Between the Stacks

Gripping stories from the quietest spaces you know.

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An NYC Rap Icon’s Latest Hustle: Hip-Hop Coordinator…At the Library

In the ’80s, Ralph McDaniels helped young rappers like Notorious B.I.G. and Jay Z make their names. Today he’s teaching hip-hop history to a new generation of youth.

Shhh! My Not-So-Quiet Life as a Librarian with Tourette’s

After struggling for years with involuntary tics and outbursts, I found my calling in a job that involves no shortage of shushing.

Secret Life of a Public Library Security Guard

In between the rare maps and historical stacks, fishing out fornicators and nixing narcotics transactions are all in a day’s work for one of Portland’s finest.

Campus Security vs. The Million-Dollar Map Thief

E. Forbes Smiley stole nearly a hundred rare maps worth millions of dollars—but met his match in the darkened halls of an Ivy League library.

What is a Library?

Quaint vestige of the Gutenberg era, or cutting-edge panacea for social needs? For a broad swath of the neediest New Yorkers, the humble public library is proving its business is...