Libraries exist to help people find information that solve problems, answer questions, or otherwise address important individual and community interests and needs. This blog was created to highlight some of the issues faced by libraries and the work carried out by librarians, library staff, library science students, and library supporters in New York City and beyond.
Leslie Feinberg, who identified as an anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist, died on November 15. You can read her obituary, lovingly written by her partner, Minnie Bruce Pratt, here. Feinberg wrote extensively about the complexities of gender as well as the links between socialism and LGBT history. Many of her book titles, speeches, interviews, articles, and podcasts can be accessed via her website. Take a look!
At the time of her death Feinberg was preparing a 20th anniversary edition of Stone Butch Blues, a free access edition, which can be read and downloaded on-line. This edition is dedicated to CeCe McDonald, a young Minneapolis (trans)woman organizer and activist sent to prison for defending herself against a white neo-Nazi attacker, and will contain a slideshow, “This Is What Solidarity Looks Like,” documenting the breadth of the organizing campaign to free CeCe McDonald. A group of friends are continuing to work to post Feinberg’s final writing and art online at Lesliefeinberg.net (coming soon).
There is no better time of the year than September to sign up for a library card. All next month, the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries all across the country are celebrating the value of getting a library card. If you don’t already have a library card, then be sure to stop by your local public library sometime during the month of September. If you have one, but know a friend or young person who doesn’t, then bring them to the library to get a card! They will want one to check out books, ebooks, audio tapes, cds, videos, dvds, and access computer terminals, databases and download mp3s—all free!
Steve Keene painting at the Brooklyn Public Library. Photo by Julia Lipkins. 2014.
I appreciated a quote that I stumbled on today in the lobby of the Central Branch of Brooklyn Public Library by Steve Keene. Keene is BPL’s 2014 artist-in residence. His art can be seen through August 29 in an exhibition that pays homage to Brooklyn and to BPL, rendered in Keene’s Wood Sculpture and Tattooed Plywood.
“I’m excited about working with Brooklyn Public Library,” stated Keene. “A library is like a train station for the mind. It is the point from which you can travel anywhere, everywhere. There is something so energizing about both the familiar and the unknown all at your fingertips waiting for new connections to be made. I try to include this sense of unlimited possibility in my work.”
All aboard The Floating Library: a pop-up, mobile device-free public space aboard the historic Lilac Museum Steamship berthed at Pier 25 on the Hudson River in New York City (September 6- October 3, 2014) offering free public programming with over twenty roundtables, performances and workshops over the course of the month. From their website: The ship’s main deck will be transformed into an outdoor reading lounge to offer library visitors a range of reading materials from underrepresented authors, artist books, poetry, manifestoes, as well as book collection, that, at the end of the lifecycle of the project, will be donated to local high school students with demonstrated need. Ongoing art installations include a Listening Room that will feature new works by six sound artists in response to literature. Readers can BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) or browse the library. I hear there will also be rope swings. Rope swings in a library. The library on a boat. I’ll never leave.
The ABC of Itis an examination of why children’s books are important: what and how they teach children, and what they reveal about the societies that produced them. Through a dynamic array of objects and creative spaces, the exhibition celebrates the extraordinary richness, artistry, and diversity of children’s literature across cultures and time. On exhibit at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Gottesman Exhibition Hall, now through March 23, 2014. If you haven’t already, go experience it!
Goodnight Moon! Room at NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Gottesman Exhibition Hall
New York City Schools are seeking a waiver on state law which requires them to have school librarians in middle schools and high schools. Less than half of NYC schools have a librarian. This is an important resource for our kids and NYC DOE cannot give up on addressing this problem. Please add your name and signature to the following petition that is circulating in support of young people, education, and information literacy in New York City Schools, which says:
“School Librarians are essential to education. We the undersigned feel that the NYC DOE (New York City Schools), should NOT be granted an exemption to state law which requires school librarians and which they have been in gross violation of for some time. School librarians have been shown to improve student performance in numerous studies and New York City public school students have a right to this important educational resource.”
Today’s fabulously elaborate animated Google Doodle pays tribute to beloved children’s author Maurice Sendak, who died last year. Rotating stage-layers include some of the main characters of Sendaks’ illustrations from Where The Wild Things Are, In The Night Kitchen, and others. Sendak lived with his partner, Dr. Eugene Glynn, for 50 years. Not featured: scenes from one of my personal favorites, Chicken Soup With Rice; read to me often as a kid by my own Jewish grandmother.
In June I saw a charming group Of roses all begin to droop I pepped them up with chicken soup! Sprinkle once, sprinkle twice Sprinkle chicken soup with rice.