You’re invited to be present

Each month carries with it certain expectations and feelings. Just thinking about January can make one shiver, imagining the plummeting temperatures and shorter days. The suggestion of May brings feelings of hope, light, and warmth. July, oh July. You are a glittering gem, baked in the middle of the summer, nights filled with starlit skies and ice cream runs. November begins gently; family gatherings are something to look forward to, but the reality of how quickly the celebrations arrive, accompanied by a rush to end the year can trigger some anxiety. November and December, for sure, are not an easy pair, leaving in their wake, a sense of urgency in trying to slow down the clock.

We invite you to be present this holiday season, and, though we can’t slow time any more than you can, we can offer a place to recharge, reflect, and reinvest in yourself. At the library, you have a permanent invitation to a wide variety of programs for all ages. If you’re feeling the pressure to find the perfect gift, we can help you in a number of ways: join us on Dec. 13 for Book Flood. Based on the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod, attendees and library staff gather to discuss their favorite recent books. Better yet, try Book It for Gifting. Fill out a short form, telling us some information about an adult that you’re trying to come up with gift ideas for, and we will give you five personalized book suggestions.

If you’re responsible for some part of, or all of a holiday meal, we have hundreds of cookbooks that can provide inspiration and solutions. This list, featuring holiday desserts and side dishes, may be especially helpful.

If you’d rather skip making the trip to visit faraway family members, why not explore some local museums by taking advantage of our museum pass program? Library cardholders may make reservations online for a variety of institutions, including the Academy of Natural Sciences, American Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Eastern State Penitentiary, Frick Collection, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Morven Museum & Gardens, Museum of Modern Art, Mutter Museum, New York Historical Society, Old Barracks Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Storm King Art Center.

Perhaps the best gift we have to offer, though, is our physical space. If you find the need to just relax or escape the chaos of the end of the year, please stop by any time our doors are open. Find a seat near one of our two fireplaces, grab a magazine or newspaper, and take some time to recharge. Consider yourself invited.

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