lunes, 25 de noviembre de 2013

City Halls Invisible Library

The storerooms below New York City's municipal library keep millions of objects, papers, documents and photographs, some of which were unearthed  for an exhibition on late Mayor Ed Koch.

Self-study activity:
Watch this short New York Times video and answer the questions below.

The activity is suitable for intermediate students.

1 What date does the woman with glasses say at the beginning?
2 What is the job description of the people working in the archives?
3 How long did Ed Koch stay in office?
4 When did he die?
5 How old is the building where the library is?
6 Why can't we see a library sign on the walls of the City Hall?
7 What does 'first time' refer to when Ed Koch's niece comments on the exhibition?

You can check the answers by reading the transcript below.

Ok, guys. Are you ready for this?
Guess what we found?
Muhammad Ali.
It’s a good find for this municipal curator and her colleagues in the cavernous underground storage rooms in the new City Hall.
July 1st 1981. Do you have anything else?
At the end of these aisles we have all kinds of maps, and blueprints and I’m sure you can image that in a city as large as New York there are a lot of them.
As employees of the City’s department of records they have spent weeks searching through the millions of papers, photographs and objects here to find material for an exhibition on Ed Koch, the charismatic three-term former mayor of New York who died in February. Some of these objects don’t see the light of day for years, and there are surprises down these endless corridors.
This is great. These are priceless.
We knew it was here, we just had to pull it out, but we didn’t know it was signed.
So the average working year how much would be down in places like this?
I wish it was a hundred per cent.
Lashaun and I have been down here for a week together.  We jammed out to some nineties tunes in slow times.
But at least the exhibition’s name was easy, Ed Koch’s own catchphrase. All this takes place out of the public eye, inside a century-old building right in the heart of Lower Manhattan, but off the library, the municipal archives, and the shiny new visitor center not a sign outside. Not one.
We don’t have a sign on the building because unfortunately it’s a landmarks building. It’s a little bit of a historical quirk but it does present an obstacle for us. Because the average person walking by or a lot of the tourists that are down in this area don’t know that we are hidden inside this building.
Casual visitor Ken Brown had no idea there was a library here.
So I was intrigued by the building and then I noticed this clipping here on Muhammad Ali. It brought back memories and then the gentleman came by told me there is a library. I open this door and to my amazement find one of the most surprising events in Manhattan, right before my very eyes.
In the vault beneath his feet, record staff are putting the final touches to the Koch exhibition. Opening night arrives. … lobby is transformed.
Among the guests is Ed Koch’s niece.
First time since he died I really looked at all this sort of stuff and it’s really a wonderful exhibit. It makes me sad, you know, I wish he were here.
We got a lot of very positive feedback.
And now it’s on to the next one.