Understand these shifts and discover the job opportunities created by such developments. 6 PM, Science, Industry and Business Library

    4/19: Tama Kieves: Thriving Through Uncertainty: Inspirational coach, career transition expert, and author of Inspired and Unstoppable Tama Kieves guides you through life's uncertain times, helping you discover the hidden positives within difficulties. Online registration required. 6 PM, Science, Industry and Business Library

    4/24: CEO Series: Derek Lidow: Derek Lidow created and sold his company for $100 million. He shares his latest book, Building on Bedrock, and discusses the who, what, when, where, how, how much, and why of successful entrepreneurs. Online registration required. 6 PM, Science, Industry and Business Library

    4/27: Financial Planning Day: Join us for a day of workshops on a broad array of financial and life plan issues, a financial fair, financial or credit crisis counseling sessions, and demonstrations of Library resources. 10 AM, Science, Industry and Business Library

    Celebrate NYC Immigrant Heritage Week - 4/17-4/28

    4/17: Libraries Are for Everyone—from Anywhere: The New York Public Library joins New York City's celebration of Immigrant Heritage Week—praising the experiences and contributions of immigrants to our great city. On April 17, 1907, more immigrants entered the U.S. through Ellis Island than on any other day in history. In recognition of this, Immigrant Heritage Week starts  April 17. The Library is celebrating with special events through April 28.

    4/25: African Immigrant Heritage Day: Honor the rich and diverse community of immigrants from Africa who contribute to our neighborhood of Harlem Heights. 11:30 AM, Harry Belafonte–115th Street Library


    4/19: Featured Database: Ancestry Library Edition: In this hands-on demonstration, learn how to trace your family history using census records, vital records, military records, city directories, and much more! 10:30 AM, Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street

    4/24: Finding a Job Online: Learn how to navigate the internet to find and apply for jobs including searching for job listings, filling out online application forms, and submitting electronic resumes. 10:30 AM, Tremont Library

    4/25: Excel Genius Class 6: Lookup Functions: Excel Genius is a series for students with a fundamental knowledge of Excel who would like to gain a deeper understanding of the world’s most popular spreadsheet application. This class will cover different kinds of functions used to search for information in a database and work with the results. 2:30 PM, Muhlenberg Library

    More Events

    4/18: Let's Talk Democracy: Daring Democracy: 5 PM, 53rd Street Library

    4/21: Sister Act: An Afternoon of Operatic Delights: 2:30 PM Library for the Peforming Arts

    4/28: Beethoven String Quartet Marathon Presented by the Juilliard School: 11 AM Library for the Performing Arts


    Apply to Our BridgeUP Program

    Out-of-School Time Program for Teens: Looking to do something after school that is unlike anything you've done before? Then consider BridgeUP, the exciting Out-of-School Time program just for teens! BridgeUP scholars get tutoring, mentoring, and more in a creative environment at NYPL locations in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Admissions are rolling and Scholars are accepted throughout the year. Students in the 10th and 11th grade can apply today!

    Save the Date

    5/4-5/6: Walking Tours: Walk with a Librarian, 12 Participating Branches

    5/3: West: Carys Davies and Salvatore Scibona: 7 PM Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Get Events Updates by Email

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

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    ihw 2018

    Immigrant Heritage Week is a city-wide celebration that honors the experiences and contributions of immigrants in New York City established in 2004 and coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. The New York Public Library joins in on the celebration by featuring free events through the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. 
    We are highlighting a selection of fiction titles in the top four NYC languages that explore the immigrant experience. Read and discover the fascinating journeys that each unique personal story tells, and find the experiences that also bring us together. If you'd like to read nonfiction books about the immigrant experience, check out this list. Do you have any other titles to recommend? Please tell us in the comments!
    Speacial thanks to Alexandra Gomez, Candice Walcott, and Yolande Shelton for collaborating on creating this World Languages list.


    In the Midst of Winter

    In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende







    The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping

    The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping by Aharon Apelfeld


    Live from Cairo

    Live from Cairo by Ian Bassingthwaighte


    Exit West

    Exit West by Moshin Hamid


    Behold the Dreamers

    Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue


    The Refugees

    The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen


    Between Two Skies

    Between Two Skies by Joanne O'Sullivan


    No One Can Pronounce My Name

    No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal


    The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

    The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See



    The Gringo Champion

    The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen





    我的美国新生活 (My New American Life) by Francine Prose

    白牙(White Teeth) by Zadie Smith

    不属于我们的世纪 (We Are Not Ourselves) by Matthew Thomas

    布鲁克林 (Brooklyn) by Colm Tóibín

    移民 (Immigrant) by Xiwo Chen


    Розовый костюм

    Розовый костюм by N.M. Kelby



    Израиль в Москве : повесть​ by Efim Lekht



    Гастарбайтер by Musa Murataliev

    Муза by Jessie Burton

    Взгляни на меня : [роман] by Nicholas Sparks


    Más allá del invierno

    Más allá del invierno by Isabel Allende


    Los días de Jesús en la escuela

    Los días de Jesús en la escuela by J.M. Coetzee



    La fila india

    La fila indiaby Antonio Ortuño





    Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín


    Propios y extraños

    Propios y extraños by Anne Tyler


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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


    Black Edge book cover Yellow background with shark make of dollars bills

    Sheelah Kolhatkar is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a former hedge-fund analyst. Her first book is Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street. It tells the story of Steven A. Cohen and his involvement in the largest insider-trading scandal in U.S history.

    The book is one of the five finalists selected for NYPL's Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. Kolhatkar dropped by the Library to discuss how she wrote this real-life thriller, what Cohen is up to today, and why people outside of the financial world should be paying attention. 




    How to listen to The New York Public Library Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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    ihw 2018

    Immigrant Heritage Week is a city-wide celebration that honors the experiences and contributions of immigrants in New York City established in 2004 and coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. The New York Public Library joins in on the celebration by featuring free events through the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. 
    We are highlighting a selection of nonfiction titles in the top four NYC languages that explore the immigrant experience. Read and discover the fascinating journeys that each unique personal story tells, and find the experiences that also bring us together. If you'd like to read fiction books about the immigrant experience, check out this list. Do you have any other titles to recommend? Please tell us in the comments!
    Speacial thanks to Alexandra Gomez, Candice Walcott, and Yolande Shelton for collaborating on creating this World Languages list.


    I'll Never Change My Name

    I'll Never Change My Name by Valentin Chmerkovskiy


    8 Seconds of Courage

    8 Seconds of Courage by Flo Groberg and Tom Sileo


    An American Family

    An American Family by Khizr Khan


    For Love of the Dollar

    For Love of the Dollar by J.M. Servin, translated by Anthony Seidman


    International Express

    International Express by Sté​phanie Tonnelat


    The Far Away Brothers

    The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham


    My (Underground) American Dream

    My (Underground) American Dream by Julissa Acre


    Patriot Number One

    Patriot Number One by Lauren Hilgers



    Stranger by Jorge Ramos

    World of Our Fathers by Irving Howe



    阿里巴巴 : 物流電商雙11, 馬雲改變13億人的生活方式 (Alibaba : The House that Jack Ma Built) by Duncan Clark

    帝国的后门 by Sasha Gong

    美國原來如此: 走進偉大與荒唐共存的大國日常 (America as We See It) by Kelai'er (Claire Fluellen)

    邓文迪 : 女人明白要趁早 by Lüqing Zhang

    燈火紐約說人物 戏梦纽约 (My Lustrous Life) by Longzhang Zhou



    Наши за границей, или Русские эмигранты в Америке

    Наши за границей, или Русские эмигранты в Америке by Liana Alverdova


     глазами русских американцев

    США, pro et contra : глазами русских американцев by Vladimir Solov'ev


     история одной судьбы

    Черный русский : история одной судьбы by Vladimir E. Alexandrov



    И это вс̈е Америка by L.N. Zakashanskiĭ

    На нарах с дядей Сэмомг by Lev Trakhtenberg



    Mi país inventado

    Mi país inventado by Isabel Allende


    Entre las sombras del sueño americano

    Entre las sombras del sueño Americano by Julissa Arce


    Una reina sin medidas

    Una reina sin medidas by Paula Arcila


     el viaje de una joven norcoreana hacia la libertad

    Escapar para vivir : el viaje de una joven norcoreana hacia la libertad by Yeonmi Park


     historias de nuestra gente

    La mesa: historias de nuestra gente by León Krauze


    Ellis Island

    Ellis Island by Barry Moreno


     historias de vida más allá de la frontera

    Nosotros los dreamers: historias de vida más allá de la frontera by Josefina Vázquez Mota


     una guía informativa de Univision

    Inmigración: las nuevas reglas: la que debes saber para vivir y permanecer legalmente en Estados Unidos: una guía informativa de Univision by Armando A. Olmedo


    Oye, Trump

    Oye, Trump by Andrés Manuel López Obrador


     el desafío de un inmigrante latino en la era de Trump

    Stranger: el desafío de un inmigrante latino en la era de Trump by Jorge Ramos


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    Harriet Tubman
    Harriet Tubman, abolitionist; NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: psnypl_scg_383
    "There are two things I’ve got a right to, and these are, Death or Liberty – one or the other I mean to have. No one will take me back alive; I shall fight for my liberty, and when the time has come for me to go, the Lord will let them kill me."Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman by Sarah Hopkins Bradford

    Most kids hear about Harriet Tubman while in school, as part of the curriculum on slavery in America. We learn of a woman nicknamed "Moses", after the biblical figure, who led hundreds of enslaved African Americans to freedom.

    In recent years Harriet Tubman made history again, although for an entirely different reason. In April 2016, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew announced that Tubman will be replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

    This is significant because she will be the first woman and first African American to appear on United States currency. While she has become a very well known figure, there is more to her story than what we are usually taught.



    Harriet Tubman
    Harriet Tubman, NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 485473

    Early Life

    Born Araminta Ross in 1820 Maryland, Tubman was one of eight children. Her parents, Benjamin Ross and Harriet Green, were full-blooded Africans and believed to belong to the Ashanti tribe of West Africa, known for being warriors. Though most of her siblings were sold, Araminta managed to stay with her parents for much of her young life. By the time the prospect of being sold did come up, the owner of her family, Edward Brodas, died.

    It was during this time that Araminta discovered she was, in fact, free—her mother had been freed by a previous owner but was never told. However, Araminta never pursued the issue because a lawyer informed her too much time had passed and her freedom wouldn't be upheld in court. (source: Biography in Context)

    When she reached adulthood, Araminta decided to take her mother's name, Harriet. She also married a free man named John Tubman around this time, hence 'Harriet Tubman' was born.

    Despite being married to someone free, Mrs. Tubman still retained her slave status. She was "rented" out to another owner who did allow her to work away from his plantation for a price of $50 a year. Around 1849, two of Harriet's brothers heard they were all likely to be sold into the Deep South as part of the domestic slave trade, during which slaves were often sold into territories as areas were settled and labor was needed. Fearing an even worse way of life, Mrs. Tubman and her brothers ran away.

    A reward of $300 was issued for their return (an example of such a notice is pictured at right). Fearing repercussions, Mrs. Tubman's brothers returned within a few days; Mrs. Tubman, not feeling safe, decided to leave for good. For unknown reasons, her husband did not join her, yet she made it to Philadelphia (a center of abolitionist activity) via the Underground Railroad. (source: African American Experience)

    Runaway notice, "$200 reward!" signed W.D. Bowie. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 1232774

    Work with The Underground Railroad

    The Underground Railroad was the name for the network of escape routes for slaves, the people who helped them, and the system itself which was loosely organized in the beginning. Through this "railroad", thousands of enslaved Americans were able to make their way to Canada and northern states of the U.S. in the years before the Civil War. The exact year in which the system began is unknown, but it is believed the Quakers started it in 1787. By the time Mrs. Tubman made her escape in 1849, escape via the Underground Railroad had become a frequent practice and it involved a much larger network of people. (source: African American Experience)

    Unfortunately, in 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act which made the northern states just as dangerous as the South. The law made it possible for the testimony of any white person to be used as a means of sending any black person, free or not, to the South and into slavery.

    For this reason, Mrs. Tubman began visiting the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, an organization formed by James Miller McKim and William Still, to help fugitive slaves. Still kept careful records of those who passed through the committee's office and published them in 1872 as The Underground Rail Road. Through this group, Harriet began her role as a "conductor" on the railroad. By 1857, she had helped free dozens of slaves (not the hundreds often touted in history books; Tubman believed the figure was closer to 70), including her own parents and other family members. In later years, Tubman would remark with pride that she never lost a passenger and never lost her way. (source: Biography in Context)

    William Still, The underground railroad record. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 485715

    Civil War Service

    Though most famous for her role in the Underground Railroad, Mrs. Tubman also had another, equally important role: unofficial military servicewoman! During the Civil War, she assisted the Union Army as a nurse, scout, teacher, and guide. After the passing of the Emanicipation Proclamation, she played yet another important role, helping slaves relocate. Most were moved to contraband camps, which were originally established to provide shelter to fugitive slaves during the Civil War, but continued as a refuge after the law was passed to abolish slavery. Mrs. Tubman would later servce as a nurse and teacher to many of the Gullah people, slaves who had been abandoned in South Carolina's Sea Islands. (source: African American Experience

    Mrs. Tubman's experience leading slaves through the Underground Railroad came in handy during the Civil War when the Union Army requested her assistance with scouting expeditions. Working with groups of former slaves, she hunted down enemy camps and reported on the movements of Confederate troops. Her most important task came to a head in July of 1863: At that time, she accompanied Colonel James Montgomery and about 150 black, soldiers to raid a gunboat on the Combahee River in South Carolina. The purpose of the raid was to liberate slaves who were either unable or too scared to find their way to Union lines. Inside information procured by Tubman enabled the Union gunboats to surprise the rebel forces. (source: Library of Congress)

    gun boat
    Union gun-boats destroying rebel fleet. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 813582

    Mrs. Tubman's execution of this raid is important not only because it yielded such great success, but also because she was a woman, a civilian, and a former slave who managed to orchestrate and carry out a full-scale military operation alongside decorated officers. She wasn't familiar with the South Carolina territory so, to implement her plan, she had to use her wits and the help of others familiar with the area. Mrs. Tubman recruited scouts from nearby camps of freed slaves to help gather intelligence, knowing that, as an outsider, it would be difficult for her to gain the trust of the slaves because she was from a different area and did not speak the Gullah language of people located there. (source: New York Times)

    Once the operation had enough information to proceed, they pulled ashore at night, only to be met by fire from slave owners and Confederate soldiers who discovered their plans. Despite this, they still were able to liberate more than 700 slaves, only increasing Tubman's legendary status.

    She went on to work similar missions with the famed Massachusetts 54th Infantry (the first military unit consisting of black soldiers raised in the North) and spent the final years of the war tending injured soldiers. In the 1970s, a black feminist organization known as the Combahee River Collective named themselves after the raid in honor of Mrs. Tubman's brave work. (Source: America: History and Life)

    After the Civil War, Mrs. Tubman settled in Auburn, New York with her parents. While there, she continued to be an important force, fighting for racial justice as well as women's rights. She was a featured speaker at the National Association of Colored Women's inaugural meeting, where she was introduced as "Mother Harriet". She was a huge supporter of women gaining the right to vote and was known to work alongside such greats as Susan B. Anthony.

    Later Years

    Wanting to fulfill another dream of founding a home for the aged and poor, Mrs. Tubman bought 25 acres of land, deeded the land to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and established the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged and Indigent Negroes.  (Source: Biography in Context)

    Harriet Tubman, 1911; NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: psnypl_scg_392

    During this time, Mrs. Tubman also managed to work on an autobiography with writer Sarah Bradford, originally called "Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman" (it is in the Library collection with the more recent title, Harriet Tubman, the Moses of Her People). She remarried in 1869, after finding out her husband had done so already, to a Civil War veteran named Nelson Davis. Although younger than his wife, Davis passed in 1888.

    Tubman continued to show her tenacity by living to the age of 93, dying on March 10, 1913 from pneumonia. She spent the last two years of her life living in the very home she created to help others less fortunate. Although she was never properly acknowledged for her extensive military service, Mrs. Tubman was given a military funeral service by the Civil War Veterans of Auburn.

    Harriet Tubman proved herself as not just a person of great character but also a humanitarian who tirelessly worked for the greater good. Whether it was for African Americans or women, she wasn't content living in a world that did not treat everyone equally. While there were many choices in the mix regarding which woman would ultimately be on the face of our currency, the one most representative of the the American spirit was surely the woman known as Moses.

    Books for Kids

    Harriet Tubman by Marion Dane Bauer

    Harriet Tubman: A Woman of Courage by Time for Kids

    Harriet Tubman: Riding the Freedom Train by Rose Blue & Corinne J. Naden

    Harriet Tubman: Leading the Way to Freedom by Laurie Calkhoven

    See the full list here

    Books for Adults

    Harriet Tubman : Imagining a Life by Beverly Lowry

    Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom by Catherine Clinton

    Harriet Tubman; the Moses of Her People by Sarah Bradford

    Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Heroby Kate Clifford Larson

    Historical Databases

    The African American Experience: Full-text digital resource exploring the history and culture of African Americans, as well as the greater Black Diaspora.

    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. Provides a context for further research through links to chronology, biographies, bibliographies, and websites.

    African American Newspapers, 1827-1998: Hundreds of U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience from more than 35 states. A collection feature of America's Historical Newspapers.

    America: History and Life with Full Text: Indexes the scholarly literature of the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. With full-text coverage of hundreds of journals and books, and selective indexing for journals dating back nearly 60 years.

    Other Resources

    "Harriet Tubman Ousts Andrew Jackson in Change for a $20", New York Times

    Harriet Tubman Historical Society

    "Harriet Tubman: Former slave who risked all to save others"BBC News

    "Harriet Tubman; Civil War Spy, Daring Soldier"Liberty Letters

    "Harriet Tubman's Great Raid" New York Times

    "Harriet Tubman's Daring Raid, 150 Years Ago", History


    Want to know more about the man Tubman almost replaced on the $10 bill? Check out my post on Alexander Hamilton.


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    ihw 2018

    Immigrant Heritage Week is a city-wide celebration that honors the experiences and contributions of immigrants in New York City established in 2004 and coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. The New York Public Library joins in on the celebration by featuring free events through the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. 
    We are highlighting a selection of films available for streaming on Kanopy that explore the immigrant experience. Kanopy is an online video streaming service featuring thousands of independent, classic, and documentary films, and all you need to access these films is a valid NYPL card and PIN. Through these films, discover the fascinating journeys that each unique personal story tells, and find the experiences that also bring us together. For NYC Immigrant Heritage Week we have also created a list of nonfiction books and another list of fiction books. Do you have any other films to recommend? Please tell us in the comments!
    Speacial thanks to Alexandra Gomez, Candice Walcott, and Yolande Shelton for collaborating on creating this World Languages list.

    Beyond the border

    Follows the classic immigrant experience with Marcelo Ayala, who leaves his family on a risky journey to the United States. We begin to understand his decision to leave Mexico with the insights of his brothers, who before him, have each made the same journey. 
    2001 | 58 minutes | Supplied by Dos Vatos

    Dollars and Dreams

    Focuses on the pursuits and challenges of numerous West African immigrants as they confront the idea of the American Dream and the reality of the New York experience. The film creates a vibrant portrait of African achievement throughout the city, while exploring the complicated issues African immigrants face as they balance their deep connections to Africa and their enthusiastic commitments to America.
    2007 | 58 minutes | Supplied by Documentary Educational Resources

    Every Child is Born a Poet

    Explores the life and work of Piri Thomas (b. 1928) the Afro-Cuban-Puerto Rican author of the classic autobiographical novel Down These Mean Streets (1967). The film traces Thomas' path from childhood to manhood in New York City's Spanish Harlem, El Barrio, from the 1930s through the 1960s; his parents' immigrant experience, home life during the Great Depression, his membership in barrio youth gangs, his struggle to come to terms with his mixed-racial identity, his travels as a teen-age merchant marine, his heroin addiction, his notorious armed robbery of a Greenwich Village nightclub, his six years spent in prison, and then his emergence as a writer.
    2003 | 58 minutes | Supplied by Collective Eye Films

    Foreign Letters

    Ellie, a 12-year-old immigrant girl from Israel, is lonely and homesick. Life brightens when she meets Thuy, a Vietnamese refugee her age. Trust slowly builds as the two teach each other about life in America. Based on the filmmaker's own experience, Foreign Letters is a story about prejudice, poverty, shame, and the power of friendship to heal us.
    2012 | 101 minutes | Supplied by Film Movement

    The Immigrant Experience

    Part of the series Shaping of the American Nation Collection
    The hopes and conflicts of all immigrants are seen through the eyes of the boy Janek, and in a warm scene at the program's close, Janek the man looks at his dreams of a lifetime being realized through his grandchildren.
    2000 | 30 minutes | Supplied by The Phoenix Learning Group

    The Immigration Paradox

    In an era of increased global mass migration what does it mean to be an American? In this conversational piece, filmmaker Lourdes Lee Vasquez unlocks additional never before seen footage filmed during her original 7-year journey. The Immigration Paradox - Encore delves into some of the ideological and historical precedents that have led up to now.
    2014 | 74 minutes | Supplied by The Immigration Paradox Movie

    The Italian Americans

    Reveals the unique and distinctive qualities of one immigrant group's experience, and how these qualities, over time, have shaped and challenged America.
    2015 | 219 minutes (4 parts) | Supplied by PBS

    Our People, Our Traditions

    Part of the series Finding Your Roots
    Three celebrated Americans who share not only a Jewish heritage but also a history of perseverance in the face of withering opposition. Now woven into the fabric of the American experience the immigrant stories of our guests' ancestors provide an extraordinary testimony to this country's triumph over adversity.
    2014 | 53 Minutes | supplied by PBS


    In this deeply personal award-winning documentary that gives an insider view on the contemporary immigrant experience, divorce and family psychology, and the personal filmmaking process, filmmaker Alvin Tsang reflects on his family's migration from Hong Kong to Los Angeles in the early 1980s—fraught with betrayal from his parents' divorce, economic strife, and communication meltdown between parents and children.
    2016 | 86 minutes | supplied by Hawkfinn Films

    Saved by Deportation

    Asher and Shifra Scharf, elderly Chasidic Polish Jews and former deportees, travel through Poland, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, revisiting their places of exile, and untangling the threads of time and memory to reconstruct the events of six decades past.
    2006 | 81 minutes | supplied by LOGTV