Spotlight On

A rotating showcase for topics of interest: current, historical, local, global. At the Library,
find a physical display highlighting materials in the collection that deepen one’s
understanding of and give context to the featured subject.

“Spotlight On” is also home to “Staff Picks,” where patrons will find reading, viewing,
and listening recommendations, and a forum for book clubs and other groups
in the community to share what they’re enjoying.

Ed Young

November 28, 1931 – September 29, 2023

“I consider myself a friend of the Library and I guess they consider me a friend of the Library.” So saith Ed Young about his 49-year relationship with the Hastings Public Library.

It was reciprocal. Ed would come into the Library and say, “I have a crazy idea,” and as many times a Library representative would rejoinder, ““Well, what about this idea? Can you help us with it?””

The collaboration would produce art exhibits, book readings, art classes for young patrons, talks for adults and numerous gifts of artwork that, once sold or auctioned, contributed greatly to the Library’s coffers.

Ed was a librarian’s delight. Drawing on his childhood in China, his life in the United States and finally his home in Hastings, Ed illustrated some 100 children’s books, many of which he also wrote. They ranged in subject matter and art mediums. Lon Po Po, published in 1989, was awarded the Caldecott Medal, the esteemed honor for illustration of a children’s book.

In 2012 Ed was the inaugural speaker in the Library’s centennial talk series, Dewey-on-Hudson. He captivated a full-house audience with his remarks, titled “A strange place to call home.”

Take a wander around this library. Hanging in the entryway is a quilt (sewn by longtime resident Betsy Murray) based on the collage Ed created for the Library’s centennial. Also on the front wall is the original print of his rendering of the Farmers Market, a collage based on photos and sketches made by Ed while working from the Library’s roof! And then, of course, shelves teeming with all his books, waiting to be borrowed and loved by a new generation of children.

In 2015, the Friends of the Library dedicated its annual fundraising gala to him, dubbing the event “Ed-centricity: an evening under the spell of storyteller Ed Young — our resident extraordinaire.” Now, if you look up the word “centricity,” there are several meanings: a force that holds things together, a central force or figure. And an eccentric is an unconventional person. All hold true for Ed.

Just four months ago Ed created his last piece of artwork dedicated to the Library. In the northeast corner of the building, beyond the circulation desk, is his pastel drawing announcing the Barkin Corner Book Shop. This is fitting because it was in 1974 that Ed, then new to the village and wandering his Villard Avenue neighborhood, met his soon-to-be good friends Spike and Carol Barkin. They quickly introduced him to the Library, and the rest is history — a lovely circle.

-Sue Feir, Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library director, 1993-2016

Vessel of Promises

Illustrated by Ed Young


Lon Po Po

Ed Young

Red Thread

Ed Young

The House Baba Built

Ed Young

Artists of the Hudson River School

If you’re interested in Hastings own Jasper Cropsey, or the Hudson River Landscape movement in general, come in and take a look at what we have in our collection. We have a fair share of books about Cropsey and his work.

-Mike McCoy, Reference Librarian

Hudson River School

Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser

A breathtaking collection of Hudson River School paintings, covering all the major artists of this movement.

Knights of the Brush

James Cooper

A product of our own Newington-Cropsey Foundation, this book covers the movement, and explains that it wasn’t just an attempt to paint a detailed realistic version of nature, but also in expressing “man’s harmony with nature.” A look at what lay behind the paintings.

American Visions

Robert Hughes

A masterwork by the late critic Robert Hughes, that places the Hudson River Paintings in context: where they came from, what they meant, and why did they fall out of favor at one point?

The Hudson River School: Artistic Pioneers


A DVD that aired originally on PBS, this is a look at the movement that would “bring to life 19th century America.”

New Cookbooks

Get inspired to try some new recipes this Fall and for the upcoming holiday season. Check out the most recent additions to the Library’s cookbook collection for ideas.

-Jeanne Bastone, Reference Librarian

Baking Yesteryear: the best recipes from the 1900s to the 1980s

B. Dylan Hollis

Hollis is a witty, social media personality. In this book the author has selected 101 baking favorites from hundreds of vintage cookbooks to allow the reader to travel down memory lane with what he considers to be the most outstanding items. It’s a unique and entertaining book for those who like to bake and enjoy nostalgia.

Chetna's Indian Feasts: Everyday Meals & Easy Entertaining

Chetna Makan

The author embraces everyone’s favorite Indian takeaway dishes by providing recipes representing her own homecooked version of these dishes.

Cucina Povera: The Italian Way of Transforming Humble Ingredients into Unforgettable Meals

Giulia Scarpaleggia

Based on simple ingredients found all over Italy. Cucina povera, which translates to peasant cooking in English, is primarily comprised of seasonal vegetables, bread, dairy, cheese and homemade pasta. It includes recipes for simple weeknight suppers as well as those to celebrate gatherings with family and friends.

Knife Drop: Creative Recipes Anyone Can Cook

Nick DiGiovanni

DiGiovanni is a former contestant on the MasterChef television program and an extremely popular social media chef with over 22 million followers. The book offers recipes designed for the home cook that are simple to prepare, not over-the-top and with wide appeal to all ages. It also includes sections on must-have equipment, must-have ingredients, and tips and tricks. Foreward by Gordon Ramsey.

Comfort & Joy: Irresistible Pleasures from a Vegetarian Kitchen

Ravinder Bhogal

Offers creative, vegetable-centric recipes for home cooks. A review from Publisher’s Weekly states “these indulgent recipes elevate vegetables to star status.” Contains beautiful photographs.

Seed to Plate Soil to Sky: Modern Plant-Based Recipes Using Native American Ingredients

Lois Ellen Frank

Contains over 100 recipes that showcase 8 plants that were introduced to the world by Native Americans. These plants are corn, beans, squash, chiles, tomato, potato, vanilla and cacao. The book captures the essence of the culinary history of Native Americans and couples it with delicious recipes.

Prize Winning Books


Andrew Sean Greer


Empire Falls

Richard Russo


Moon Tiger

Penelope Lively


Sing, Unburied, Sing

Jesmyn Ward


Explore More…

Interested in The New York Times best sellers? See them here!

For those of you who attended any of the summer series at the Library, “The Drs. Clarke and Their Circle,” you may be interested in a podcast that was featured in the “Goings On” column of the September 4th issue of The New Yorker magazine. Here is a brief description: In 2020, Vann R. Newkirk II and The Atlantic (where Newkirk is a senior editor) released “Floodlines,” a majestic, artfully produced, Peabody-winning podcast series about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in New Orleans. With similar sensitivity, finesse, and attention to exacting detail, this year’s ambitious “Holy Week: The Story of a Revolution Undone” chronicles the tumultuous period of agony and uprisings that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1968. The show skillfully weaves together original reporting by Newkirk with vivid archival audio and sophisticated sound design to tell the stories of families, activists, and politicians in Washington, D.C., and beyond. We follow some of their struggles to cope and to find faith during a historic moment that’s often overlooked—and that reveals much about our own time.—Sarah Larson

FALL 2023 Durst Distinguished Lecture Series with Purchase College:

Watch a Youtube video from the Social Security Administration about scam awareness.

200 Books That Shaped 200 Years of Literature from The Center for Fiction

Meet Libby, the library reading app that has now replaced the OverDrive app. Upgrade to Libby today. You’ll find the same great titles and all of your loans, holds, and wish list items waiting for you. Watch a video about Libby to get started.

The New York State Department of Labor is partnering with Coursera to offer free classes to unemployed New Yorkers.

Visit Westchester Library System’s website for Seniors to see library programs and services just for seniors. This includes information on VisionLabs, a program designed to find new ways for libraries to serve patrons with visual impairments and emerging vision loss.

The Television News Archive, launched September 2012, is an archive of hundreds of thousands of hours of news programming from 20 different networks, made sharable and searchable through closed captioning data. Follow this link to check it out.

The Internet Archive’s Democracy’s Library is working to provide free and open access to government materials in an online catalog for the public.

Check out the Hastings Public Library’s Instagram: @hohpubliclibrary or tag us.

You can now turn your smart phone into a mobile PDF scanner! Download the free Adobe Scan app and scan any text, convert to PDF or JPEG, edit and share easily.


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