Friends of the New York State Library | New York State Library News

New York
State Library News

For the People, the Government and the Libraries of New York State
Summer 2005


Find your area's most up-to-date statistics for unemployment, new industries, hate crimes, filings for bankruptcy, and other topics in the RAND New York database, now on the State Library Web site at Log in with your State Library card and pin number.  For more information, call (518) 474-5355 or e-mail


Looking for small business plans, advertising information, or need help starting an online business? Three new eBooks are now online: The Encyclopedia of Small Businesses, 2nd edition, Gale Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, 1st edition, and Business Plans Handbook, volumes 5-10. Volumes 1-4 of the Handbook are available at the State Library in print only. Browse these three great new business references on the State Library Web site or visit the State Library.


Black and white photo of interim director Mary Redmond and author Thomas Friedman.
Mary Redmond and Thomas Friedman greet the public at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

On Saturday, September 24, Deirdre C. Stam, Director of the New York Center for the Book, joined Interim Director of the New York State Library, Mary Redmond, in Washington, D.C. for the fifth annual National Book Festival. This celebration of books is conducted to engender national interest in reading and literacy and to exchange ideas about these concerns. The New York representatives maintained a table in the Pavilion of the States on the National Mall where they greeted the 100,000 book lovers who attended this event. Hosted by First Lady Laura Bush and organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, this event featured libraries, literary organizations, and 75 award-winning writers, illustrators, and poets from all over the country.

As part of the Festival, the Library of Congress developed a list of 50 books representing 50 states. My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George, was New York's book for 2005. Selected as a 1960 Newbery Honor Book, this children's novel is set in the great Catskill Mountains.

Among the noted authors featured at the festival this year was The New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author, Thomas L. Friedman, who took a moment to pose for a photograph with Mary Redmond. "The New York State Library was pleased to participate in the National Book Festival and, as always, we had a very successful exhibit experience," said Redmond.


Ongoing efforts to generate support for the New Century Libraries initiative have spurred interest among legislators in improving support for public library construction and NOVEL, New York's first statewide online library.

Bill number A8202, sponsored by Charles D. Lavine, allocates $13 million for NOVEL and other essentials.  Bill number A8204, sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, assigns $20 million for constructions and improvement of physical and technological infrastructure for libraries throughout the State. Bill number A8207, sponsored by Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman, appropriates $700,000 for the State Library's Talking Book and Braille Library.

Support for public library construction, NOVEL, and library services to New Yorkers with disabilities are key elements of New Century Libraries and reflect the success of advocates in bringing the vital importance of library services for New Yorkers to the attention of lawmakers.

Advocates will continue to carry the message of New Century Libraries to state leaders in the coming session and to work towards better support for all types of libraries in New York State.  New Century Libraries is a $117 million Initiative from the Board of Regents that will give New Yorkers the libraries and library services they need to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  The proposal includes $30 million annually for public library construction grants, $14 million annually to provide ongoing and sustaining support for NOVEL, and $700,000 annually to strengthen library services and materials for people with special needs. For more information on New Century Libraries, go to


We deeply appreciate those who gave $50 or more to the Friends of the State Library.  Their contributions are of major significance in sustaining vital activities of the State Library and the Friends.

Jane Alessandrini
Constance Alesse
Joan Barron
Robert Barron
Joseph & Joan Burke
Jean G. Burns
Clesson & Jean Bush
Kathleen Condon
Priscilla H. Crago
George Damiano
William DeAlleaume
Senator Hugh T. Farley
Sara Harris
Mary Elizabeth Jones
Elizabeth A. Lane
Mildred M. Ledden
George E. Martin
Wendell Lorang
Ellen E. McHale, Ph.D.
James R. Miller
Laura-Eve Moss
Pearse Murray
John & Elinor Paris
Mary Redmond
Norman S. Rice
Zeb & Joanne Robbins, Jr.
William J. Rusch
Jane B. Schneider
Steven Schreiber
Jean Sheviak
Joseph F. Shubert
John G. Shufelt
Lorna Skaaren
David B. Smingler
Lee W. Stanton
Robert P. Stewart
Arthur L. Stienstra
Diana Waite
Janet L. Wood
Jerome Yavarkovsky


Search Excelsior, the online catalog of our holdings and access national and regional databases. Use the State Library Web site to:

And Much More

For more information, call (518) 474-7920 or e-mail:


Send comments and questions about the New York State Library and its newsletter to Mary Redmond


Black and white photo of a young woman seated in the reading area of the Library and using a laptop.
Student Assistant, Laurie Northrup, takes advantage of the new wireless Internet access.

You can now access all of the State Library's vast electronic resources and the entire World Wide Web on your wireless laptop on the public floor of the Research Library. Just plug in your wireless laptop at a researcher table on the seventh floor, download information, use it at the Library or take it home with you for future use. The State Library's wireless network is open to all visitors free of charge. Getting online is quick and simple.  No special encryption settings, user names or passwords are required. Just go to your home page and start surfing. That means you can start your research without waiting when all the library desktop computers are being used, and you can search the catalog from many areas on the seventh floor.

"The State Library is pleased to offer patrons the increased flexibility that comes with wireless access. Instead of being confined to a desktop PC, patrons with wireless laptops will now be able to move freely about the Library and take their online searches with them anywhere on the seventh floor," says State Librarian Janet M. Welch.

For information about requirements, connecting, limitations, troubleshooting, and FAQ:


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Black and white reproduction of a pamphlet cover titled 'John Brown, 1859 1959,' featuring with an image of the abolitionist.
Herbert Aptheker's pamphlet features John Brown.

Strikes, women in the labor force, civil rights, the Sacco-Vanzetti case, and the McCarthy investigations are just a few of the issues that ripped across an increasingly industrialized 19th and 20th century America. Radical Pamphlet Literature, a unique microfilm collection of 8,672 pamphlets produced between 1817 and 1970, encapsulates radical, liberal, and reform attitudes about social ills during this period of economic growth.  The collection focuses on pamphlets issued by socialist and communist political parties, anarchist groups, and labor organizations.  Authors include Earl Browder, Fidel Castro, Eugene V. Debs, Emma Goldman, V. I. Lenin, William Morris, Josef Stalin, Norman Thomas, and many other leftist leaders.  This collection is now available at the State Library.

The collection originated with the Rand School for Social Science, modeled after the workers' school at Ruskin College, Oxford, England.  Funded by a bequest from Carrie Rand, a wealthy Des Moines widow and mother-in-law of the well-known Christian Socialist, George D. Herron, this pioneer school for the education of workers cut off from formal education opened in 1906 in New York City, and over the years, became a cultural and educational center for socialist and liberal movements. Its library's holdings included many pamphlets as well as books.  When the Rand School closed in 1956, its Library was hailed as a valuable center for research and was taken over by the Tamiment Library.  In 1963, the Tamiment Library moved into New York University's Elmer Holmes Bobst Library.

Used for centuries to disseminate a wide range of religious, political and often controversial views, pamphlets were a popular way to disseminate radical social and political theory and out-of-the-mainstream views.  Topical and generally outside of library collection development policies, pamphlets (excepting in vertical files) are not usually available in libraries.  "Yet this ephemeral literature is frequently the only authentic source... for the study of the experiences of people on the fringes of society as well as for the formal study of political and economic progress," says Dorothy Swanson, Tamiment Librarian.  "The ephemeral and trivial is just as likely to provide data as the most profound," adds Ms. Swanson, as she explains the history, contents, and importance of the collection.  For more information on Radical Pamphlet Literature and other State Library collections, call (518) 474-5355 or e-mail


You can read National Geographic, Scientific American and many other popular science publications free of charge online.  Along with these and many other journals, NOVEL, New York's Online Virtual Electronic Library, provides copious information about health and medicine, investment, business, and educational materials for children and adults. To access NOVEL, go to

New York State Library News is produced by the Friends of the New York State Library and the New York State Library to inform New Yorkers about the collections and services of the State Library.
Editor: Miriam S. Soffer
This newsletter is not published at State expense.

New York State Library News
New York State Library
N.Y.S. Education Department
Albany, NY 12230

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