This is what privatization looks like

March 14, 2014

Comments on the Future of the 42nd St. Library

February 25, 2014
“You want to photograph me eating chicken?”
“Well, if I let you, I need you to help me deliver a message.”
“What’s that?”
“I work at this library. And before that, I was coming here for twenty years. It’s my favorite place in the world. As many people know, the main reading room of this library is supported by seven floors of books, which contain one of the greatest research collections …in the world. Recently, the library administration has decided to rip out this collection, send the books to New Jersey, and use the space for a lending library. As part of the consolidation, they are going to close down the Mid-Manhattan Library Branch as well as the Science, Industry, and Business Library. When everything is finished, one of the greatest research libraries in the world will become a glorified internet cafe. Now read that back to me.” [photograph by Brandon Stanton]
Stop the NYPL’s plan to gut the 42nd St. Library, send 1.5 million books to NJ, and sell the Mid-Manhattan and SIBL libraries. More info:


I Need Democracy Now Because…

February 21, 2014

Just found the photo I submitted to Democracy Now’s social media campaign!  #librariansfordemocracynow

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.34.30 AM

“This Is What a Librarian Looks Like”

February 16, 2014

Philadelphia based photographer/videographer Kyle Cassidy spoke with and photographed librarians at the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2014 Midwinter conference in Philadelphia and the results are in (see the entire photo essay here). Cassidy’s concept was, “If I can put you in front of 50,000 people to tell them one thing about libraries and librarians, what would it be?” In interviews, Cassidy asked librarians to talk about the challenges libraries face and why now, perhaps more than ever, they’re important. Sure, this is only what some librarians look like. That said, I was happy to hear these voices and honestly, I thought everyone looked fabulous (hi Ingrid!)


Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

January 21, 2014
[Re-post from the website of the Brooklyn Museum!]
Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 12–3 p.m.
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Forum, 4th Floor

Bring your laptops and power cords and help us correct Wikipedia’s pervasive gender bias and inaccuracies. Eyebeam Art+Technology Center has initiated an Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon across the U.S. and Canada, and the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art and Project Continua will host its Brooklyn meet-up. Join us as we add authoritative biographical information about the women represented in The Dinner Party, Judy Chicago’s monument to women’s contributions to history, and in Project Continua, an online multimedia resource on women’s intellectual history.

If you’re a beginner Wikipedian who wants to learn more about these largely overlooked feminist figures, reference materials, technical assistance, and a variety of experts will be available.

“Libraries to the Rescue”

November 1, 2013

This week is the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. This short film made by Free4All Film* spotlights Queens Library and the local community post storm.

*FREE FOR ALL is a multi-platform documentary project exploring the history, spirit and challenges of the free public library.

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2013





Kate Spade’s library-themed (card catalog) iphone case and clutch aren’t cute to me. This is why.

October 17, 2013


Perhaps you don’t spend too much time thinking about libraries as spaces that jump start early literacy, inspire art, or provide free resources to those that can’t afford their own personal (private) everything. Maybe you don’t even know where your local branch library is, because you have no immediate “need” for it. Oh but how much do you love that cutesy iphone cover that looks just like those old catalog cards?! Like so many things, what you are not supporting in your local community is marketable and wearable just the same.  I don’t buy it.

Jessamyn West says more on this topic, with some good points to boot:

[Because] The word library is evocative of a whole bunch of things, from now stretching deep into the past. It has gravitas and comes with a bunch of associations that you can sort of get for free by linking your thing to libraries. Except libraries aren’t free. And the work that goes into keeping them running (which is a lot more than keeping a bookshelf stocked) is complicated, sometimes thankless and under attack from people who think somehow that libraries are not fashionable enough, not hip or current enough, that our day has passed. So please feel free to quit sending me this iphone case, as much as I love it, and think about why New York loves this sort of thing and is trying to sell off their library real estate in New York City and gut the stacks.

Cats (and Librarians) Against Cat Calls

October 17, 2013

Miss Ingrid (Magpie Librarian) <3 <3 <3 has stolen my heart with her new display created to get young adult and teen patrons to start thinking about street harassment at Brooklyn Public Library.

catsagainstcatcallsstreet harassment

In addition to posters, topic-related books are on display and handouts (one side directed at the harassed, the other at possible allies and harassers) are for the taking. Thank you Ingrid! View her post here: Cats (and Librarians) Against Cat Calls: A display about street harassment

Brooklyn Public Library and the Affordable Care Act

October 1, 2013

Today marks the opening of nationwide health insurance exchanges that serve as a component of President Obama’s health care reform. Among other initiatives, Brooklyn Public Library is maintaining a website on the Affordable Care Act. To assist with providing information and assistance about plan coverage, enrollment and eligibility, New York State has disbursed $27 million in grants to In-Person Assistors and Navigators. One Navigator organization, the Brooklyn Alliance, will provide in-person assistance at several Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) locations this week.

East Flatbush Library
9612 Church Avenue at Rockaway Parkway
Languages spoken: English, Spanish
Tuesday: 1–7PM

Flatbush Library
22 Linden Boulevard at Flatbush Avenue
Languages spoken: English
Tuesday: 1–8PM

Greenpoint Library
107 Norman Avenue at Leonard Avenue
Languages spoken: English, French Albanian, Italian
Wednesday: 12–7PM
Thursday: 12PM–7PM

Kings Highway Library
2115 Ocean Avenue (near Kings Highway)
Languages spoken: English, Russian, Romanian, Cantonese, Mandarin, French
Monday: 1–8PM
Tuesday: 10AM–6PM
Wednesday: 10AM–5PM
Thursday: 10AM–5PM
Saturday: 10AM–3PM

Mapleton Library
1702 60th Street
Languages spoken: Russian, Romanian, Cantonese, Mandarin
Tuesday: 1–8PM
Wednesday: 10AM–5PM
Thursday: 1PM–8PM
Saturday: 10AM–3PM

Marcy Library
617 Dekalb Avenue at Nostrand Avenue
Languages spoken: English
Tuesday: 1–8PM

Sunset Park Library
5108 4th Avenue at 51st Street
Languages spoken: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin
Tuesday: 12–8PM
Wednesday: 10AM–6PM
Thursday: 1PM–8PM
Saturday: 10AM–4PM

To find other Navigator organizations and events, visit the New York State of Health website.




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