Happy National Library Week!
Today, the State of America’s Libraries report will be released, kicking off a week that includes National Library Workers Day, National Bookmobile Day, and the newly-minted Take Action for Libraries Day.
National Library Week: Libraries Transform
The lofty goal of early libraries, to provide access to books and thus to knowledge, may have had various drawbacks and limitations, but the reality of that goal has certainly permeated contemporary society. The theme for the 2017 National Library Week is “Libraries Transform”—and how they have. Whether libraries are transforming people through access to a communal place and knowledge bank or whether libraries are transforming themselves to better fit today’s electronic world, libraries have certainly been transforming. Novelist Zadie Smith wrote this eloquent and impassioned plea for society to remember why libraries are still important in today’s world.
New York Public Library
The multitude of New York Public Library branches not only let readers find books and media but also host a series of events throughout the city every day. These events range from book club meetings to educational events to conversation groups. Of note is LIVE from the NYPL, which hosts discussions with authors which are later posted on a podcast. At the end of this month, Elif Batuman will discuss her debut novel The Idiot. The NYPL has also recently started a new monthly program called The Library After Hours, with April’s upcoming event entitled Walt Whitman & Ecstatic Poetry in honor of National Poetry Month. If you want to try an event this week in honor of National Library Week, tonight (March 10), the NYPL is partnering with the Shakespeare Society for a talk.
Brooklyn Public Library
If you’re looking for a more glamorous library event, the Brooklyn Public Library is hosting its 20th Annual Gala later this month. On a standard day, you can visit one of their branches for lectures, game groups, or free workout classes. This week, there will be a talk featuring Brooklyn photographer Randy Duchaine and some of the people he’s photographed on Wednesday, April 12. Once a year, the library hosts an all-night artistic and philosophical event called the Night of Philosophy and Ideas—this year’s was in January, but keep an eye out for the program for next year!
Lest we forget that there are libraries all over New York City, here are a few of the many other places where you can go to look at books on any topic which interests you:
The Center for Fiction
Conjuring Arts Research Center
The Explorers Club
The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen
The Grolier Club
Harvard Club of New York City
The Hispanic Museum and Library
Little Free Library
The Morgan Library & Museum
The New York Society Library