Library Blog

Celebrating Memberships of 40+ Years

Wednesday, October 11, 2023


In late September, the Library was delighted to  host a celebration of people who have been members for 40 years or more. This gathering held a very special significance as it was the first time we honored these long-term members since before the pandemic. While our longest-tenured member (who joined in 1958!) could not make it, memberships of 40+, 50+, and even 60+ years were well represented in the crowd.

Following welcoming and thank you remarks by Board Chair George L.K. Frelinghuysen and Head Librarian Carolyn Waters Library member Janet Wallach lectured on her recently published book, Flirting with Danger: The Mysterious Life of Marguerite Harrison, Socialite Spy

Our sincere thanks to Ms. Wallach for her captivating lecture and to all of our members – we hope to see you one day at the 40+ party! 

We asked guests to share what has brought them back to the Library year after year – their responses are below. 

“The great thing about the New York Society Library that keeps me signing on as a member are the open shelves. I always find a better or more interesting book than the one I was looking for.” – Shareen Brysac 

“I could never give up my membership in [the] Society Library. Within the din and mediocrity of our world, this library is a haven of scholarship and the highest standards. I wrote my first book here and treasure the time.” – Marion Cuba

“I grew up on 79th Street and used the Library as a child, a Chapin girl, eventually taught at Nightingale, and read avidly. At 95 I am still a member.” – Helen Evarts

"I find that the Library is my spiritual and intellectual home.” – Anne Griffin

“Great research materials for my books, including way back when I did my dissertation, when I discovered the Daily Plebeian, the newspaper in stack one that was the foundation of my dissertation. Only the New York Society Library had it.” – Tony Gronowicz

“A world of ideas and discovery that is housed in easy elegance.” – Philip Kasofsky

“Civilized people among good books in a refined atmosphere. I like the rooms and the furniture.” – Michael Kowal

“It’s the most welcoming building in New York. Which is the most welcoming city on Earth.” – Peter Salwen

“Community, books, the writers rooms, the events.” – Elizabeth Winthrop

“The diversity of the collection, the extremely pleasant atmosphere, and the wonderful people who work here.” – Anonymous

“A constant stream of great new books plus discoveries in the stacks.” – Anonymous

"Love!” – Anonymous

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