New York's stately libraries sport hidden apartments for live-in caretakers


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Huffing Boing Boing

I was born and raised in a library apartment. My first word was “Ssshhh!”. True story.


You get to have all the fun.


I’m literally speechless with both awe and envy.


That brings to mind how excited I was when I was told I could take library books home.


I want to live in a library. Been trying to create my own, but it’s not the same thing.


New Vacation spot available on AirBnB? Should be good for making the library system money…


There’s a fantasy novel of some sort just waiting to be written based on this premise.



79th & Madison though? Godawful mix of horrible rich people, snotty Lycée girls who think you don’t understand them talking shit about you in French, and lost tourists looking for the Met. Not a decent bar within a mile of there.

I’m sure those delicious looking grapes are totally sour


I am a librarian and the first time I got to say “shhhh!” at my first professional job was splendid. It was under my breath and followed by “it, this is why I went to grad school, again?” as I approached two students making out in the back corner of bound journals.


Sorry to burst any bubbles, but there are messes in libraries that people make that you do not want to have responsibility for cleaning up. At one library where I worked, we had a phantom shitter who struck at random in the stacks. I’m not making that up.


I love everything about this, especially the midnight access to new reading material.


I actually read about something like this when I was a kid - but it was a sister and brother who lived in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art…


I’m already planning :relaxed:

Caretakers with grand TARDIS like apartments and sprawling rooftop gardens. Access is granted much the way regular status is here, to the most avidly avaricious readers. Those lucky enough might spy a dragon who, in the blink of an eye, swoops down to eat interlopers who’ve no love for great stories. Late night visitors may have to treat with bots who tend the seekrit stacks while the caretakers dream of new spaces for more books the librarians plan to acquire, unless the custodian of that wing tends to insomnia. Our tale concerns just such a sleepless caretaker, and her battle of wits and spells against a black-hatted sorcerer who’s found a way to trick the daemons who track who reads what…


[quote=“GulliverFoyle, post:15, topic:80926”]I’m already planning

That sounds absolutely wonderful. You’ve already got one reader eagerly awaiting that book!




is it done yet? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I would ask if we’ve worked in the same library but phantom shitters in libraries seem to be a widespread phenomenon. I’ve always appreciated the preservation department but that was one of the times they had my sympathy too.

Also…is this you?

  • “Ook.”

  • “L space is infinite. All libraries are connected to all others that have ever existed or will ever exist.”


I worked for a library in the UK for 30 years and there was a similar arrangement with a rent free flat above the library for the head attendant. It was a sought after job. Actually it was a really essential thing as part of the job as they had to be onsite: eg if the alarm would go off at night, or there was water ingress and they had to open up early etc etc. But its hard to believe that there was the same set up in libraries half way across the world.


I know you’re not. Two of my sweeties are librarians (well, one’s a librarian, one’s a paraprofessional in teen services.) They’ve both told me stories about what goes on there and things patrons have been stopped from doing. Oddly enough, the phantom shitter is very similar to something that was happening at the Waukegan Public Library … wonder if they traveled around, or something?