Library Blog

What I Love About The New York Society Library

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Library is an inspiring place for writers, as you can tell from the remarks below. Donations to the Annual Fund greatly help to make this possible, ensuring that the Library can thrive with an ever-growing collection and a broad range of programs for all ages in a wonderfully maintained building. Please support the Annual Fund today!

"When I enter the elegant New York Society Library, I feel as if I’m being transported back in time to a less frenzied era, and this refuge from over stimulation and hyper-connectivity enables me to turn inward and hear my own writing voice." - Nancy Newman Elghanayan 

"The Greeks had their Olympus. Pilgrims of the Middle Ages their Chartres. Seekers of the ‘70s their India. I have the New York Society Library. My sanctified space for learning, thinking, creating. On the elevator the other day as another woman and I headed for the fifth floor Writers’ Room, we spoke of how lucky we were to be where we were on the way to where we were going. “It’s my cathedral,” I said to her. “Yes,” said she. “Yes.” - Barbara Ascher

"Rushing in from the bright light of summer or the early dark of winter, I love the way that the Library opens up with possibility. There are the astonishing books to be gathered from the stacks and the promise of all of the books left on the shelves, and the quiet assurance that the librarians can locate anything. Stepping into the entrance hall for the first time, I felt confident that every idea and interest could be pursued and might eventually land on paper. And my wonderful writing group offers comfort and challenge." - Claudia Keenan 

"What I love about the Library is …

  • Attending (and sometimes even participating in) Live from the Library evenings
  • Being friends with other Library members and staff
  • Reading the Times Literary Supplement in the Members’ Room
  • Never leaving the Library without one last look at the books on the sale cart."

- Elizabeth Dobell

"In the mid-1970s, I worked as an editor for Eliot and Elizabeth Janeway, who lived and worked around the corner from the Library on East 80th Street, and I would walk to the library once or twice a week to check out and return the books they borrowed. The first thing that struck me then was at that time not so rare: there was no membership card, and the librarians knew who everyone was. This is still one of my favorite and most cherished aspects of the NYSL: it’s intimate, informal, unbureaucratic, and trusting. I also love the marble grandeur of the front stairway, prize the excellent stacks behind the back stairs, love the study rooms (and wish there were more!), and admire and depend on the help of the skilled and exceptionally courteous librarians and others who still make the library one of the best corners of New York." - Anne Heller

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