16 February 2010

Post Gives NYPL TelRef Star Treatment

An article in yesterday's NY Post profiled New York Public Library's 24/7 telephone reference desk. Despite highlighting the service's glam factor with a couple mentions of Mad Men, the piece did an acceptable job presenting the wide variety of questions librarians commonly face.

07 February 2010

More Fallout from Local Library Budget Cuts

Patrons of most New York Public Library branches will have to check their libraries' opening hours: starting February 16, service hour reductions will take effect at 58 locations. Blame Mayor Bloomberg's $5.9 million cut in library funding for this latest hardship.

In happier NYPL news, the system's St. Agnes Branch is set to reopen on February 11th after undergoing a top-to-bottom renovation.

08 January 2010

Look at the Pretty Colors!

New York Public Library's website has been Drupalized. At first glance, it appears to be a major improvement. Three cheers for navigability! The new site features more locally-produced content and streamlined searching.

Welcome to NYPL's "evolving information ecosystem":

05 January 2010

Ups and Downs at Queens Library

The era of extended weekend service may have come to a close. While all three New York City library systems had managed to increase service hours during the recession, Queens Library is the first to reverse this course. Beginning in February, 14 branches will be open Monday to Friday only.

But not all news is bad news for Queens Library this week. The Long Island City branch's Literacy Zone project has received a windfall grant from the New York State Department of Education. A new Welcome Center will include comprehensive literacy services and support a full-time case manager to "provide pathways out of poverty for individuals and families."

What other wonders and terrors have been visited upon us in the last month?

07 December 2009

Biblioball 2009: Baby, It's Cold Outside

It finally is cold outside! The Desk Set is throwing a lavish, entertainment-filled winter formal this Friday, December 11th at The Bell House. Where else can you score free happy hour whiskey and winter ale (8-9 pm), watch a lady on her flying trapeze, win a fabulous raffle prize, hear tons of live music, and dance the night away? Plus: foot juggling, food, portraits (both photographic and illustrated), and more librarians than you can shake a stick at.

Proceeds from this carnival of delights will be donated to Literacy for Incarcerated Teens. Tickets are $20 in advance/$25 at the door and all kinds of worth it.

See you there!

Biblioball 2009 from Desk Set on Vimeo.

P.S. Please don't shake sticks at librarians, just dance with one!

05 December 2009

Terrible Things Now Underway

Nancy Pearl: the librarian's golden calf? Discuss. Or just go watch her daughter take the stage this month in Terrible Things. Here are all the relevant details, including special promo pricing for the librarian community. And if you attend a performance, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Science Tuesday meets Oklahoma angst as Lisa D'Amour and Katie Pearl flip P.S. 122 into a low-rent IMAX and get up close and in between molecules, quarks and memories. Have you ever wondered if all those lives you've imagined yourself living are actually happening in a parallel world(s)? Terrible Things takes audiences on a T-R-I-P inside the many lives of Katie Pearl and her action-figure literary mom, NANCY PEARL. Expect an in-your-body out-of-body experience shaped by Katie Pearl, three killer dancers: Emily Johnson, Morgan Thorson, and Karen Sherman, two Brazilian Jiu Jitsu wrestlers, and 1000 marshmallows. Featuring the choreography of Emily Johnson.

Here is a special discount code that you can use and pass along to your friends to get a special ticket price (normally $20)*:

$15 Single tickets with code BOOK15
2-for-1 tickets with code BOOK241

You just enter this code when you purchase your tickets here: https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/203/1259712000000.


Fri, Dec 4 - Sun, Dec 20
Thu - Sat 8pm, Sun 6pm
Late shows: Sat, Dec 12/Fri, Dec 18/Sat, Dec 19 10 pm
Additional shows Mon, Dec 14 + Wed, Dec 16 8pm
No show Thu, Dec 17

150 1st Avenue @ East 9th Street, NYC

"Next time D'Amour and Pearl bring their enchanting work to town be sure to take it in." - John del Signore, The Gothamist

"The collaborative team of playwright Lisa D'Amour and director Katie Pearl make beguiling, innovative theatre pieces." - American Theater Magazine


*Restrictions apply - May be discontinued at any time, may not be applied to past sales or combined with other offers.

23 November 2009

Happy Birthday, Me

Shelved @ NYC quietly celebrated its first birthday last week. Say what? Yeah, I almost don't believe it myself. The shock is so great, in fact, that I'm off to Mexico to catch my breath. Keep it real in the City, turkeys; a tanned and blissed-out Shelved will be back in December.

19 November 2009

LeClerc Announces Retirement

At yesterday's New York Public Library Board of Trustees meeting, President Paul LeClerc revealed his intention to relinquish leadership in the summer of 2011. The early announcement gives the search committee plenty of time to find a suitable replacement.

16 November 2009

Embrace Your Independents

We're already two days into Independent Bookstore Week! All ears open to the music of language, from now through Saturday, the 21st. Brokelyn highlights some of the sassier, Brooklyn-ier offerings of this first annual installment, brought to you by the Independent Booksellers of New York City.

13 November 2009

Mid-Year Budget Crisis Threatens Library Funding

New York legislators are set to work overtime next week to reduce the State's $3.2 billion budget deficit. Governor Patterson's proposed plan includes a $3.4 million cut to Library Aid, a reduction that has public library advocates justifiably concerned. Despite New York Library Association's compelling testimony at the November 5th Senate Budget Hearing, the final outcome appears grim. Brooklyn Public Library and others urge you to contact your State Representatives and express your opposition. Time is short!

12 November 2009

Growl or Purr: NYPL Redesigns Logo

New York Public Library's stately lion logo is being replaced with a "more modern and digital-friendly image."

Out with the old:
In with the new:Better? Worse? I'm wondering how much it will cost to print new signs, banners, handouts, etc. for every single branch. But no matter. NYPL made this little video to get you all excited about the change:

03 November 2009

Student Suicide at NYU's Bobst Library

A New York University student, Andrew Williamson-Noble, committed suicide in Bobst Library at 4:30 this morning. He died after throwing himself from the 10th floor into the central atrium below. (Read NYU President John Sexton's community-wide email in the Huffington Post.)

After a spate of suicides earlier this decade, NYU erected 8-foot plexiglass barriers along the atrium-side of the library's stairwells and corridors to prevent further attempts. I work in Bobst Library and can attest that it is one depressing, vertiginous folly. Thanks, Philip Johnson. I'm not being glib. Nothing about Bobst's design inspires scholarship or contemplation. It's uncomfortable, physically and psychically. Perhaps these reflections have no bearing on this sad story, but they're worth pondering.