Ian Frazier: Defending New York’s Public Libraries : The New Yorker

Ian Frazier: Defending New York’s Public Libraries : The New Yorker.

he New York Public Library’s announcement that it is abandoning its Central Library Plan has been praised as a good and sensible thing, and indeed it is. The C.L.P. would have sold off the Mid-Manhattan Library and the Science, Industry, and Business Library (called SIBL; five of its floors not open to the public have been sold already). The collections of those libraries would have been moved to the main research library, on Fifth Avenue, and elsewhere. That hundred-and-three-year-old edifice (now known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building), with the stone lions out front, would have been reconfigured: seven floors of its stacks taken out, a lending library added to what had been a research library only, more than a million books moved off-site, and a four-level atrium and other new elements put in, following a design by the architect Norman Foster.

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Europeana 1914-1918 – untold stories & official histories of WW1

Europeana 1914-1918 – untold stories & official histories of WW1

New corresponding Hitler postcard found

Two days after the soldier Adolf Hitler wrote this postcard to his comrade Karl Lanzhammer telling him about avisit to the dentist, he wrote another one on 21 December 1916 about the painful visit, where he claims 19 of his teeth were extracted.

The second postcard surfaced in Bavaria, just like the first one, which was discovered in 2012 during Europeana’s Family History Roadshow in Munich.

Dated 21 December 1916, the recently discovered correspondence was again addressed to Lanzhammer, who was in the same regiment as Hitler in the war in France. After an evaluation of the dictator’s dental records, it is possible that Hitler may have exaggerated the episode, as only 15 teeth were believed to have been removed, according to German newspaper Münchner Merkur, which broke the news about the postcard. However, the procedure provides an explanation as to why Hitler was not at the front from early October 1916 to early March 1917.

The recently-discovered postcard is privately owned. The owner received the card from his father, who fought in World War Two with a relative of Lanzhammer, and received the card from him. Read more…



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A Library for Children — the Stone Avenue Branch

A Library for Children — the Stone Avenue Branch.

May 7, 2014 12:07 PM | 1 comment

The Stone Avenue Library Branch has stood at 581 Mother Gaston Boulevard for 100 years, and has recently celebrated that fact with a renovation and re-opening party. Of course, the street wasn’t called Mother Gaston when the branch was built — that came later, after local activist Rosetta “Mother” Gaston opened the Heritage House as an education and community center in this very library.  Another name change worth noting is that of the branch itself. Now known as the Stone Avenue Library, it first opened its doors in 1914 as the Brownsville Children’s Library — reportedly the first library in the world to cater specifically and exclusively to children.

Children wait patiently outside the Brownsville Children’s Library, c. 1930

Read more….

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Public Library Abandons Plan to Revamp 42nd Street Building – NYTimes.com


The New York Public Library has abandoned its controversial plan to turn part of its research flagship on 42nd Street into a circulating library. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times


Continue reading the main story

In a striking about-face, the New York Public Library has abandoned a renovation plan that would have turned its research flagship on 42nd Street into a circulating library and instead will rebuild the Mid-Manhattan library on Fifth Avenue, several library trustees said.

“When the facts change, the only right thing to do as a public-serving institution is to take a look with fresh eyes and see if there is a way to improve the plans and to stay on budget,” Tony Marx, the library’s president, said Wednesday in an interview.


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Book Lovers Record Traces of 19th-Century Readers – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education


A lament for a dead child, written by her mother in pencil on the endpaper of an 1843 copy of The Poetical Works of Mrs. Felicia Hemans. A sewing needle, thread still attached, inserted in the back of an 1860 edition of The Letters of Hannah More to Zachary Macauley. Bittersweet annotations in an 1891 copy of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Ballads and Other Poems (left), in which the book’s owner recalls times spent reading it with her lost beloved: “You read this, July 1st, Sunday, the day you said—‘goodbye,’ sitting in the great armchair in the Infirmary parlor—O friend of mine!” read more…


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Secret Libraries of New York City | Atlas Obscura

Lantern slide of the New York Public Library (via NYPL)

As the debate continues over the renovation of the main branch of the New York Public Library — a design by Norman Foster that would radically overhaul the stacks and other features of the historic Beaux-Arts building — we are looking at some of the city’s less visible libraries. The NYPL has an incredible branch system around the boroughs, but it’s only a part of New York City’s literary resources. From private clubs, to nonprofit societies, to pop up places right out in the streets, here are some of our favorite secret libraries of the city. read more…


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METRO Member Spotlight: Washington Heights Library – 04-30-2014 : METRO in New York, NY US METRO

METRO Member Spotlight: Washington Heights Library

The Washington Heights Library held festivities in early March to celebrate the library’s re-opening after a four year renovation process. Community leaders and residents joined library staff for a daylong program, replete with a ribbon cutting and a birthday cake to mark the building’s centennial.

Washington Heights Library, Image Courtesy of Vianela RivasThe library now features an open floor plan filled with natural light. “After our recent renovation, we have more space to provide programs for the community,” says Vianela Rivas, the library’s manager. “The beautifully designed children’s room allows us to have a bigger collection for children, including books for parents.” Read more…


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Center for Jewish History Offers Free “Ask the Experts” and “Behind the Scenes” Programs April 28 and 29 For National Preservation Week

The Center for Jewish History is pleased to announced its participation in the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services‘ Preservation Week from April 27 – May 3, 2014. This year we will be hosting a number of exciting events including behind-the-scenes tours of our Collection Management and Conservation Wing (http://cjh.org/p/140) and ‘Ask the Experts’ sessions on handling a diverse array of archival and library materials.

See the schedule below. All events will be held at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011.  The events are open to the public -registration is requested at RSVP@cjh.org. Please come and join us!


Center for Jewish History

Offers Free “Ask the Experts” and “Behind the Scenes” Programs

April 28 and 29

For National Preservation Week


WHAT:                 Behind the Scenes TourTour of the Center for Jewish History’s Conservation Laboratory, Digitization Laboratory, and Archival Processing Center


WHEN:                 Monday, April 28, 2014

Tours at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.


WHERE:               Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th Street, New York City


TICKETS:               Free. Reservations are requested at RSVP@cjh.org


  CJH Archives



The Center for Jewish History is home to five partner organizations—American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, YU Museum,and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research—whose collections total more than 500,000 volumes and 100 million documents and include thousands of pieces of artwork, textiles, ritual objects, recordings, films, and photographs. Taken as a whole, the collections span more than 700 years of history and comprise the largest and most comprehensive repository of the modern Jewish experience in the world. The Center is also home to TheDavid Berg Rare Book Room, the Lillian Goldman Reading Room, The Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute, and the Collection Management & Conservation Wing. At the Center, the history of the Jewish people is illuminated through scholarship and cultural programming, exhibitions and symposia, lectures, and performances. For more information visit: www.cjh.org.




Laura Leone | Director of Archive and Library Services | Center for Jewish History | 15 W. 16th Street, New York, NY 10011 | 917-606-8215 | search.cjh.org




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2014 SLA@Pratt Skill Share – Librarians in the 21st Century: Design…

Members in the news:

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The New York Library Club @ FIT –Spring event

contributed by Jen Roth


On April 8th the NY Library Club visited the museum and Gladys Marcus Library at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The tour started with a talk by curator Ellen Shanley, who gave us a brief overview of fashion history, touching on how how aspects like hem lengths, silhouettes, undergarments, and shoulder pads have all changed over time. She illustrated her talk with garments from FIT’s teaching collection, including a sequined Oscar de la Renta minidress, a duplicate of a Paul Pioret “lampshade dress”, a pleated Fortuny gown carefully stored in a small box, and a women’s suit designed by Hollywood costume designer Adrian.

The tour’s next stop were the library’s special collections and archives, where Special Collections Associate April Calahan had laid out a variety of items for us to look at, including fashion sketches and old periodicals. The archives are home to all of the theses written by FIT students as well as 300 unique manuscript collections and thousands of books, periodicals, designer scrapbooks, and more. April also runs a blog called Material Mode that showcases the collections. (https://blog.fitnyc.edu/materialmode/)

The final part of the tour was a visit to the periodicals and forecast services desk in the main library. Helen Lane, Head of Research and Instruction, showed us some futures books. These are part of the library’s fashion and trend forecasting services and summarize and predict upcoming trends in color, fabrics, and designs. Use of these resources is highly restricted – they can’t leave the reading room and photographs and photocopies are prohibited. The library also subscribes to online forecasting databases in addition to the print resources.

After the tour concluded, many members of the club also took the opportunity to view the museum’s exhibitions Trend-ology and Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s.


Bio: Jen Roth received her MLIS with a concentration in rare books and special collections from LIU Palmer in January 2011. She currently works as a collection assistant at NYU’s Courant Library

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