Photo credit: Jonathan Blanc / NYPL
During an unusually tough year full of challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, an election, and racial justice issues, New Yorkers relied on books to not only stay informed but to find comfort. The city’s three public library systems on Monday released their top checkouts of 2020 lists. At the New York Public Library, which includes branches in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island, the most borrowed book of the year was Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half. In Brooklyn, the top checkout was How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and in Queens, The Guardians by John Grisham.
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As it wraps up its 125th anniversary year, the New York Public Library is paying tribute to the city it has called home for over a century. On Thursday, the library released “125 NYC Books We Love,” a list of titles recommended for adults, kids, and teens that celebrate the five boroughs. The book list is part of the library’s “Roar for NYC” campaign, which aims to lift up New Yorkers during a challenging time and remind us of the city’s resiliency.
Photo credit: Jonathan Blanc/NYPL
There’s exactly one month until the presidential election, but that’s still plenty of time to educate yourself about the issues at stake. To make things easier, the New York Public Library has released its 2020 Election Reading List, which features 200 titles for adults, teens, and children that “offer illuminating and engaging explorations of key voter issues, from climate change, foreign policy, and education to healthcare, political polarization, and movements toward greater justice and socioeconomic equality.”
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On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving some women the right to vote under federal law. In celebration of the milestone’s centennial, the New York Public Library on Tuesday released a list of over 100 non-fiction titles about feminism, with a mix of current and historic materials. The “Essential Reads on Feminism,” offers diverse perspectives on the fight for gender equality as well as reflects the limitations of the early suffrage movement, especially for women of color.
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New York Public Library patrons kept busy during the citywide shutdown by reading lots of books. According to the library, since the temporary closure of all of its branches in Manhattan, the Bronx, and on Staten Island on March 16, there were over two million checkouts of e-books. Plus, 65,000 new users signed up for the SimplyE, the library’s free e-reader app. Now with some of the city’s public libraries reopened, the NYPL released on Monday a list of the most checked out e-books during the lockdown, with Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism taking the top spot.
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Photo of Todt Hill-Westerleigh branch; credit: Jonathan Blanc / NYPL
New York City’s public libraries on Monday opened 22 branches for limited grab-and-go service as part of a phased reopening process. The joint plan involves a gradual reopening of physical locations in stages, with seven to eight branches opening for contactless pickups and book returns to start. All libraries were forced to close in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow across the country, take this opportunity to learn more about the experience of black Americans. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on Tuesday released a list of 95 books that foster a greater understanding of black history and culture. The Black Liberation Reading List was curated by Schomburg staff and focuses on works by black writers and scholars.
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The New York Public Library is reviewing plans for curbside pickup service as the organization prepares to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic. As first reported by THE CITY, cardholders would be able to order books or other materials by phone or online for grab-and-go pickup, under one plan being considered. Books could be picked up in the lobbies or on the sidewalks of some branches.
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While summer vacation is sure to look different this year, the New York Public Library hopes kids will stay busy reading. In celebration of its 125th anniversary on Saturday, the library has released a list of 125 children’s books from the last 125 years, aimed at sparking a lifelong love of reading. The collection of books, which is available online, follows a list released in February of the best adult titles, with a list for teenage readers expected this fall.
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The New York Public Library’s historic marble lions turn 109 on May 11 and New Yorkers are invited to their rip-roaring celebration. Carved by the Piccirilli Brothers in 1911, Patience and Fortitude have long guarded the library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue. From a special storytime to lion-curated book lists, the activities highlight the lions’ role as symbols of New York’s resilience.