The Children’s Library, The New York Society Library
How your clients refer to you:
The Children’s Librarians aka Randi, Susan Vincent, and Morgan
The Children’s Library of The New York Society Library
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.nysoclib.org
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
263! The New York Society Library opened in 1754 and children’s books have been available since our early days. These days we have a beautiful dedicated space in our historic Upper East Side building.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
A group of civic-minded citizens in colonial New York City thought there should be a place for New Yorkers to gather, read, and borrow books - this was 157 years before the public library opened. We’re proud to continue this tradition as a gathering place for the youngest New Yorkers to develop a love of reading and learning.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
Library members value our carefully curated collection of materials, our cozy and welcoming space, and our creative and engaging programming. Our fiction collection ranges from beloved titles that have stood the test of time, including forgotten classics, to the best new books. We collect a wide variety of up-to-date non-fiction materials and biographies for myriad ages and readers. Many families are drawn to our space, with several comfortable seating and work areas among the bookshelves. Finally, we offer top notch events for babies, children, and teens. From Mother Goose Magic, to Creation Station, to STEAM, to Tween Scene, to author and illustrator visits, to writing workshops, there are events for everyone.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
The New York Society Library has a devoted membership - they love our beautiful building, the friendly and skilled staff, and our excellent collections and programs.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
We offer a multi-faceted cultural experience for our member families - we help their children find the right books for the right moment, from infancy through the teen years; we present rich literature-based programs including story time, author events, storytelling, and writing workshops; and, we extend opportunities to explore curiosity and creativity. Beyond our Children’s Library the rest of our building is a haven for adult readers and writers.
What is your favorite part of your job?
We love to support families as they nurture each child’s love of reading, learning, and creating, through story time, special events, and writing workshops, and to help them explore children’s literature at each age and stage.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
Central Park, just a block away from the Library, is filled with “secret” nooks and crannies. Perfect spots to get lost in a book include North Woods and the Ramble.
How do you benefit mamas?
The Children’s Library benefits moms (and entire families!) by providing a wonderfully unique place devoted to developing a love for reading, learning, and exploring (and of course, having fun at the same time!).
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
A six-year-old member recently exclaimed with genuine joy and sincerity upon receiving a requested book, “thank you soooo much for saving that book for me!” We love a satisfied patron!
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
We’re proud to work with the Project Cicero book drive to support the literacy development of young readers throughout New York City, well beyond the Library’s membership. Each year we work with dedicated volunteers to collect, organize, and distribute over 100,000 books to enrich under-resourced New York City public school classrooms and school libraries.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
“Read!” We read as broadly as possible from our children’s and young adult collections, so we can provide the best reading advice and recommendations to our young members and their parents.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Use digital pop-up reminders to ensure important tasks and deadlines are completed in a timely way - it’s how we keep our department organized!
What are your top ten book recommendations?
Asking librarians to pick favorite books is like asking a mom which child she loves the most! But, here’s a sampling of some our frequently recommended classics, forgotten classics, and some terrific newer releases:
Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand
Freight Train by Donald Crews
Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
Under Earth/Under Water by Aleksandra Mizielińska
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
Ghost by Jason Reynolds