Welcome to the Friends of the New York State Library website.
We are a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting the New York State Library through public education and advocacy.
Our site provides you with information on The Friends’ projects, news and events, and the “New York State Library News” newsletter. If you are curious about The Friends organization, be sure to check out the About Us and What We Do sections.
We hope you’ll join us in our mission to strengthen library services for the people of New York State. Become a member today and help support our State Library. Also, show your support by liking us on Facebook.
150 Years of Racing in Saratoga
Robert Allan Carter, former law librarian at the New York State Library for thirty years and current historian at the National Museum of Racing, will share stories from his 2013 book 150 Years of Racing in Saratoga: Little-Known Stories and Facts from America’s Most Historic Racing City in preparation for the upcoming Saratoga racing season.
From Amsterdam to Albany: An Address by Russell Shorto
Russell Shorto, the 2013 New Netherland Research Center Senior Scholar and author of The Island at the Center of the World and Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City, as well as other acclaimed works, will talk about Dutch cultural heritage from Amsterdam and its influence on Albany, New York.
The talk will be followed by a signing of his most recent book Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City, named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2013 and described as “an expertly told history of a city of new, shocking freedoms and the tough-minded people that developed them.” Copies of the book will be available for sale.
Russell Shorto’s research with the New Netherland Research center has focused on following several families from New Netherland though early American history and exploring their paths during the American Revolution. He is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and former Director of the John Adams Institute in Amsterdam. Mr. Shorto’s books have won several literary prizes including the New York City Book Award, the Washington Irving Prize, and the New York Public Library Award. In 2009 he received a knighthood from the Dutch government for advancing Dutch-American Relations.
Missed the program? View the lecture here:
- Catch it while you can: 7th Floor Exhibits
The New York State Library presents “Our Colored Heroes: Black Patriots in an Age of Intolerance” (May-June 2014), the latest exhibit in the glass cases on the 7th floor. The exhibit includes books, images, recordings and sheet music from the State Library’s diverse collections about the experience of Black American soldiers during WWI.
- Press Releases: The Capital Region’s popular and highly circulating newspaper, Times Union, published an article on the Friends program “Bobsledding: An Albany Invention.” Read it here to learn more about the history of bobsledding in Albany. And, if you’re still eager to learn even more about Albany’s claim to the popular winter sport, check out All Over Albany’s blog on this topic.
Couldn’t make it to the program? No problem at all, the Friends recorded it for all the members, friends, and interested parties who couldn’t make it. Enjoy!
Christopher Lindsay speaks at the Fort Orange Club on February 8th about his research on bobsledding in Albany:
New York State Library News:
EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it! The Friends have issued the latest New York State Library News newsletter for Winter 2014. Get it online or at the New York State Library today. Take a peek inside the latest issue:
- Legislators: Seeking Legislative Intent: Want to know more about reasons for or against enactment of a law? The State Library offers many outstanding guides to researching legislative history. Find out more in the latest newsletter.
- Online Exhibit Features Governor Sultzer’s Impeachment: The papers of Irving G. Vann shed light on the impeachment of Governor William Sulzer.
- Success Story: In 2010, the State Library launched Broadband@ your library, a plan to enable public libraries throughout the state to increase staff training and digital leiteracy in economically distressed communities with high unemployment levels.
- Albany’s hilly Streets Cradle of Bobsledding: Bobsledding was a craze on the streets in Albany long before it debuted in Switzerland, according to historian and bobsled expert, Christopher Lindsay.
- SUNY Canton’s Library Wins Shubert Award: The Southworth Library Learning Commons at SUNY Canton won the 2013 Shubert Library Excellence Award.
- Be a Friend: Support the Library by becoming a member of the Friends of the New York State Library today!
- Hello Teens: Need an idea for a project? Enjoy reading? Like to knit? These are a few of the many informative announcements posted on The Teen NY Facebook page, a year round resource for teens and adults who work with them.
- A Treasure Trove of 19th Century History: The State Library’s microfilm collection of the William H. Seward Papers reveal that his greatest achievement was the purchase of Alaska and much more about the life and times of the lawyer from Auburn.
From the NYSL Friends Blog:
Bennett Alfred Cerf
Bennett Alfred Cerf was born to lithographer, Gustav Cerf and heiress, Frederika Wise on May 25, 1898 in New York, New York. He grew up in Washington Heights, alongside future business partner, Donald Klopfer and famous playwright, Howard Dietz. Cerf received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in 1920. Shortly after graduation, he worked as a reporter for the New York Tribune and for a Wall Street brokerage firm.
In 1925, Cerf and childhood friend, Donald Klopfer, formed a business partnership, purchasing the rights to the American publishing company, Modern Library. In 1927, they changed the name of the company to Random House and began selling general trade books. Popular artist and college classmate, Rockwell Kent, designed the logo that exhibits a little house. Read more at the NYSL Friends blog.
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