The NYPL recently sold the real estate occupied by the Donnell Branch to the Orient-Express Hotels for 59 mil. Apparently the library was in need of more renovation than the system could afford and this was the only way to raise the $$.
The hotel will still devote two floors to the library but there won't be room for children's reading room so--while the collection will remain intact (the sale was mostly to liquidate duplicates)--it's currently homeless.
I attended the sale with a born-and-bred Manhattanite who's used the Donnell for years and she said we were pillaging her childhood.
If you're a library-loving New Yorker write the administration and tell them how much you want the Donnell children's collection to get a good home...and soon. I understand that the main branch (the famous one with the lions) is going to go partial circulating soon, maybe the Donnell collection would fit there?
What happens to city librarians when their branch closes? Are they laid-off? Relocated? If so, how much say do they have in their new assignments?
Depressing. Anyway here's what I pillaged.
A nice stack of NYC ephemera and tour books from the Woolworth building, at one point the tallest building in the world (and still one of the top 50). I think I can see this building from out of our kitchen window, but neither my eyesight nor my city geography is good enough to say for sure.
A booklet called Villages and Hamlets within New York City yielded this great description of the founding of Luna Park in Coney Island.
I picked up a number of beautifully bound and illustrated classics including Down-Adown-Derry a Walter De La Mare verse collection with plates by Dorothy P. Lathrop.
And this charming lift-a-flap / pop-up book by Italian designer Bruno Munari, The Elephant's Wish.
I love the text in this book.
The ox is bored with beingThe find of the sale though was this first edition of The Day the Cow Sneezed by hep-cat record jacket designer, commercial illustrator, and children's book writer Jim Flora.
a fat, lazy ox with flies
buzzing all around him,
and he is wishing...
Very hard to part with this one.
See the rest of my new acquisitions in my Children's catalog new arrivals.