Last week I became the proud bearer of a New York Public Library Card!! I haven't lived in New York since 1955, so how did this happen?
The main library on 5th Avenue in New York City is a marvelous place. The building is a Beaux Arts style Vermont-marble temple of learning and education, a thing of tremendous mass and beauty. Dedicated in 1911 by a sitting US President, William Howard Taft, the library is a National Registered Historical Landmark. 88 miles of shelf space are contained here. Two lions guard the entrance, Patience and Fortitude. Collections have their own private rooms as do pursuits such as history and maps. I walked forever up and down the halls before I ever saw stacks of books such as dominate every other library. They are kept in the Reading Room. At my local library, the whole library is a reading room but in New York, they have a special place just for that.
I found out that underneath spacious Bryant Park behind the library is an underground chamber full of millions of books that can be retrieved when a patron requests them.
So how did I obtain a New York Public Library card? The tremendously helpful woman in the map room asked me if I wanted one, that's how. Who would say no to that?