“The answer man adjusted his headset, settled into his office chair and faced the next caller’s question. “Hello, Ask N.Y.P.L.,” said the library researcher, Matthew J. Boylan, 54. It was an official at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington asking about Jews in early-20th-century Thessalonika. “Well, Thessalonika was part of the Ottoman Empire,” said Mr. Boylan, who steered the caller to a set of digitized oral histories in the library’s Dorot Jewish Division. The next caller needed a certain biology textbook.” (via NYTimes.com)
“She’s a Budapest-born American. He’s a Brooklyn-born Brit. Together they are helping to digitize some of the most important documents of American history. The New York Public Library will announce a $500,000 donation from the Polonsky Foundation, the family foundation of Georgette F. Bennett and Leonard S. Polonsky. Funding projects that help make historical documents accessible to more people comes from a “fervent belief in the democratization of knowledge,” said Dr. Bennett.” (via WSJ)
“It may not say much for my literary tastes. But among the 35,000 items and 2,000 linear feet of archives in the New York Public Library’s Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, the one that excited me most was a copy of underground cartoonist R. Crumb’s “Zap #1” from 1968. For Crumb enthusiasts, that should come as little surprise. After all, the inaugural work in the “Zap Comix” series included such iconic characters as Mr. Natural, Schuman the Human, Whiteman and two full pages of “Kitchen Kut-Outs,” featuring such lovable characters as “Dick Tater,” “Beatrice Bread Slice” and “Clever Mr. Ketchup.” That’s also the artist’s exuberant “Keep on Truckin’” visual riff.” (via WSJ)
“How about some Wi-Fi with those books?
Beginning later this month, New York City residents will be able to check out portable wireless Internet hubs free of charge at their local library branch, city officials said. The program, expected to be announced Tuesday, will offer about 10,000 Wi-Fi units through branches of the New York Public Library, the Queens Library and the Brooklyn Public Library, funded partly with a $1 million donation from Google Inc.” (via WSJ)
“The Board of Trustees of The New York Public Library announced that, effective today, renowned attorney Evan R. Chesler will succeed Neil L. Rudenstine as its next chairman. Chesler, a Bronx native and chair of prominent law firm Cravath, Swaine, & Moore LLP, has been a member of the Library’s Board of Trustees since November 2009, most recently serving as both Vice Chairman and Executive Committee Chairman. His appointment was announced at today’s Board of Trustees meeting, held at the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.” (via NYPL)
“On a reconnaissance mission, Shana Kimball walked through the Museum of Mathematics with her smartphone out, snapping pictures of square-wheeled tricycles and math-inspired art. She stopped at a display case of visitor-designed sculptures. “It’s so beautiful,” she said to the museum’s co-executive director, Cindy Lawrence. “Do you rotate that out with frequency?” Ms. Kimball, who works for the New York Public Library, is part of the institution’s attempt to reboot the contentious renovation of its flagship Fifth Avenue building. After abandoning its original plan, which had sparked fierce public opposition, the library says it is doing things differently.” (via WSJ)
“>Neil L. Rudenstine, a former Harvard president who since 2011 has served as chairman of the New York Public Library, will step down in November, the library confirmed on Thursday.
As interim chairman, Mr. Rudenstine said in a letter to his colleagues that he “expected to be in place for one year, or at most two.”NYTimes.com)
“The New York Public Library is expanding close to its main branch, purchasing a handful of commercial condos across the street from its Fifth Avenue research library, property records show. The library system paid $34.5 million for the properties. The nonprofit, which operates 92 branch and research libraries in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, purchased the eight condos at 445 Fifth Avenue from the Church Pension Group, a financial services provider for the Episcopal Church, records filed with the city today show.
The units cover 74,000 square feet, according to the library.” (via The Real Deal)
“Moving forward on its $300 million overhaul of the Mid-Manhattan Library and upgrade of its flagship Fifth Avenue building, the New York Public Library has undertaken a master planning process that is not expected to be concluded until April, library officials said in an interview. “We’re figuring out how and what the space is going to be,” said Iris Weinshall, who became chief operating officer last month. She discussed the plans along with Mary Lee Kennedy, the new chief library officer. “Then we will start the next phase of the process,” she added.” (via NYTimes.com)
“I bet you didn’t know that the New York Public Library is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Library Way this month. You may have no idea where it’s even located. Library Way extends from Park to Fifth avenues along 41st Street. And it’s distinguished by 44 bronze sidewalk plaques featuring quotes from the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Emily Dickinson, Julia Alvarez, Mark Twain and Tom Stoppard. There are actually 98 plaques, according to library spokeswoman Amy Geduldig—an equal number on both sides of 41st Street that are identical to each other. I have to take her word for it, because when we strolled the street Monday afternoon with library officials Ann Thornton and Christopher Platt, we stuck to the north side.” (via WSJ)