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A majority of New Yorkers–95 percent–said in an online survey that Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s proposed $11 million funding cut to public libraries would hurt the city’s communities, according to the Daily News; scaled-back hours and reduced programs like free after-school options for teens would curtail staffing and hiring across all five boroughs. Now, actress Sarah Jessica Parker is adding her celebrity firepower to help rescue the city’s libraries with an online campaign, the New York Post reports.
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The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, located in Lincoln Center, has just announced that the Lou Reed Archive is open to the public. The archive documents the life and history of the musician, composer, poet, writer, photographer and tai-chi student through his own extensive collection of papers, photographs, recordings and other materials that span Reed’s creative life starting with his 1958 Freeport High School band, the Shades, right up to his last performances in 2013. In addition, the archive’s opening is being celebrated with a special edition library card as well as a display of items in the collection and more events.
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Rendering of the Marshall Rose Plaza by Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle
The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday approved the New York Public Library’s plan to add a new public entrance and plaza to its Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in Midtown. The changes fall under the library’s larger master renovation plan, a $317 million project first unveiled in 2017. The LPC approved the changes to the exterior of the building–subject to the city’s landmark rules–after design modifications suggested at a presentation in February were made by the library, Curbed NY reported.
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The New York Public Library has announced its annual top checkouts list for the year; The most sought-after title in the three public library systems–including books and e-books from the New York Public Library (covering the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island), Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library–was Jennifer Egan’s “Manhattan Beach.” Egan won a Pulitzer Prize for “A Visit From the Goon Squad” in 2011; her newest novel is, as the New York Times puts it in a review, “principally a novel of New York” that “pays tribute to the city’s iconography.”
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The New York Public Library launched on Monday a limited-edition library card highlighting the message behind all public libraries: knowledge is power. The special black and silver card serves as a reminder to New Yorkers to fight misinformation, stay informed, and, of course, visit your local library. The card is available at NYPL‘s 92 locations across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island for a limited time.
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For those New Yorkers who haven’t gotten their IDNYC, there’s now a new way to gain free access to museums across the city–your library card. Today, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), the New York Public Library (NYPL), and Queens Library launched Culture Pass, “a joint library-led, city-wide initiative providing free access to more than 30 museums and cultural institutions across all five boroughs available to every NYC library card holder.” According to a press release, all card holders have to do is go online to reserve a free day pass for themselves and up to three guests at 33 cultural organizations, from the Whitney Museum and MoMA (where regular adult entry is $25/person) to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Wave Hill.
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The New York Public Library first roared into existence on May 23, 1895, educating and inspiring countless millions, free of charge. The Library’s 92 locations include four research divisions and hold over 51 million items. Out of all these tomes, the greatest tale might be Library’s own history: Founded by immigrants and industrialists, it was equally admired by William Howard Taft and Vladimir Lenin; open to all, it has counted among its staff American Olympians and Soviet spies; dedicated to intellectual exploration and civic responsibility, it has made its map collection available to buried treasure hunters and Allied Commanders; evolving with the city itself, it has made branch locations out of a prison, a movie theater, and most recently, a chocolate factory. The history of the New York Public Library is as vital and various New York itself, so get ready to read between the lions.
The 123-year-old history of the NYPL
The holiday season in New York is one of the most magical times, packed with lots of events to perpetuate the experience. Aside from ice skating, holiday-themed bars, and the tree at Rockefeller Center, be sure to tuck into these art exhibitions and events to get you into the spirit! From old standbys like the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show to contemporary offerings like Yayoi Kusama’s glittering installations in Chelsea and Erwin Redl’s haunting field of glowing orbs at Madison Square Park, we’ve rounded up the 14 best must-see artsy exhibits this year.
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New 40th Street entrance. Credit: Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle
At a Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday evening, The New York Public Library revealed the $317 million master plan that will guide the renovation of the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The plan was developed by Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and the NYC-based Beyer Blinder Belle. The historic Midtown Beaux-Arts building is home to one of the nation’s leading research libraries as well as historic spaces like the landmarked Rose Main Reading Room, the Maps, Periodicals, and Genealogy reading rooms, and Astor Hall.
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In May, State Senators Brad Hoylman and Liz Krueger drafted a letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission asking them to designate the Rose Main Reading Room (one of the largest uncolumned interior spaces in the world) and the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room at the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 5th Avenue as interior landmarks. Though the LPC has been criticized in the past for their backlog of potential landmarks, they quickly put the request on their schedule and just this morning voted unanimously in favor of the designations, which protect the spaces’ murals, decorative plasterwork, metal and woodwork, light fixtures, windows, doors, balconies, built-in bookcases, and decorative elements.
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