About Us

Louise Rose

Writer, educator

The New York Society Library, with its friendly, helpful, knowledgeable librarians, comfortable reading rooms, and easy access to an endless supply of books, is a replay of my first joyful library experience. My father, a Russian immigrant physician, and my mother, a Jew who had lived her entire life in Brooklyn, moved in 1950 to Lyons, New Jersey. We lived on the grounds of a VA hospital surrounded by dairy farms, apple orchards, and signs in the nearby town of Basking Ridge informing us that George Washington had slept there. My father's heavy accent and my mother's discomfort in an unfamiliar world made them see themselves as total outsiders. They wondered if they would be accepted at all. it was the Bernardsville Public Library that made my mother feel most at home and my sister and me feel so entirely welcome that the idea of being in an alien territory never occurred to either of us. We were all such big readers that the librarian's eyes lit up when she saw us once a week lugging in our pile of books, ready to exchange them for another pile. She saved novels she knew my mother would like and pointed my sister and me in the direction of those orange John Paul Jones, Francis Marion, and Jim Bowie biographies, and the "Horatio Hornblower," "Doctor Dolittle," and "Little House" series. For me that library was America.