Central Children’s Room Memories: Paula Guiler
The fifth in a series of memories by people who love the Central Children’s Room of New York Public Library.
My Donnell memories take me back to the mid 1980s when I was earning my MLS at Queens College and was a Librarian Trainee at the NYPL. I worked at three branches during that time: Parkchester in the Bronx, the 96th Street branch (Manhattan) and Ottendorfer (Manhattan). I did a lot of the research for my Master’s thesis at the Central Children’s room. I could always count on the picture books I needed being there because of the unique Reading Room. Every important children’s book through the ages seemed to be there-in pristine condition because they couldn’t be checked out. I also remember that being the place for Librarian’s meetings and purchasing and other Librarian’s meetings. I also remember, at least at the Donnell, and maybe the other branches as well, that children had to sign a huge ledger book when they signed up for a library card. It seemed like such a genteel throwback to another age. In fact many of the traditions of the NYPL children’s department were lovely, graceful reminders of a white-glove age that were so charming!
I remember, too, pining for that Library when I had children and moved away. We of course made the pilgrimage back to see Pooh and company (always more moving for the adult than the child!), but not to have it at our fingertips was a harsh blow of reality.
I sincerly hope that tradition can win out and that the CCR can be recreated in its new home, wherever that may be!
Paula Guiler, MLS
School Media Specialist
North Canton City Schools
Filed under: Uncategorized
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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