New York Public Library

City Living, Events

Photo credit: Jonathan Blanc / NYPL

The New York Public Library will give away half a million brand new books to families, part of a series of programs aimed at keeping kids and teens engaged while school is out for the summer. The free books are available at all branches in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, as well as during select outdoor programs. In addition to distributing 500,000 free books, NYPL’s “Summer at the Library” program includes outdoor pop-up storytime, writing and reading challenges, and hundreds of free programs for readers of all ages.

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City Living

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Public libraries in New York City are calling on New Yorkers to take a stand against book banning. The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library on Monday launched the citywide “Banned Books Challenge,” urging New Yorkers to read 10 books that explore issues of race, sexuality, religion, and history, subjects that have been targeted for censorship in recent months. To kick off the challenge, the libraries made Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo, available for free with no waits on e-reader apps until June 26.

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City Living

library, NYPL, lions

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Blanc / NYPL

New York City’s public libraries are taking on book banning. The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library this week announced separate initiatives to provide access to books to readers across the country. Under its “Books for All” effort, the NYPL made electronic copies of commonly banned books, including The Catcher in the Rye and Speak, available through their e-reading app, SimplyE, to anyone in the United States. Similarly, the BPL launched “Books UnBanned,” which gives free digital library cards to teens and young adults nationwide.

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City Living, Events

7 historic treasures to check out at the new NYPL exhibit

By Devin Gannon, Wed, September 29, 2021

Photo: Max Touhey/ NYPL

More than 250 historic items and artifacts, many of which the public has never seen before, are now on display in New York City. The Polonsky Exhibition of the New York Public Library’s Treasures opened at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building last week, showing off just some of the institution’s incredible collection of objects, images, letters, manuscripts, and more that spans 4,000 years in history. From a draft copy of the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson to the stuffed bear that inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, the library’s first permanent exhibition allows the public to connect intimately with history at no cost.

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holidays

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. With loving greetings. NYPL Digitial Collections.

Although the pandemic probably put a damper on plans for a big night out this Valentine’s Day, there are still ways to celebrate your loved ones. While jewelry, roses, and a steak dinner are always nice, a romantic greeting card remains one of the most popular, and affordable, ways to say “I love you.” Instead of the typical heart and floral card designs, why not surprise your Valentine this year with a bizarre note from the early 20th-century that depicts delightfully weird cherubs and charming cupids? The New York Public Library has an amazing digital collection of vintage Valentine’s Day cards, some of which stand the test of time and others that may not. Ahead, see some of our favorites from the collection and choose your own to exchange on February 14.

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Events, Museums

Photo of the Museum of Natural History by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

Two summers ago, Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library launched Culture Pass, a program that provided free access to more than 30 museums and cultural institutions for library card holders. With all of these locations closed or operating at limited capacity during the pandemic, the three libraries have teamed up to take Culture Pass digital this summer, launching a new series of more than 70 original online programs, which will be free for children and adults through August 20.

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Featured Story

East Village, Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History, Noho

The history of how the New York Public Library got its start Downtown

By Andrew Berman of Village Preservation, Fri, January 31, 2020

This year, the New York Public Library is celebrating its 125th anniversary. With 53 million items and 92 locations across Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island, the NYPL is the largest municipal library in the world. It’s also the steward of some of New York’s greatest landmarks, reflecting a century and a quarter of Gotham’s history, and in some cases even more.

The roots of this library system can be found in Greenwich Village, the East Village, and Noho. The main antecedents of the NYPL which formed the foundation of today’s system— the Astor Library, the Lenox Library, and the New York Free Circulating Library – all began in these neighborhoods just below 14th Street. As a result, this is where New York’s oldest public library buildings and the oldest building housing an NYPL branch are located — the latter ironically having been where great works of literature were banned and censored before it became a library.

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City Living

The top 10 books New Yorkers borrowed from NYPL in 2019

By Devin Gannon, Wed, December 18, 2019

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Library patrons in New York City checked out former first lady Michelle Obama’s autobiography Becoming the most out of any book this year. The New York Public Library shared on Wednesday its annual top checkouts list from its branches in the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, as well as its e-book catalog. Becoming, ranked as one of the best-selling memoirs of all time, follows the story of Obama’s life, from growing up on the South Side of Chicago to becoming the first African American to serve as First Lady of the United States.

See the full list

Events

J.D. Salinger on the deck of the M.S. Kungsholm, 1941; Courtesy of the New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations and the J.D. Salinger Literary Trust

The life of famously private author J.D. Salinger will be the focus of a new New York Public Library exhibit. To mark the centennial of The Catcher in the Rye writer’s birth, the library will display more than 200 items from Salinger’s life, most of which have never before been seen by the public. The exhibition, “J.D. Salinger,” includes family photographs from his time growing up in Manhattan, his own typewriter, and original typescript and proofs.

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Celebrities, City Living, Policy

new york public library, nypl, top books of 2018

Image via publicdomainpictures.net

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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