New York Public Library Celebrates Their 125th Anniversary By Releasing A List Of Their 125 Favorite Books

2020 has been quite a year so far and to make it even more interesting, it is the 125th anniversary of the historic New York Public Library (NYPL). In order to celebrate the milestone, a number of activities have been planned. There are some 92 locations that welcome some 16 million visitors on an annual basis. Those visitors are more than New Yorkers, they are worldwide patrons who can look forward to writing workshops, book discussions, community partnerships, film screenings, and many other events. The times and dates of the events may change due to the COVID-19 pandemic but it is hoped that they will occur.

Patience and Fortitude show their solidarity by reading copies of Toni Morrison’s Beloved and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Those two are the stone lions that stand at the entryway of the library. The books were between their paws. Aside from that interesting display, the library has also released a list of 125 Adult Books We Love. They hope that it would “inspire a lifelong love of reading” among their visitors.

Quite a few librarians were enlisted to consider the different books that may make it to the list. There were some guidelines established to make the process easier. For example, the books had to be published after May 23, 1895, which was when the library was first established. They also had to “remind people why reading is fun, exciting, and enlightening” and “survive the test of time.” What they ended up with was a collection that was quite diverse and included fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, memoirs, and poetry. You can always learn more from the NYPL podcast, “The Librarian Is in” for a further discussion.

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They chose Valentine’s Day to publish the list and look forward to additional lists, including 125 Kids Books We Love and 125 Teen Books We Love. For those who want to share in the celebration, a post on social media using the hashtag #LoveReading or a donation of $12.50 to support their efforts would be welcome. You may even get a limited edition Love Reading sticker!

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