Inspired by serving fifty years in libraries and 25 years living in New York, Terry Ballard has written the book "50 specialty libraries of New York City: From botany to magic," published by Chandos/Elsevier.
The book was inspired by a chapter in Marilyn Johnson's "This book is overdue," telling of a visit to the American Kennel Club library in Midtown Manhattan. Ballard had never heard of this but imagined that there were many other such niche libraries hiding in the city. When digging deeper he found that there were three subscription libraries in continuous operation since at least 1820, independent libraries for most major languages, and numerous libraries specializing in art and photography.
There were well more than 50 such libraries, but to be included in the book, the library had to be accessible to the interested researcher without undergoing draconian entrance requirements. About a third of the libraries required an advance notification and the rest were open to walk-ins.
Ballard has been an academic systems librarian living in New York since 1990. He is the author of two previous books and more than seventy articles in the field. He has also been the recipient of three writing awards. Much more information about the book can be found at <a href="http://librariesnyc.org">Librariesnyc.org.</a>