The New York Center for Books and Reading Makes its Debut At Columbia University in New York City

New York On September 19, 2002, the New York Center for Books and Reading celebrated its inauguration with a lecture-performance by Isaiah Sheffer, Artistic Director of Symphony Space in New York City and host of NPR's "Selected Shorts," on "Reading Aloud as a Performing Art."


This festive event was hosted by Columbia University Libraries and held at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America in New York City. Prior to the event, the Board of the Center, which is drawn from across the state, had its first meeting in Columbia's Butler Library.

James Neal, Columbia University Librarian, said, "Columbia University and New York City have always been leaders in the world of publishing and book arts. Our rich library special collections and strong conservation program reflect this commitment. So it is appropriate for us to be a partner in the new New York Center for Books and Reading."

The event also marked the National Book Festival scheduled for October 12 on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Dr. John Y. Cole of the Library of Congress Center for the Book, organizer of the National Book Festival, participated in the ceremonies in New York.


As the New York state affiliate to the Library of Congress Center for the Book, the New York Center for Books and Reading plans to promote books and reading through the coordination of state-wide public activities. It will also participate in the Letters About Literature program, recognize sites related to its mission in the state, and support scholarly inquiry and projects relating to books and reading.

The New York Center for Books and Reading is housed in the Syracuse University Library, and is affiliated also with the Columbia University Libraries in New York City. Deirdre C. Stam serves as the Center's first Director and can be reached at (315) 446-5923.For additional information about the Center, see

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 7.5 million volumes, 49,000 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms and other non-print formats. The collections are particularly strong in humanities and history, architecture, East Asian and other Area Studies materials, oral history, theater, and original materials in English and American literature and history. The collections and services are organized into 22 libraries, supporting specific world areas, academic or professional disciplines. The Library's web site at is a gateway to the print and electronic collections and services.

written: 10/08/02 KRS