Library Blog

A Happy New Year's message from the Head Librarian

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Happy New Year.

As I sat down to write this note, I re-read a year's worth of my letters to the membership. Some of these letters were difficult, some beseeching, some procedural. All were hopeful.

And I remain so. We are still suffering, and there is much work to do. But things are looking up and the signs are encouraging. My niece, a nursing home worker, became the first in our family to get a vaccine; an end to this pandemic now seems very real to me. A new administration takes office in 18 days. The Library turns 267 years old in April.

Institutions don't last 267 years without luck, surely, and a great deal of help. The New York Society Library has been through its own share of bust and boom periods, hard times, and good times. And our institutional archive will be full of documents, letters, signage, and other records of this pandemic year. Your very generous contributions to our annual appeal (yes! we met the match of our anonymous donor!), your membership renewals, and the more than 300 new members who have joined our society in this extraordinary year have all been incredibly impactful. You have allowed us not only to remain open, but dare I say, thrive during an unfathomable period. Your visits to the Library, your letters, phone calls, and emails have kept the staff going. Those of you who have been visiting in person and who have been stringently following our health and safety protocols have kept our community healthy. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your incredible support this year.

A new member wrote me how much discovering the Library has meant to him this year. That this place is all about the unique pleasure of books and browsing and being in the midst of books. I hope that the Library has helped you cope this past year and that you have discovered something new, interesting, joyful in our stacks or in our virtual collection. I thought that I hadn’t had the attention span to be able to read much this year, but discovered to my shock and delight that I actually finished 33 books! My new year’s resolution is to top that. So please, bring on the suggestions!

The staff, trustees, and I want to wish you all a happy, and healthy new year.


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