Category Archives: Monthly Wrap Up

About last month…


Don’t let the cold get you down, there’s lots to be happy about. Here are some links and stories that caught my gaze in the last few weeks.

Children’s book illustrator and provocateur Tomi Ungerer has a mesmerizing show at The Drawing Center right now. Ungerer gave life to an array of dreamy places and characters. Ungerer recently wrote a two part essay you can read via Phaidon, titled “Whatever you’re up to, make yourself noticed!”


These temporary literary tattoos. I would rather have a line from Oscar Wilde or T.S. Eliot on my arm.

Snapshots from an iconic 1960’s fashion photographer’s archive. The slideshow was put together by The Cut for an exhibit of photographs by Gösta Peterson, who was known for choosing eccentric models.

A look inside the library where another famous manifesto was started, The Communist Manifesto. The Library, Chetham, is Britain’s oldest public reference library.

Lastly, picking up the pieces in Ferguson, Missouri. Archivists and historians acknowledge how fresh the wounds are and recognize the importance of documenting the destruction of parts of their city.

Illustration from Tomi Ungerer’s Moon Man.

Another one for the books


We’re two days into 2015 and I’m still nailing down my resolutions. One thing I know for sure is this year I’m going to jump into projects I’ve been putting off because they’re hard or I haven’t felt ready. Expect to see more personal essays and stories on LM.

Before jumping into the year ahead, here’s a look back at some links from November and December to round out 2014.

The Sketchbook Project, an archive of over 30,000 artists’ books, resides at The Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg. The sketchbooks, filled with drawings, collages, notes to self and confessions to readers, have been digitized and cataloged and are now available to browse online. When you search the database of sketchbooks, you are essentially looking through images from the imaginations and dreams of artists around the world. My friend Shoko wrote a cool feature about the project on her blog.

This summer, when schools in Ferguson, MO closed amid protests and riots spurred by the police shooting of Michael Brown, the Ferguson public library stayed open, hosting classes to give people a place to go. Now with help from Twitter and writer Neil Gaiman, the library is getting financial support from around the country. What will they do with the money? Scott Bonner, the head librarian plans to purchase more “healing kits” for children. The kits can be borrowed and include books about dealing with traumatic events and a stuffed animal that children can keep. There’s even talk of the library hiring a second full time librarian.

With so many conflicts making headlines, this quote featured on The Paris Review caught my attention. “If every head of state and every government official spent an hour a day reading poetry we’d live in a much more humane and decent world…” The author? Mark Strand, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1999, who died in November. I had never read Mark Strand’s poetry before, but, after reading tributes to him, I instantly took to his work.

We were given a glimpse into authors and artists appraisal of their own work when Christie’s auctioned 75 annotated first editions this Fall. Beloved author and illustrator Eric Carle found fault with his popular work The Very Hungry Caterpillar writing, “I have often tried to recreate the soul full look of the moon — never succeeded!” The New York Times Magazine has all 75 works available to peruse.

I am envious of the second annual Jealousy List. At year’s end Bloomberg Businessweek compiles some of the stories they wish they had had the know-how to publish over the last 12 months. Topics include: venture philanthropy, offender-funded justice, and the unexpected mass appeal of “Serial.” Hey, there’s nothing wrong with lusting after a story.

2014, it’s been sometimes scary, a little disheartening, but fascinating and inspiring too. I am so grateful to friends for reading and I thank anyone who has stumbled upon and continued to read Library Manifesto this year!



Images via The Sketchbook Project. From top: Stacie Spencer, Aimee Rudic, Maria M. Rodriguez

Tagged , , , , , , ,

September Wrap Up



Archives week will soon be upon us! Check out my suggestions on which programs to see in the new Library Manifesto calendar. Suggest additions to the calendar by tweeting @mspantojatoyou or by e-mail!

A library in Westport, Connecticut introduced “Vincent” and “Nancy” two humanoid robots, programmed to walk without bumping into walls and make eye contact. The robots will be the stars of programming classes at the library.

For the first time, archives from an abandoned Moroccan Jewish synagogue on a tiny island in the Azores are being examined.

Culture in Transit will send librarians out to NYC’s archival depositories with scanners and cameras in hand. The program aims to centralize and preserve the city’s historical records.

100 years from now will books still be printed and bound? The Future Library in Oslo is ensuring at least 1 anthology will be! Margaret Atwood, the prize-winning Canadian author known for her dystopian novels, is the first author to contribute a story to the project.

For New Yorkers and architecture aficionados, how a stereoview (you know, the 3D experience of 1880) led to a rare New York find.

Finally, some haunting GIF’s to toll the knell for the spookiest month of the year. Thanks for sharing, Jessamy!

Happy Archives Month everyone!!


Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Summer Wrap Up

This summer I took an unexpected hiatus from Library Manifesto. In June I decided to make a big change and left an academic library for a job in tech. A week later, I lost my best friend Chloe. These past few months have been filled with jitters, puffy eyes, and have left me with a few new gray hairs. After a tumultuous start to summer I was holding my breath, hoping there wouldn’t be any more surprises. August passed without incident and I’m excited to write again this fall. I have a few great posts in the pipeline, including another tribute to the incredible Chloe Weil, who is in my thoughts every day. In the meantime, here are some stories that caught my eye this summer.

Fifty years have passed since the wide spread protests of the civil rights era. These archival photos show some striking similarities between efforts to constrain demonstrations in the 1960s and recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

The Ferguson public library has offered some new services as a result of the protests. Libraries provided classroom settings for teachers and students when school start dates were postponed and gave out bottled water to the community.

Some New Jersey residents will be able to earn an accredited high school diploma at their local library with the new Online High School Completion Program.

After 30,000 antique New Orleans newspapers ended up on Craigslist, a local printmaker saved the archives and created The Eliza Jane Nicholson Digital Newspaper Archive.

Many of the articles that publish the findings of publicly funded research are paradoxically very expensive for the public to access. The New York Review of Books looks inside the baffling world of academic journals.

Polarizing views on the Israel-Hamas conflict are all over social media. Interestingly, a study of twitter users showed that Ha’aretz is the only paper that attracts readers from both sides of the issue.

Adult females have taken over as the largest video game-playing demographic in the United States. Beating out boys under the age of eighteen.

The New Inquiry took a look at yelp reviews of museums. “Start your visit at the top and then walk down.”

Photo of yours truly by Chris Antkowiak

Tagged , , , , ,

May Wrap Up

Bookstore A-Z
I can’t believe June is half over, where did the time go? Even so, here’s a short list of articles that caught my attention in May.

Riding the subway I always stop and marvel at tile mosaics along my journey. A guy in Williamsburg, Brooklyn brilliantly decided to archive them.

A Yeast Archive for endangered beer gives brewers an opportunity to recreate their favorite pour.

The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center memorialized Maya Angelou with a small exhibit of some of her archives.

Add The Metropolitan Museum of Art to the list of major institutions putting vast amounts of images online!

How a physicist resurrected the earliest recordings.” A New Yorker piece about the technology used to digitize brittle recordings.

By blaming smart phones, are we overlooking the real reasons that keep kids from reading?

Artifacts With a Life All Their Own. A loving look at museum artifacts and the unlikely objects that lived history.

Photo taken inside Westsider Books on 80th and Broadway from my Instagram.

April Wrap up

Robert Dawson

Here’s some of what I was reading last month. Happy (very) belated May!

NPR previewed a book of library photography by Robert Dawson. There is a lot more to America’s public libraries than the iconic Beaux-Arts buildings and marble lions in New York. The photos look like location shots for the next Wes Anderson film.

“Life is a walk in the dark.” I’ve listened to this amazing James Baldwin interview with Studs Turkel three times and counting. Baldwin would have turned ninety this April. To mark the event Brooklyn Rail discussed his legacy.

A team of experts finds that a papyrus know as the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” is likely not a forgery. The scrap is given thumbs up but remains controversial.

The NYC Municipal Archive added 30,000 images to their online collection. Last year I made a short tutorial for finding images of what your apartment looked like in the 70s.

Rare snapshots from Kansas City’s 1960s Drag Scene are where grunge meets glam way before either broke out.

In case you need one more reason to bring classes to the archives: this student found a letter written by Martin Luther King Jr.

The Museum of Natural History announced a major digitization project. The museum’s collections have been strikingly unavailable to the public until now. The museum plans to put one million images online.


Tagged , , , , ,

March Wrap Up

Charles Ives music study

Dr. Dre’s letter to his wife (then girlfriend) Nicole Threatt about Burning Man, the desert festival which inspired the California Love video.

Speaking of which, the Universal Hip Hop Museum is slotted to open in the Bronx in 2017. Uptown baby!

The Vatican got a scanner. Extremely rare religious manuscripts will soon go online.

“The Guest Cat” made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Way to go indie press New Directions! Publishing since 1936 they have never made it to the list. The publisher thanks a social media embrace set off by a positive NPR review.

Is there room for cursive in 21st Century school curriculum?

NYPL is teaming up with a new startup Zola Books to offer algorithm-based recommendations. Now readers will be pointed to books with similar characteristics instead of what’s popular.

Librarians got real about salaries, in a discussion on Reddit summarized by Bound.

The SXSW Libraries+Archivists+Museums cohort.
8 Ways Oyster Books Can Rule The Subscription Market – written by my publishing savvy brother, Andrew Pantoja.

How Harvard collects vast paper archives, like the one Gore Vidal bequeathed them in 2002.

NYPL and CUNY again must plead with New York state lawmakers to avoid further cuts in 2015, not cool Cuomo.

American composer Charles Ives worked in his study in West Redding, CT in the later years of his life. The study was recently taken apart and moved to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in Washington Heights where it will be displayed for a limited time to the public.

Photo: Charles Ives’s study at the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Taken from my Instagram.
Tagged , , , , , ,

February Wrap Up

new manifesto newlights press

Here are a selection of the articles I bookmarked last month:

This Crain’s article revealed how a library renovation is bringing hope to local businesses and eateries that need to attract patrons in Queens, NY.

Speaking of Queens, History Pin showed up in Long Island City and helped digitize some local historical photographs.

People are using data analysis to show interesting relationships. Ed Summer’s data visualization shows how many times each Paris Review interview appears on Wikipedia.

Is the literary world elitist? Maybe the question shouldn’t be IS but WHY?

Carl Sagan’s wonderful response letter to everyone’s favorite astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Cities start early bidding for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

An Interview with Elena Bulat, a photo conservator. “I have my own favorite set [of] scalpels that might be used by an orthodontist.”

Test how fast you read! Tip: don’t rush

Photo: The New Manifesto of Newlights Press spotted this month at Berl’s Poetry Shop in DUMBO Brooklyn. “Book are more than text…”


Tagged , , , , , , , ,