April 2023 NYAM Library Wrap-Up

by Anthony Murisco, Public Engagement Librarian

It’s not an April Fools that we’ve been busy this month—busy on social media, that is!

April is National Poetry Month. In 1996, the Academy of American Poets started the celebration to honor the underdog genre of literature. Each Wednesday we went through Charles G. Farnum’s poetry in Medicine Could Be Verse: Humorous Poems Mainly About the Profession. Specifically, we looked at the poems that dealt with the feelings of being ill. With the warmer springtime weather in New York City this month, perhaps “Hay Fever” proved too topical.

The first week of April, we celebrated National Public Health Week. Defined by the American Public Association, public health is “the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work, and play.” Each weekday brought about a new tip on how to keep yourself and your communities healthy.

Tip 1: Check in with your own physical health.
Tip 2: Focus on your mental health

From Health and Happy Days by Grace T. Hallock (1954).

Tip 3: Stay up to date with your immunizations.

Scan of the pamphlet Recommended Procedures for Immunization put out by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Tip 4: Stay active!
Tip 5: Don’t forget to rest.

A view of lakeside living from The Lakeside Haven of Rest guide.

Leading up to Earth Day on 4/22, we celebrated our home planet with books focusing on Jurassic geology, the importance of turtles, and even a 16th century love-letter to the mountains. We shone a spotlight on one of the formative pieces of literature in the Earth Day movement, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. She wrote about the toxic effects of pesticides on our whole planet. Deemed controversial for the time, her findings led to an environmental revolution.

A scan of the first chapter of Silent Spring with artwork by Louis and Lois Darling.

The last week of April coincided with National Library Week. We looked at a book advocating the freedom to read in prison, a classic image of our library and librarians from circa 1956,  and a 1911 map of the libraries of Manhattan.

A map showcasing all of the libraries in the borough of Manhattan, circa 1911.

If you’d like to engage more with our library collection, and see all the images in these series, follow us! The New York Academy of Medicine Library can be found online over at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

We also offer tours on the first Monday of every month at 12pm, no appointment necessary! For this and further opportunities to visit, please check this blog and our social media.

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About nyamhistory

The Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health, part of the Academy Library, promotes the scholarly and public understanding of the history of medicine and public health. Established in 2012, the Center aims to build bridges among an interdisciplinary community of scholars, educators, clinicians, curators, and the general public. The Center bases its work on the Library's historical collections, among the largest in this field in the United States and open to the public since 1878.

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