Volume 74, Number 32 | December 15 - 21, 2004


Villager photos by Elisabeth Robert

That’s a take, er, a return

At the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Tompkins Sq. Library, film director Martin Scorsese presented the branch with a copy of “A Pictorial History of the Movies” by Deems Taylor. Scorsese used the library branch, at 331 E. 10th St. between Avenues A and B, and checked the book out repeatedly as a child growing up in nearby Little Italy. Scorsese liked a movie still from “Citizen Kane” in the book so much he ripped it out, before returning it; at last week’s event he said he was making reparations by returning an in-tact first-edition copy of the book, which he signed. Susan Kent, director and chief executive of the branch libraries, presented Scorsese with a public library card. In 1901, Andrew Carnegie donated $5.2 million to New York City for construction of 65 neighborhood branch libraries. One of these, the Tompkins Sq. branch, opened in a new building on 10th St. in 1904. However, its origins date back to 1887, when it opened as a branch of the Aguilar Free Circulating Library. A new Soho/Little Italy library branch is slated to open next year on Jersey St., behind the Puck Building.

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