I got a junk email today from the New York Public Library.
Normally, I junk junk mail, but, actually, I LOVE the NYPL, so I opened the email to see what cool thing they have going on. It was a survey that would only take me 5 minutes to complete, they said, so wouldn't I do it just for them, they said, pretty please, with sugar on top?
Sure. I love NYPL. Why not?
It was going pretty fast--NYPL, you're always so reliable--then I got to the question that asked me to share a story for why I support NYPL...
15 minutes later, I submitted this (photos added later):
Soon after I moved to NYC, the main library is where I set up shop like it was my office for months every day that I wasn't working at my barista job in an East Village cafe.
I started, finished, and sent off my grad school apps and scholarship apps in the Rose Reading room and was sitting there a couple months later on a cold March afternoon when I heard from my final and top choice--Columbia--that I'd gotten in. I started to cry quietly so as not to disturb the other patrons, so relieved to know that I'd be staying in New York studying exactly what I wanted to study. Then I gathered my things and RAN outside the building to call my parents with the good news.
Every time I walk past that spot on the north side of the building, I always think about how happy I felt sharing my news, shouting into the phone over my dad's bad cell reception, "I got in! I got into Columbia!!!" and how happy my parents were to hear this.
The security guards are the people I'd say I've interacted with the most, especially once I became one of the regular faces coming in and out of the building. They're always great, real characters, and I felt like I'd found my Cheers bar--only better smelling and with clearer eyed seat-warmers.
Since starting school, I've had less opportunity to visit the main library, but one of the things I'm looking forward to after finishing my Master's this year is having more time in my schedule to spend a few hours a week back in my first real NYC home in the Rose Reading room.