A History of the Library as Seen Through Notable Researchers
May 5, 2011 9:39 AM   Subscribe

"The New York Public Library’s Beaux-Arts Stephen A. Schwarzman Building celebrates its 100th anniversary this month on May 23. The Centennial offers a wonderful opportunity to reflect on Library use from the past 100 and uncover stories that can serve as inspiration for another century. One unique way to trace the history of the Library is through call slips. In order to use books in the research collection, patrons request specific titles by filling out a call slip, which includes the following information: author, title, and call number. Not all call slips have been saved over the years, but some have been preserved for posterity." Featured are slips from Max Eastman, Lewis Mumford, Dorothy Parker, John Dos Passos and R. G. Wasson...
posted by jim in austin (4 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'd be interested to know how these came to be in the collection and a bit more about the ethics of it. Obviously this kind of thing is interesting, but did they agree to the release of this info? It seems like something should be said about that given the professional standard for the confidentiality of library records: "We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted." Does that not apply after death?
posted by Jahaza at 9:48 AM on May 5, 2011

Along the front porch of my house, there is a row of large terracotta flowerpots filled with soil. My cat likes to sphinx in one of them while keeping an eye on the street.

Sometimes, the neighbor's cat will join in - claiming the pot on the other side of the entrance. When I got home from work yesterday, they were both there watching me approach the house.

I asked them which one was Patience and which one was Fortitude.
posted by Trurl at 9:54 AM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

I had the same reaction Jahaza. As I sit in an airport and can see the screen next to me, while the owner updates patient records. Sigh, privacy is dead, isn't it?
posted by theora55 at 11:45 AM on May 5, 2011

Until this moment, I did not realize that I share a birthday with the "main branch" but my lifelong fascination with the place now makes some kind of weird sense.
posted by JaredSeth at 12:11 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

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