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Libraries Embrace Urban Lit

Great story in the New York Times on the embrace of urban lit by the Queens Public Library, and others. By the way: most of the young, and many of the old, librarians that i know are not … ur … prim:

It’s not the kind of literary fare usually associated with the prim image of librarians. But public libraries from Queens, the highest-circulation library system in the country, to York County in central Pennsylvania, are embracing urban fiction as an exciting, if sometimes controversial, way to draw new people into reading rooms, spread literacy and reflect and explore the interests and concerns of the public they serve.

Urban fiction’s journey from street vendors to library shelves and six-figure book deals is a case of culture bubbling from the bottom up. That is especially true in New York, where the genre, like hip-hop music, was developed by, for and about people in southeast Queens and other mostly black neighborhoods that have struggled with drugs, crime and economic stagnation.

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