In a city of 30 thousand dollar a year private schools, 800 dollar (or more) a week kids’ camps, and $15 an hour babysitters, the New York City Public Library system is such an amazing tool for parents – and NY’ers of all walks of life. It is a great, free, resource – and one which remains as awesome today as it was years ago.
Growing up as an ‘80’s “latch-key” kid, I have fond memories of hours in the Spuyten Duyvil (Bronx) library with my younger sister before walking home. (As my mother insisted we go there so we wouldn’t kill each other alone in the house.). How I remember kvelling when I was able to start taking books from the adult system – and today as a parent, I share the joy of spending hours with my kids in libraries. We have traveled to branches all over the city (and carried books out of all of them), and in the midst, we learn, connect and bond. (An additional bonus is I can take out books like those by uber-liberal Michael Moore which I can never bring myself to buy.)
New York Public Library President and CEO Anthony Marx recently noted that “The library is the one place in New York where you have the student and the immigrant and the homeless and the Nobel laureate and the Pulitzer Prize winner – everybody’s using the library.” He’s right – and America’s largest library system has more visitors than the city’s many cultural institutions and professional sporting events combined.
The library system offers a great insight into our amazing city. Books teach people how to think. I-phones and emails are great tools – but in many ways these devices limit our ability to think. (No, Google and Siri can’t solve it all.) Thinking – the ability to reflect – is essential to growth and moving forth. As Bertrand Russell said when all other options have failed, man is thrown back onto “the painful necessity of thought!”
Going on vacation? Borrow books. Need to escape from day to day life? Borrow books – and gain a “fountain of knowledge.”
As an old-school reader who still gets the morning papers delivered to my front door (yes, I am the one), here’s to hoping that many future generations of New Yorkers enjoy the great New York City Public Library (just don’t visit in my area so you take books I like.)
About Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.