Nomination for Arezoo Moseni

Senior Librarian

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

New York, New York


Stephen Spretnjak

New York, NY


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

I met Arezoo Moseni approximately six years ago while conducting my research project that investigates poetic texts written by visual artists. I was spending about two hours a week going through the Library sources and met Arezoo as she was available at the information desk to assist patrons. She responded immediately with clear, intelligent, and articulate directions. She also took an interest in my project discussed possibilities. Later, I saw her at gallery openings and discovered that she is a visual artist.


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.

I spend a great deal of time in the library so have witnessed Arezoo assisting patrons. She gives every patron her immediate attention, looks up their subject on the desk computer, asks clear questions, encourages , and directs to cross-subjects of interest. Her attention famaliarizes the patron with the resources and educates how to navigate through and best use the system to their advantage. She also started a "Art On The Walls" project to exhibit works of art. It has made the enviroment a pleasant place to conduct research and to take that momentary break in thought to look at artworks. In my case, this type of stream-of-consciousness interuption allows for a brief slippage in intellectual thought ... that somehow generates a fresh appraoach to investigating the idea.


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

Thanks to Arezoo's reorganization of the shelf system and placing paperback catologues on the shelves, I have "discovered" many new artist/poets for my research archive. Many of the 400 artist/poets from Leonardo to present day, were found  at this source. Many of these sources are not available at the Museum of Modern Art Library or the Getty Research Institute (although these have collections of artists' personal papers, diaries, journals, etc.). Arezoo became so interested in my project, she invited me to present an artist/poet panel. I invited five artists to read their poems to slides of their artwork ... the room was packed to capacity. She also became familiar with my artwork and invited me to exhibit in the windows. I created a video work of my images and poetic text that was running on a 24 hour loop.. It was great to watch people interact ... stop in their tracks ... run into the library to learn more.


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

Arezoo has succeded in her mission to make the library an excellent research enviroment. Her first big move was to reorganize the floor. She cleared shelves of material not related to the 3rd Floor subjects. she was allowed to break the rules and fill the shelves with non-hardcover books. All of a sudden, exhibition catalogues and paperback books were out of storage. She created the "Art On The Walls " program to display contemporary art. she created "Art In The Windows" to exhibit artworks three times a year in the street level windows. She created the artist dialogue series where an artist and writer discuss art live with library patrons. She created video showings from the archives of BOMB Magazine that feature recorded interviews with artists. She writes all the information printed for these events and submits all to the Library web site. These are very informative projects. Many patrons plan their visits to participate in the discussion panels, view new art, and research more on the topics. Many passers-bye stop to view the widows then come inside.


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

I think that the New York City community has greatly benefited from Arezoo's enthusiasm, intellect, and drive. She has insights that only an artist would come up with and generously shares them with the patrons. You have to understand that much of her time used to bring in projects is ... a labor of love. Her reward is the simple "thank you" received by the patrons after receiving guidance with their projects, or their excitement as they join the crowd to attend and participate in discussions.