Measuring Our Success: The Value of Our Work

Recently, four University Press Directors, including FUP Director, Fredric Nachbaur, were asked by the Choice Magazine to share their perspective on the University Press enterprise. Read the full article here.

Recently, four University Press Directors, including FUP Director, Fredric Nachbaur, were asked by the Choice Magazine to share their perspective on the University Press enterprise. Read the full article here.

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Interview with Tom Glynn, author of Reading Publics

The Author’s Corner with Tom Glynn

Tom Glynn is Anglo-American History and Political Science Selector in the Alexander Library at Rutgers University Libraries. This interview is based on his new book, Reading Publics: New York City’s Public Libraries, 1754-1911 (Fordham University Press, January 2015).

JF: What led you to write Reading Publics?

TG: I came to the history of American libraries by way of American labor history. My first article was on the Apprentices’ Library of the City of New York. That led to research on other libraries in the city in the nineteenth century and prompted me to explore what they held in common, what goals and values the Apprentices’ Library shared with, for example, the Mercantile Library Association, a library for young clerks. The book really began to take shape when I started to think about the contemporary use of the term public library to refer to these privately funded, privately managed institutions.

JF: In two sentences, what is the argument of Reading Publics?

TG: The early history of public libraries in New York City is an important part of the social and cultural history of the United States, revealing critical shifts in how Americans defined the public, the public good, and public institutions. It is also an important part of the history of books and reading, shedding light on the relationship between the market and culture, the reception of popular fiction, and class and gender in the construction of the reader.

JF: Why do we need to read Reading Publics?

TG: Histories of public libraries in the United States omit or gloss over the fact that the meaning of the term changed over time, that public library meant something quite different to a reader in 1754 than to a reader in 1911. Reading my book you will appreciate the shifts from the eighteenth to the twentieth century in how Americans defined and what they expected of public institutions and what was valued as a public good. You will also learn about the history of books and reading in America and how class, gender and the market shaped the construction of the reader. Reading Publics addresses the need to place the development of public libraries within the larger context of American social and cultural history. But it is also a New York story, an accessible, interesting narrative of a little-know aspect of the city’s past. It was written not just for scholars, but for anyone interested in history, books, and libraries.

JF: When and why did you decide to become an American historian?

TG: I became a librarian before I became an historian. After I started my first job in an academic library, I joined a Ph.D. program, in part for the challenge and in part to be a better librarian. Later I wrote a book on the history of early public libraries in New York City for essentially the same reasons.

JF: What is your next project?

TG: I’m not sure. I’m very interested in the history of reading and also in detective fiction in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It would be fun to find something that combines those interests.

JF: Sounds good, thanks Tom!

Posted Thursday, February 12, 2015 by John Fea at  The Author’s Corner 

The Author’s Corner with Tom Glynn Tom Glynn is Anglo-American History and Political Science Selector in the Alexander Library at Rutgers University Libraries. This interview is based on his new book, Reading Publics: New York City’s Public Libraries, 1754-1911 (Fordham University Press, January 2015). JF: What … Full Story

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The Lure of New York City

In Walking New York: Reflections of American Writers from Walt Whitman to Teju Cole, Stephen Miller talks about how New York has been a magnet city for writers, painters, dancers, musicians, financiers, and tramps. It has also been a magnet city for students from all over the world.

Gao Mengzei, who came from China, recently told a New Yorker reporter: “I knew I wanted to come to New York, and Columbia was the only school in the city I knew the name of.” But her first impression of New York was not a good one. “People always ask ‘What’s your first impression of New York? and they never like my response when I say it’s big fat rats!’”

Stephen Miller is a freelance writer and the author of five books, including Conversation: A History of a Declining Art. His articles on literary, political, and cultural questions have appeared in many journals in the United States and Great Britain, including The American Scholar, The Times Literary Supplement, Partisan Review, and Sewanee Review, among others. He has an M.A. in English from Yale and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Rutgers.

Read more…‘Over and Out’, The New Yorker, 10/13/14.

In Walking New York: Reflections of American Writers from Walt Whitman to Teju Cole, Stephen Miller talks about how New York has been a magnet city for writers, painters, dancers, musicians, financiers, and tramps. It has also been a magnet … Full Story

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NYT Bookshelf: From a Nickel to a Token


N.Y. / REGION

A History Built on Culture, and Transport
Looking Back at New York City Culture and Transit
Bookshelf | by Sam Roberts

Last month’s death of William J. Ronan, the first chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is reason enough to reflect on the history of public transit through From a Nickel to a Token: The Journey From Board of Transportation to MTA (Fordham University Press), by Andrew J. Sparberg.

Mr. Sparberg traces nearly three decades at the dawn of public ownership, from the city’s acquisition and unification of the subway system, to the demolition of the elevated lines, to the replacement of trolleys by buses, to the elimination of the politically sacrosanct nickel fare and the first air-conditioned subways.

READ MORE…

N.Y. / REGION A History Built on Culture, and Transport Looking Back at New York City Culture and Transit Bookshelf | by Sam Roberts Last month’s death of William J. Ronan, the first chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is … Full Story

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The New York Times Reviews COOL

A Look at Our Love Affair With Air-Conditioning
by Sam Roberts | NYT Bookshelf
SEPT. 19, 2014

With summer just about officially over, we can dispassionately explore what the world was like a little more than a century ago, before Willis Carrier installed his “apparatus for treating air” in a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, printing plant.

“I live in New York, a city that doesn’t exist without air-conditioning,” Salvatore Basile writes in “Cool: How Air Conditioning Changed Everything” (Fordham University Press).

To Americans, New York is a Northern city, but in his breezily anecdotal book, Mr. Basile reminds readers that we practically share a latitude with Madrid, if not the siestas. The heat could be brutal, particularly when 5,000 ceiling fans, while the largest such installation in the world, were all that cooled the city’s subway cars.

Air-conditioning was not just about comfort.

It triggered a cultural and demographic revolution.

It made windowless offices, work and retail spaces and entertainment venues possible (and also permitted the introduction of heat-generating computers).

It also diminished street life.

And beyond New York, it made living in the Sun Belt bearable, shifting not only jobs and population there, but also political power.

Read full article…

A Look at Our Love Affair With Air-Conditioning by Sam Roberts | NYT Bookshelf SEPT. 19, 2014 With summer just about officially over, we can dispassionately explore what the world was like a little more than a century ago, before … Full Story

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