29 September 2009

Poetry's New Cathedral on the Hudson

Congratulations Poets House! As reported by Library Journal, the 24 year-old poetry library and education center has successfully moved from its cramped Soho digs to "a stunning new location in Battery Park City in lower Manhattan, in a LEED Gold-certified building, with huge windows overlooking the Hudson River." (For a more detailed description of the space, check out this NY Times article.) Their grand opening celebration took place over the weekend, while regular library and reading room hours recommenced today.

"Throughout its transformations, the heart of Poets House has remained its poetry collection," their website states. "With over 50,000 volumes of poetry—including books, journals, chapbooks, audio and video tapes, and digital media—our collection is among the most comprehensive, open-access collections of poetry in the United States and is the foundation for all our programs and services."

And speaking of programs and services, Poets House will host its annual Poetry in the Branches (PITB) National Institute the weekend of November 6-7. The PITB program works with NYC's public libraries to increase patron exposure to poetry via workshops, readings, improved collection development, and librarian training.

22 September 2009

A Branch Library Grows in Brooklyn

[Re-posted from Lower East Side Librarian]

A new alternative library grows in Brooklyn: the Branch Library in Clinton Hill is a project driven primarily by designers I believe, but they were respectful enough of the library profession to talk to some librarians, including the NYC Radical Reference collective. They'll be open the next 8 Sundays (and they hope beyond) from 1-5 in an unused parking lot on the corner of Myrtle and Clinton.

It may be some librarians' immediate reaction to be defensive, critical, or even angry at these amateur upstarts, but I think we'd be smarter to embrace, encourage, and advise them (when asked). I love their community centric approach. Jerome Chou, one of the group's core members, described how they're letting patrons design the library at our last Rad Ref meeting.


Click to continue reading Jenna's post!


And if you'd like to volunteer or donate supplies (and books!), please contact Jerome at librarybranch@gmail.com.

15 September 2009

Mid-Manhattan Gets Caffeinated

Check out these pics of Mid-Manhattan Library, taken over by Tim Hortons yesterday. It's corporate sponsorship gone wild! Here's my fave:

[Photo by Don Pollard]

14 September 2009

NYPL Announces Longer Hours and Free Timbits (Today!)

To think that just three months ago threats to library funding had New York Public Library officials forecasting severe service cuts, with branches opening a mere 4 days per week. Today, NYPL announced expanded hours at 10 libraries in The Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Mid-Manhattan can now boast 88 hours of service per week, including stints from 8am-11pm, Monday through Thursday. To celebrate, their Cover-to-Cover Café is offering free Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts all day TODAY.

Will Queens Library join its sister systems in extending opening times? The 2009 Library of the Year has maintained Sunday service at its Central Library and Kew Gardens Hills branch, and the South Hollis branch re-opened last week after six months of renovations.

10 September 2009

BPL Restores Scraps of Sunday Service & So Much More

Um, hello! I've been clinging to the waning summer, ignoring responsibilities left and right. (This blog is on the left, of course. To the right: bills, toilet-cleaning, passport renewal.) So now that the school year has begun and the days of sun and make believe are over, here's a run-down of the library newsie events of the past few weeks.
  • Brokelyn reported on a do-it-yourself library project called, simply, Branch. According to their bare-bones website, "Branch is a community design and planning project to create a temporary public space on Sundays that will offer books and computer usage, as well as performances and workshops. Branch will be free and open to the public." They opened last Sunday in the Citibank parking lot on the corner of Myrtle and Clinton, and will reappear each week through the end of November. A fundraiser is scheduled for the 16th (see calendar at left).
  • Not to rain on Branch's static, parking lot parade, but Brooklyn Public Library's Sunday service is back! Kind of. The Central and Kings Highway libraries will open year-round starting September 13, while Sunday access to the McKinley Park and Borough Park branches will be limited to the school year. Sixteen additional branches have extended their evening service to twice weekly.
  • The BPL's Park Slope branch will close for renovations sometime this fall (date TBA). Work to improve the library's handicapped accessibility will take anywhere from one to two years. The infamous mommy brigade can't be pleased, but Fucked in Park Slope is looking on the bright (dark)side.
  • Sony debuted its Daily Edition touchscreen ebook reader on August 25 at New York Public Library on 42nd Street. It goes on sale in December for $399. NYPL worked with Sony to expand its selection of ebooks, all of which will be downloadable to any brand of ereader or appropriate electronic device.
  • City Room asked straphangers "What was the last book, magazine and newspaper you read on the subway?" The results seem surprisingly erudite...until you realize that the 8,000 respondents are all NY Times readers, and self-selected ones at that.
  • The Brooklyn Book Festival is coming to Borough Hall this Sunday. With over 200 authors expected, you'll need to prioritize! Check out Brooklyn Based's game plan for hitting the best of the best.