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Fabled Cities

Stories live where we do.  When people lived in cottages and castles, travelling from village to farm to walled town through remote mountain passes and deep, dark woods, that's where our stories went, also.  They hid in the margins: dwarves and goblins and dragons dwelt deep in the mountains.  Elves and other fey folk populated the far green spaces.  Witches kept remote cottages deep in the ancient forest, and enchanted princesses slept in abandoned castles walled in by briars.

Now we live in cities and suburbs, in high ranches and apartments and skyscrapers, and our stories have moved in right along with us.  The Wild Hunt rides Harleys through the city streets at midnight, while wizards sell two-bit charms in back alleys.  Vampires hunt in night clubs, and forgotten, eldritch gods lurk in the sewers.  The magic of old has gotten a little glitzier, a little grungier, but it's still there, existing side-by-side with our digital toys. 

This is urban fantasy-- think of it as a faerie tale coming soon to a city near you. 

Romance under Pressure

Genre-blending-- bringing together the elements of two categories of fiction-- is becoming more and more popular these days.  Romance + fantasy, romance + mystery, romance + horror, romance + westerns, romance + post-apocalyptic science fiction... I've even seen romance + cookbooks.  And of course, there's no reason for authors to limit themselves to only two genres; take a powerful female mage, a handsome elven police detective, and throw in a magical murder, and you've got romance + fantasy + mystery. 

I plan to talk about several of the more popular types of genre-blended romance over the next few months, but right now I'll start with the most time-honored: romantic suspense.

Museum Pass Online Reservations

Customers love that we offer museum passes to the American Museum of Natural History, Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, Intrepid Sea and Space Museum, Museum of the City of New York and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.  These family passes save our customers thousands of dollars a year.

Reserving the passes was not always so easy.  Reserving a pass by telephone could be troublesome for customers and the library alike.   Beginning tomorrow, August 3rd, the library will introduce a new system to reserve passes online. 

Reservations 101

Technology allows us to place holds through our online catalogue or with a librarian.  New City members place thousands of requests each month.  The title you select is placed in a queue in the order it was received.  You might be 27th when you check the list, but just a few hours later you are notified that the item is here at the library.  How could that be?  The queue includes all requests throughout the RCLS system.  However, location, location, location is key.  New City members receive priority on our material.  When a requested New City owned item is checked in, the first New City member in the queue gets it. If all our copies are out, another library may be able to supply the title.  Also if we don't own the item, your request is sent to another library that does own it.  Our transit delivery system is an integral part of 'reserve fulfillment.'  Our library receives over 3000 items a month from throughout the system!

The Coolest Place to Stay Cool

Our airconditioning is working just fine (knock on wood).    Please be safe in this hot weather and remember to drink plenty of water.  If you become thirsty you have waited too long.   Experts advise to slow down and avoid strenuous exercise.  What better place to slow down that at your library.  The most strenuous exercise may be taking a book down off the shelf.  

So please consider visiting the coolest place around to stay cool during this hot weather.  We hope to see you soon. 

 

Check out our video birthday card

We're celebrating the library's 75th birthday in style all summer long! We created this video with the help of some great community members and library staff. If you'd like to view it at YouTube, just click here. Otherwise, press play below to enjoy.

Video: 

Frozen Horrors: Books to Chill Your Blood

One heat wave's behind us.  The weather forecasters predict that more scorching temperatures are on their way.  Walking around outside at noon feels a bit like vacationing on Mercury.  But hey, no sweat-- I have just the book for you! 

When your air conditoner is laboring and it's too hot to sleep, you can always rely on a good, gripping horror novel to freeze you to the marrow.  As a bonus, all the titles I've selected are set in icy climes: Antarctica, Scandinavia, Alaska, Russia, northern Canada-- even deep space!  Let the library help you beat your soaring electric bill this month with our own brand of chilling out.  (And if these don't work... don't forget that the library is air conditioned!)

New International Language

Tucked underneath a staircase lies one of the library’s special collections. Our international language section has always contained Spanish, Korean and Russian titles. Recently though a cart has made an appearance with our latest collection: Hindi! Fifty titles, mostly fiction with a few great non-fiction books, have been purchased and made available to all borrowers. Enjoy!

Love All-American

School's out and the holiday weekend is here; time to celebrate your independence!  If you're like me, you've probably got a lot of hard-core idling planned for this weekend.  It's easy to forget things amidst all those parades, picnics, and jockeying for the best fireworks-viewing position, so I'd like to remind you of your most important piece of holiday equipment: a good blanket read. 

Choosing a blanket read can be a serious business.  First, there's the space consideration.  Paperbacks are best; not only are they physically lighter to carry, but they fit easily in a large pocket and the fine is minimal should you lose one.  (Hey, if you're going to be indulging in a few of Dorothy Ng's cocktails, it could happen.)  Then, there's the question of content.  You need something light, quick, and engaging, but not SO engaging that you give yourself sunburn.  (On second thought... perhaps you should just wear a hat and remember your sunblock.) 

What's Cooking?: Cheers!

 

Cocktails, Sodas, Smoothies, Shakes, Juices, Teas, Coffees!  There is a whole host of drinks that will enliven our mundane tastes of the usual, especially for the heat filled summer.  These refreshing and tantalizing beverages will bring a whirlwind of activity among your guests to create various concoctions of their own.  When I ask some of my colleagues what their favorite cocktail is, such delight appears on their faces.  One favorite is “Cool as a Cucumber” with muddled cucumber, Absolut, St. Gemain, ginger beer, and a twist of lime from Morton’s in Chicago.  Another colleague loves her Bourbon Manhattan but she reminds me not to forget the best “lemonade” ever - a shot of Southern Comfort, a squeeze of a whole lemon and a tablespoon of sugar.  It makes a great whiskey sour!  Well, if they’re happy describing them to me, I could imagine how "high in spirit" they would be after consuming these drinks.

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