Nomination for Arezoo Moseni

Senior Librarian

The New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Library, The Art Collection

New York, New York


Joan Grubin

New York, NY


1. How long have you known the nominee and how did you come to know him or her?

I have known Arezoo Moseni for about three or four years. I was introduced to her through a fellow artist/friend who became aware of the interesting and exciting events and shows Arezoo was spearheading by noticing the exhibitions curated into the street level windows of the library on 5th Avenue.


2.  Please list a few ways in which the nominee has helped you and others and made your experience of the library a positive one.

Arezoo Moseni presides over a wonderful collection of art books and literature on the 3rd Floor of the Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library. What makes her contribution distinct is that she goes way beyond the traditional responsibilities of a librarian. She has created a truly unique forum within the library by curating exhibitions and hosting highly stimulating free evening exchanges between artists and the public, through the screening of films about art, panels, and discussions with artists. These events make a profound contribution to the cultural life of the city.


3. How has the library, and the nominee, improved the quality of your life?

I keep an eye on all the events that Arezoo Moseni organizes, because I know that each one will be a presentation of a very worthwhile presentation of a voice or voices in the arts. Every event she has presented is characterized  by depth, originality, and authenticity. She manages to strike a perfect balance between artists of repute, and artists who are less known.


4. How does the nominee make the library a better place? Please be specific.

Every time I have visited Arezoo Moseni's floor, she is there presiding over the wonderful collection of art books and magazines, ready to engage in a dialogue on the most sophisticated level about art and art-making. She does not seem rushed or harried (as one can so easily be in New York City) but rather seems to have time to listen, to offer interesting insights, and to draw from her rich knowledge of contemporary art and art history. The atmosphere is one of quiet and calm, people seated at tables poring over the art books, with some intriguing exhibition on the wall that has pride of place in the main space. Arezoo Moseni is pleasant, kind, and full of pleasure in her work at all times.


5. How has the librarian made a difference in the community?

To have created this sanctuary at the busiest intersection in Manhattan (near 42nd St. and 5th Avenue), emblematic of the insane chaos and energy of this world capitol, where artists and the public can come FOR FREE to hear from the makers of culture, to share in dialogue, to see vibrant exhibitions of work - and all on her own initiative - is truly an achievement. To borrow an expression from the artist Joseph Beuys, she has created a kind of "social sculpture" that brings people together to share ideas in a meaningful way.