Central Children’s Room Memories: Anne Paradise
The second in a series of memories by people who love the Central Children’s Room of New York Public Library.
I worked at the Central Children’s Room in the early seventies, under Angeline Moscatt. I remember trying to find stuff from my desk after the decks were cleared for a reception. I was in charge of filing all the cards that came in those little glassine envelopes. When the library was switching over to computer, using a belt-and-suspender system of HUGE telephone book style directories, the catalogers couldn’t decide whether to put the "Jean-Marie" books under Francoise or Seignobosc. Do you know how many tracings her titles have? After the third switch I simply put the envelopes on the corner of the desk until they made up their minds. I was privileged to hear Glen Rounds speak at the annual St. Nicholas party, and to hear John Langstaff sing and play "Ho, the Rattlin’ Bog with his great red beard pointing to the ceiling. The color scheme was sixties fuschia and orange, which really didn’t go with the afternoon sun bouncing off MOMA across the street, and the office got cold from being on the same thermostat with the rare books room. We lost some materials due to the fire exit being too close to the unlocked stacks, but I remember being shown a shelf of "Johnny Crow’s Garden"- each printing being reduced in intensity, like an overused ink stamp. This was pre-digital, of course. We had wonderful exhibits- N. C. Wyeth’s Robin Hood- and the original orange notebooks in which Laura Ingalls Wilder recorded, neatly, in pencil, "The First Four Years". I never worked in the Fifth Avenue Library behind the Lions, but remember my experiences there, and later at Lincoln Center with fondness and gratitude.
– Anne Paradise
- Be sure to read the recent School Library Journal piece Stay Tuned: NYPL’s Central Children’s Room for more information on the upcoming move.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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