Staff Profile: Brandon Harrington

Brandon, our new library assistant at Starrett City in Brooklyn

Where were you born?

I was born and raised in central Connecticut.

Where else have you lived?

I moved from CT to Newport, RI for undergrad. Before moving to New York, I lived in Providence, RI for a time.

What languages do you speak?

While my speaking skills outside of English are pitiful, I have reading proficiency in German and can manage reading Spanish, French, and Italian with a dictionary. I have a background in Latin and intend to return to it eventually. Continue reading

Data Viz: Seeing Numbers Through Images

Visualization of the best-selling books of the past 50 years (by Jared Fanning)

Recently, I attended a workshop on data visualization. Data visualization, or “data viz,” is a variety of methods of making sense of data through visual representation – anything from a basic excel graph, to infographics, to complex animations. Although it might seem like merely a beautifying process, data visualization is a form of analysis that aims to uncover insights that would be difficult to glean from the raw data. Continue reading

What’s for dinner? Answers through the ages from the NYPL

Lager Beer Saloon Menu, 1900
Kosher Victorian Restaurant menu, 1900 from NYPL menu collection:

We’ve all heard that avocado toast is the centerpiece of the millennial brunch, but have you ever wondered what your (great-)grandparents might have ordered when they were your age? Or maybe seeing the en vogue cocktails served at the Tavern on the Green in Central Park in years gone by might pique your interest? If you’re a history major or buff, perhaps you’d be keen to know how rationing during the war years affected restaurants? The NYPL’s Menu Collection (one of their many digital projects) can answer all those questions, plus raise a few more (mock turtle soup, anyone?). Continue reading