The Librarian Is In

The Librarian Is In
The New York Public Library’s podcast about books, culture, and what to read next.

Bunny, I Love You!
Aug 8 • 69 min
Frank and Gwen do a deep dive into their summer reading pick, Mona Awad’s new novel, Bunny—a dark satirical take on female friendship, loneliness, desire, and creative writing MFA programs. Alert: spoilers! tons of ‘em! Tell us…
The Dog-Eared Days of Summer
Jul 25 • 49 min
Do you dog-ear? Use bookmarks or sticky notes? Write notes in margins? Or do you—heaven forbid—underline? We delve deep into the ethical implications of leaving your mark on library books. Plus: two new summer reads and one musical cue….
The Katniss Konundrum
Jul 11 • 40 min
To prequel or not to prequel? Frank and Gwen debate the new installment of the Hunger Games franchise and two very different books about life in two very different places. Suggest Hot Topix(TM) or tell us what you think about summer…
Are You There, Frank? It’s Me, Gwen
Jul 4 • 3 min
Frank and Gwen announce their return date plus reveal their Summer Reading Challenge
Gwen’s Book Flare (Rebroadcast)
Jun 27 • 36 min
What’s the opposite of a book slump? We’re calling it a flare, and Gwen is on one. She and Frank have a flurry of adult book recommendations, from dystopian novels to innovative science fiction. What we are reading now The Female…
Peyton DisPlaced (Rebroadcast)
Jun 20 • 57 min
Another crossover episode with our fine friends from the Overdue podcast! Frank and Gwen join Craig and Andrew in Philadelphia to discuss the 1956 novel Peyton Place. Is it a classic? A soap opera? A groundbreaking statement about sexuality? Is…
The Librarian Is LIVE (Rebroadcast)
Jun 13 • 50 min
This week we take you back to our first-ever live show, recorded in Frank’s very own Jefferson Market Library! Gwen and Frank talk to Eric Klinenberg, sociologist and author of a new book about libraries and social infrastructure. Plus: the audience…
Hogwarts & Hollywood (Rebroadcast)
Jun 6 • 38 min
It’s the first-ever Reading Challenge episode! Gwen and Frank assigned books to each other to read and discuss on the air. Hijinks ensue… Book Recommendations Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling Ava Gardner: ‘Love Is Nothing’ by Lee…
Never Let Me Go. Seriously, Never.
May 30 • 45 min
This week Gwen and Frank take a deep, emotional dive into Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Never Let Me Go.’
DIY ASMR, Library-Style
May 23 • 38 min
This episode is brought to you by our soon-to-be-rival podcast, dreamed up by YA librarian Crystal Chen—who’s also this week’s guest! All rights reserved by her! We talk musicals, poetry, what is really means to create a list of “best” books, and…
Comfort Reads
May 16 • 47 min
Gwen and Frank tackle one book that feels comforting and homey; one that’s distinctly unsettling; and one that’s somewhere in between. Plus: A stranger on the train helps us deconstruct the genius of J-Patt.
Carla Hayden Wants You to Read a Book
May 9 • 39 min
Dr. Carla Hayden sits down with Gwen and Frank to discuss what it really means to lead the Library of Congress—which, by the way, isn’t only FOR Congress. Plus: lessons she learned from storytime, how she organizes her home library, and the first…
Reading Stonewall
May 2 • 36 min
It’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and Jason Baumann—NYPL curator and Grand Marquessa of All Things Stonewall—joins Gwen and Frank to discuss the Library’s new anthology about the uprising and its role in the LGBTQ civil rights movement.…
Call Your Librarian
Apr 25 • 49 min
Aminatou Sow, writer and co-host of the popular podcast “Call Your Girlfriend,” talks with Gwen and Frank about poetry, the mental treadmill of the Internet, and her childhood best friend: the librarian.
Heartland, Homeland
Apr 18 • 42 min
What makes a place home? Frank follows a book rec from a listener and discovers a powerful memoir that makes him rethink the American dream. Gwen’s book is a new fairytale retelling… sort of… that involves feudalism and magical gingerbread and… well,…
Are you – Nobody – too?
Apr 11 • 57 min
Our Poetry Bonanza has arrived! In this episode —titled to pay homage to Frank’s favorite Emily Dickinson stanza— he and Gwen get to read and hear poetry recommendations from their listeners.
Breaking the Mold
Apr 4 • 47 min
Gwen and Frank meet a handful of characters who aren’t bothered by what other people think. Plus: the pros and cons of reading reviews, the extra voice in translations, and the no-person’s-land between picture books and middle-grade fiction.
Reading (or Not) as a New Parent
Mar 28 • 41 min
How on earth can you read when you have a newborn? Stephanie Anderson—a new mom and a professional book selector for NYPL and the Brooklyn Public Library—comes to talk about the shifting habits of a readers with a new baby. Plus: Frank channels…
The Gods Are Alright. But the Humans…
Mar 21 • 45 min
Greek mythology and contemporary fiction join forces this week! Gwen and Frank read two books that make readers ask, what would you do—or, what should you do?
Dance Your Books Off
Mar 14 • 30 min
Okay, what’s the deal with librarians and musical theater? This week’s guest, newly minted children’s librarian Kevin Kelley, traces his origin story back to the stage. He also discusses kids’ books about the queer experience and offers up a brand-new…
Bonus Episode - Frankenstein: Our Dark Mirror
Mar 12 • 53 min
Over 200 years ago, a teenage girl started a literary legacy that continues to haunt us today. Why do we still keep telling this story and how does it reflect our darkest fears? The New York Public Library’s curators join monster theory scholars and…
Playing the Long Game with Lorde and Parker
Mar 7 • 38 min
Audre Lorde and Pat Parker were close friends who fought fiercely for social justice. In this episode, Frank and Gwen discuss a powerful book of letters between the two Black feminist poets.
Library, Meet Bookstore
Feb 28 • 34 min
Get rowdy with Roxanne Coady, indie bookstore owner and host of the Just the Right Book podcast. Roxanne finds common ground with Frank and Gwen, talking about places where people seek connection and community with books at their heart.
The Librarian Is ALL IN
Feb 21 • 42 min
Gwen’s quest to learn more about Carol Channing took both her and Frank to a place where divas and dames truly reign- Broadway! Plus: Frank’s book taps into the cultural obsession with visiting the past (repeatedly) to figure out the future, leading us…
Curatorial Curiosities
Feb 14 • 59 min
Books have lives too! Frank and Gwen take a break from talking about the words on the page and get into the stories of items in NYPL’s archives. In this specially curated tour, meet the Mary Poppins doll that made peace between author and illustrator,…
The Evolution of Joy
Feb 7 • 34 min
… or the joy of evolution? Frank’s book traces the whole history of humankind and Gwen’s is a short narrative about big changes. Plus: You can’t talk about joy without talking about Christine Baranski. It’s the law. Book Recommendations Speak No Evil by…
Time(less) Travel
Jan 31 • 50 min
Book synergy abounds! Frank rediscovers Anne Frank’s diary in a newly released graphic novel, Gwen becomes obsessed with a group of time-traveling historians, and everyone absorbs the small details of day-to-day lives during World War II.
Don’t Worry, Be Mary Oliver
Jan 24 • 23 min
Frank and Gwen celebrate the life and work of Mary Oliver by reading a handful of her poems and doing something she might approve of—letting it all go and singing about dogs.
Mourning Heathcliff, Hedwig, and All the Literary Dogs
Jan 17 • 39 min
Have you ever truly grieved over the loss of someone in a book? Together with Eric Molinsky, host of the Imaginary Worlds podcast, Frank and Gwen dive into the psychology of readers’ responses to character deaths. Don’t worry, it’s not as depressing as it…
New Fiction! New Fiction!
Jan 10 • 46 min
Gwen gets fired up about reading—you guessed it—new fiction this year, while Frank dips into the backlist of a new favorite author. Plus: New Year’s resolutions, The Bachelor, and the best short stories of 2018.
Glory Edim Is Just Getting Started
Dec 27, 2018 • 49 min
Glory Edim, creator of the coolest book club on the Internet, joins Frank and Gwen to discuss book clubs and beyond! They talk about Well-Read Black Girl, empowered storytelling, the potentials and pitfalls of making book…
Pitch Imperfect
Dec 20, 2018 • 36 min
Aca-scuse me? It’s an impromptu celebration of our favorite feel-good a capella movie… and, oh yeah, some book recommendations, too. Frank goes for a soul-searching memoir about spirituality and religion, and Gwen suggests a fantastical flipbook for…
The Librarian Is LIVE
Dec 13, 2018 • 50 min
Welcome to our first-ever live show, recorded in Frank’s very own Jefferson Market Library! Gwen and Frank talk to Eric Klinenberg, sociologist and author of a new book about libraries and social infrastructure. Plus: the audience offers an invaluable…
Anger Is a Gift
Dec 6, 2018 • 42 min
Aristotle famously (er, probably) said that anger is a gift, and Gwen’s been given one this year: Rebecca Traister’s book about the power of women’s rage, “Good and Mad.” Plus, Frank finds more presents in The New Yorker archives and…
Check Out This Sculpture
Nov 29, 2018 • 42 min
We’re obsessed with libraries loaning unconventional items: seeds, toys, tools, clothes, games, museum passes… and sculptures. Local artist Wendy Richmond joins Gwen and Frank to talk about her work and her new installation, which encouraged patrons to
Keeping You Company in the Kitchen
Nov 22, 2018 • 45 min
Whether you’re cooking turkey for 20 or opting out of Thanksgiving entirely, books about food are always in season. Frank and Gwen talk about their favorite cookbooks and chef memoirs with NYPL’s resident foodie, Jeanne Hodesh, and offer some family recip
Pop-Culture Storytime (with Garfield)
Nov 15, 2018 • 41 min
What makes a good story time? Anthony Murisco, youth librarian extraordinaire, joins Frank and Gwen to talk all things kids and books. Plus: everyone’s favorite lazy cartoon cat, a true stumper of a guessing game, and a flurry of pop-culture recommendatio
Nov 8, 2018 • 43 min
A library podcast about a book about libraries? Sign us up! Frank goes meta this week with an in-depth review of Susan Orlean’s new page-turner, and and Gwen sees an author of children’s classics in a new light.
The Librarian Is In… the Voting Booth!
Nov 1, 2018 • 50 min
It’s almost Election Day. Do you know where your voting rights are? Christopher Famighetti, professor at Jefferson Market University, joins Frank and Gwen for an in-depth convo about voting — and what libraries have to do with it. Plus: a different take…
Between Terror and Humor
Oct 25, 2018 • 42 min
It’s almost Halloween, and it got so creepy we scared Gwen away. Frank braves the gore with Isaiah Pittman, horror aficionado and adult services librarian at NYPL. They talk scary books AND movies.
This Is Not the Foe You’re Looking For
Oct 18, 2018 • 43 min
Gwen and Frank tackle a near-future dystopian novel about space colonization and a sobering work of journalism about the fallacy of modern philanthropy. Plus: why pho is objectively the best food ever.
Hot Topix Galore
Oct 4, 2018 • 52 min
Frank and Gwen are all about feminist texts this week. They go back in time with the classic short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” — which is also NYPL’s newest Insta Novel — and then hit the present (hard) with “Red Clocks.” In between,…
Childhood Game-Changers
Sep 27, 2018 • 39 min
When we asked our book experts about books that changed their lives, we fell in love with their picks — and we wanted you to hear what they had to say, in their own voices. Plus: Frank and Gwen add their own childhood game-changers. Check out the…
When Escape Leads You Back to Reality
Sep 20, 2018 • 28 min
Gwen and Frank discover two very different alternate worlds that speak to our present times. Their seemingly mismatched books offer stellar writing with clever takes on fantasy, bold dystopias and some serious cringe-worthy identity politics.
Thanks for Asking
Sep 13, 2018 • 38 min
Rosa Caballero-Li, manager of Ask NYPL, has all the answers! Rosa tells Frank and Gwen about the ins, outs, ups, and downs of the Library’s multifaceted reference service, staffed by real-live human people. Plus: a story within a story presents some…
This Book Is No Joke
Sep 6, 2018 • 37 min
Which books do you wish you’d read in high school? Frank and Gwen offer up some ideas and then move on to city novels with urban themes and a picture book about a dog who tries to be a fork. Plus: what to do if you can’t get enough of the Queer Eye guys.
Harry Potter Meets Jane Eyre
Aug 30, 2018 • 51 min
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, Gwen and Frank fall hard for the wise and wonderful Vanessa Zoltan of the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast! We talk Harry and Jane, try the spiritual practice of lectio divina, discuss…
Teens Take Charge
Aug 23, 2018 • 25 min
Frank and Gwen get a visit from BridgeUP, NYPL’s holistic academic support program for NYC teens. They talk to a teen scholar and program leader about this unique library initiative, what students want and need outside the classroom, and…
Guess What SHOULDN’T Replace Libraries?
Aug 16, 2018 • 42 min
Answer: anything! Frank and Gwen discuss why for-profit businesses cannot and should not take libraries’ place in society. Plus, recommendations for two small books that contain very big worlds. Book Recommendations Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka…
America Is Not The Heart
Aug 9, 2018 • 41 min
It’s our third annual Summer Reading Challenge! This year, Frank and Gwen picked America Is Not the Heart, a debut novel by Elaine Castillo, about language and love and revolution and family and the meaning of home—it’s about everything, and it’s…
May I Remove Your Preconceived Notions?
Aug 2, 2018 • 53 min
Frank and Gwen break down romance novel stereotypes with fellow NYPL librarian Anne Rouyer. The genre often gets dismissed as fluff, but romance can subvert the traditional confines of gender, power, class, and more. (Gay Regency, anyone?)
What Makes a Good Beach Read?
Jul 26, 2018 • 35 min
We’re finding our midsummer vacation reading groove. Gwen is spectacularly awed by a debut novel and Frank gets drawn into a thriller (with a dash of reader real estate jealousy). Our Book Recommendations There There by Tommy Orange One Dark Throne by…
Memory Lane
Jul 19, 2018 • 33 min
We’re 100 episodes old! Frank and Gwen mark their centennial by responding to listener messages and revisiting some favorite themes. Plus: a list of our favorite episodes for new (or new-ish) listeners.
On Your Mark, Get Set…
Jul 12, 2018 • 9 min
It’s time again for our Summer Reading Challenge! In this mini-episode, Frank and Gwen pick a book to dive into together and invite you to read along with them, so place those library holds for a copy of “America Is Not the Heart” by Elaine Castillo.…
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Jul 5, 2018 • 38 min
Gwen is so moved by one of the three poems she brings to the studio that she can’t even read it (she tried!). And Frank is transported by a novel about a marriage in Nigeria he can’t NOT talk about it. Plus: the perils…
Help Me, Rhonda!
Jun 28, 2018 • 52 min
Gwen and Frank discover some surprising pieces of family history when Rhonda Evans, Electronic Resources Librarian at NYPL, arrives in the studio with a pile of documents and connects the dots from long-ago paper trails. Plus: Guessing game shenanigans.
Border Stories
Jun 21, 2018 • 33 min
Frank and Gwen share thoughts and reading recommendations about immigration, families, and children at the border. Plus: Frank asks what-if and Gwen ponders three recent books on motherhood.
Crossing Food Boundaries
Jun 14, 2018 • 47 min
Dr. Shayne Figueroa joins Frank and Gwen to discuss books and food nostalgia, Amish soul food (it’s a thing!), and how NYC’s free school lunch program is attempting to lift an age-old stigma. Plus: Frank’s secret childhood eating habits and another…
May I Remove Your Cravat?
Jun 7, 2018 • 42 min
Frank and Gwen revisit the recent Booker Prize winner, Lincoln in the Bardo, as Frank gets serious about the afterlife and our understanding of history. Then Gwen turns the studio in a sauna with a gay Regency romance packed with period details and…
Call Me, Jason Reynolds
May 31, 2018 • 48 min
Gwen and Frank get a visit from Elisa Garcia, Supervising Librarian of Teen Services at the Bronx Library Center, who brings the guessing-game drama and recommendations galore. Plus: Elisa talks about moving to and growing up in the Bronx, the global…
It’s Not You, Book, It’s Me
May 24, 2018 • 40 min
Frank confesses his sometimes-complicated relationship with certain books and his bouts of book insecurity. Plus: What happens when Frank and Gwen serendipitously read the same book around the same time but don’t quite remember it the same way? And an…
The Bronx Gets a New Book Festival
May 17, 2018 • 35 min
Saraciea Fennell, founder of the Bronx Book Festival, joins Frank and Gwen to talk about bringing this event to the borough and the line-up for this weekend. Plus: how Saraciea found her way into the publishing world, zombies, Jane Austen, and a whole…
Gwen’s Book Flare
May 10, 2018 • 36 min
What’s the opposite of a book slump? We’re calling it a flare, and Gwen is on one. She and Frank have a flurry of adult book recommendations, from dystopian novels to innovative science fiction.
Singing in the Library
May 3, 2018 • 39 min
What happens when you tap the musical talents of NYPL’s librarians? Frank and Gwen get to relive their professional recording cameos with Sean Ferguson, manager of Chatham Square Library and a driving force behind the Library’s new album for kids.
Peyton DisPlaced
Apr 26, 2018 • 57 min
Another crossover episode with our fine friends from the Overdue podcast! Frank and Gwen join Craig and Andrew in Philadelphia to discuss the 1956 novel Peyton Place. Is it a classic? A soap opera? A groundbreaking statement about sexuality? Is…
The Great Work Continues
Apr 18, 2018 • 34 min
Frank and Gwen’s discussion with Dan Kois on Angels in America continues (an epic conversation in two parts!) Plus: a trip to The New York Public Library of Performing Arts in the Upper West Side. Doug Reside, Curator of the Billy Rose Theatre…
The Great Work Begins
Apr 12, 2018 • 33 min
Dan Kois is a writer and editor for Slate. His recent book is called “The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America.” It’s a collection of oral histories, beautifully arranged by Kois and his co-author, Isaac Butler. Together they…
Hard-boiled Noir
Apr 5, 2018 • 34 min
Frank dives into the dark and depraved world of noir, explains the basics of the genre and delivers a saucy read from one of his favorite books. Gwen does some detective work herself, taking us on her journey of a book rec that takes a dark turn of…
Visiting the City of Librarianly Love
Mar 29, 2018 • 28 min
Frank and Gwen headed to Philadelphia and brought home the sights, sounds, and book recommendations of the Public Library Association’s 2018 conference. Plus, hard-hitting journalism: Is breakfast the most important meal of a librarian’s day?
Bedtime Stories
Mar 22, 2018 • 42 min
Gwen and Frank share books recs for bedtime—good reads for kids of all ages and one read that’s definitely for grown-ups only… Plus, if you’re at the Public Librarians Association Conference in Philadelphia (March 22nd-23rd) come find Frank and…
Small (Town Library) Talk
Mar 15, 2018 • 40 min
Frank and Gwen chat with New York Times Features Reporter, Steven Kurutz about his recent Literary Hub essay, “In Praise of the Small Town Library.” It’s part coming-of-age story, part love letter to his hometown library in…
The LibROCKian Is In
Mar 8, 2018 • 36 min
Fred and Barney… er, Frank and Gwen are reading books with different approaches to the same question: Who are you and what do you want out of life? (This episode has nothing to do with The Flintstones after the first 30 seconds, but the puns…
Living in the Library
Mar 1, 2018 • 31 min
Actor Sharon Washington joins us to talk about her one-woman play “Feeding the Dragon,” based on her experience growing up inside a New York Public Library branch in the 1970s. She tells us about her childhood in the library after hours, and what it’s…
The First Rule of Diverse Books Club Is…
Feb 22, 2018 • 35 min
RuthAnn Deveney from the Diverse Books Club gives us a behind-the-scenes look at her group’s themes and book picks, her love of spreadsheets, and her Philly-specific sandwich recommendations. Plus: What will Frank say (or not say) when he goes on The View?
New Yaaawk Stories
Feb 15, 2018 • 39 min
All the complexities of the city so nice, they named it twice! Frank goes deep into nostalgia territory, digging up childhood memories, classic accents, and urban anxieties. Gwen follows with a real-life tale of greed and gumption at a famed NYC hedge…
They’ve Come UnDonne
Feb 8, 2018 • 35 min
Gwen asks, “Is this poem about God?” and Frank is (nearly) brought to tears as they untangle the divine and the bawdy (and naughty) in two John Donne poems. Luckily Dr. Carolyn Broomhead joins them for some much needed poetry therapy. Together they…
Don’t Shush Me!
Feb 1, 2018 • 48 min
It’s World Read Aloud Day, and Gwen and Frank are hearing voices from ghosts and robots. But they still manage to keep it together to recommend some books and play an extra round of their guessing game.
How Many Hats Can a Librarian Wear?
Jan 25, 2018 • 36 min
Books and reading are the foundation of any library but your local librarian is doing so much more: computer help, test prep and yes, even knitting. This week, Gwen and Frank talk to Erin Horanzy, an Adult Programming Librarian at NYPL’s Francis Martin…
Survey Says…
Jan 18, 2018 • 37 min
IS Margaret Atwood a bad feminist? Yeeeeeesh, we don’t know. Frank and Gwen talk about the allegations against Aziz Ansari and then, thankfully, move onto books: nonfiction about young immigrants from El Salvador and a novel about a sci-fi dating…
The Beginning or the End?
Jan 11, 2018 • 35 min
This week, Gwen and Frank take on books ranging from the collapse of modern civilization to a murder “how-done-it” told exclusively from the point of view of a perspicacious fetus. Get the full list of books discussed at
New Year, New (Reading) You
Jan 4, 2018 • 44 min
Want to broaden your reading horizons this year? Librarian extraordinaire Meredith Mann joins Frank and Gwen to debate the pros and cons of annual reading challenges. Plus: secret database magic, sci-fi written by robots, and our favorite British bakers.…
Immigrants in America
Dec 28, 2017 • 30 min
Pam Nogales, a Ph.D. candidate at New York University, joins Gwen and Frank to talk about her newest class for Jefferson Market University—the free classes at Jefferson Market that are taught by college professors and open to everyone. They talk the…
That Episode about ‘Cat Person’
Dec 21, 2017 • 38 min
Gwen and Frank take on “Cat Person,” the New Yorker story that turned the Internet upside down, and make some book recs based on its tone and subject. Get a full rundown of episodes and links to the books discussed at
Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy in General
Dec 14, 2017 • 43 min
Frank didn’t feel well this week, but he’s figuring out to be happy anyway while Gwen dives into cozy Chanukah romance and Kwanzaa picture books. And did we mention Frank didn’t feel well?
Where Are the Fat-Positive Children’s Books?
Dec 7, 2017 • 34 min
Spoiler alert: They barely exist! Frank and Gwen talk to librarian and advocate Angie Manfredi about the missing fat kids (and adults) in literature, the importance of body diversity in books, and the danger of creating a monolith of marginalized voices.
This Episode Was Really Hard To Title
Nov 30, 2017 • 39 min
Gwen goes nuts for an alt-history about hippo ranching (IT COULD HAVE BEEN A REAL THING!), and Frank goes nuts for a memoir by incomparable actor and role model Gabourey Sidibe.
A Thanksgiving Best Books Grace-Off!
Nov 22, 2017 • 39 min
Settle in with your turducken and check out our 2017 Best Books for Kids and Teens! Take a deep dive into NYPL’s annual lists, with committee members Grace Yamada and Grace Dwyer debating their favorites and recommending titles.
Never Let Me Go. Seriously, Never.
Nov 16, 2017 • 44 min
Gwen and Frank take a deep, emotional dive into a masterpiece by this year’s Nobel Prize winner in Literature: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. Get the full list of episodes at
Frank Brings the Creepy
Nov 9, 2017 • 35 min
Frank has a creepy middle-grade/YA novel that’s great for adults, and Gwen has a not-at-all-creepy chapter book for preschoolers and early readers that’s sure to also delight parents.
How to Pull Yourself Out of a Book Slump
Nov 1, 2017 • 36 min
Gwen and Frank are both struggling to find the perfect book this week — and coming up with some ideas about how to do it. Plus: the glory that is Ilana Glazer.
Terror! Horror! Revulsion!
Oct 26, 2017 • 38 min
Happy Halloween! Attended by demonic shrieking, adult services librarian Isaiah Pittman horrifies Gwen and Frank with scary book and film recommendations!
Hey, Mr. Producer
Oct 19, 2017 • 35 min
Against his better judgment, the producer of the “Librarian Is In” joins Gwen and Frank to talk books, tattoos, and how the podcast came to be.
Bumming’ In The ‘Burbs
Oct 12, 2017 • 37 min
This week Gwen and Frank tackle wonderlands, “What Girls are Made Of,” mid-life crisises, and no easy ways out…
Shoutout to the Ex
Oct 5, 2017 • 35 min
New NYPL librarian Jenny Chisnell joins the show to talk artist books, The New York Book Fair, and enough of her extraordinarily varied interests and recommendations that Gwen and Frank are immediately exhausted! Find links to the books discussed and back…
Heaven Is a Place on… Another Planet?
Sep 28, 2017 • 36 min
Frank and Gwen traverse the globe and beyond this week, with two dystopian YA books about life on other planets and a memoir about international travel, journalism, and feminism. Plus: Banned Books Week and, yes, Belinda Carlisle.
Llama-Famous! Poetry Extravaganza
Sep 21, 2017 • 35 min
Podcasts are red/Podcasts are blue/This episode’s all poetry/We hope you like it too!
J.D. Salinger, Whaaaaaat?
Sep 14, 2017 • 49 min
What happens when you get My Brother’s Husband, A Lost Lady, and Frog and Toad Together in the same room? Find out as Gwen and Frank discuss gay manga, Willa Cather, J.D. Salinger, and Arnold Lobel’s classic books for children!
The Great Nancy Pearl
Sep 6, 2017 • 39 min
Frank and Gwen are beyond thrilled to talk to Nancy Pearl, a.k.a. America’s Librarian, a.k.a. the guru of readers’ advisory, a.k.a. OUR HERO.
Missing Persons and Nowhere Girls
Aug 31, 2017 • 32 min
On the show this week: Gwen reads a book that makes her see the world a little differently and Franks gets so lost in his book that time dissapears.
Dancing in the Library
Aug 24, 2017 • 39 min
This week Gwen and Frank wander wondrously through the wonderland of Dance led by the dazzling Linda Murray, Lead Curator of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of NYPL’s Library for the Performing Arts. So, let’s boogie! Get links to everything discussed…
The Right Book At The Right Time
Aug 17, 2017 • 42 min
Frank and Gwen tackle two powerful narratives of self-acceptance — and then take respite in a roller derby comic and a love story.
Parker, Postman, and Pooh
Aug 9, 2017 • 50 min
A 30-year-old book remains intensely relevant for today’s world, Gwen rediscovers Dorothy Parker AND reading Pooh to her pre-schooler and Frank raps!…(sort of). Get links to all the books discussed and full list of episodes at, click on…
Books That Talk and Books You Touch
Jul 27, 2017 • 32 min
Frank and Gwen learn about the Library’s work with patrons with print disabilities with Jill Rothstein, chief librarian at the Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library. Plus: More book recommendations than we’ve ever crammed into any episode,…
Remembering the Future
Jul 20, 2017 • 38 min
This week, it’s all in how you look at it. Feminism, space, time, language, aliens and a whole lot more.
Summer Reading Challenge: Greeks vs. Romans!
Jul 13, 2017 • 43 min
For our second Summer Reading Challenge, Gwen and Frank chose a book for each other that they thought they’d love but would never read otherwise. This year, a strange symmetry emerged as they chose oddly complementary books: a novel about the antics of an
Jul 6, 2017 • 34 min
Who’s up for some dubious morality? We’re all about the scandal this week, as Frank and Gwen tackle controversial essays, what makes a “beach read,” and, um, porcupines in library book drops.
Nancy Books
Jun 29, 2017 • 38 min
The hosts of WNYC’s Nancy podcast join Gwen and Frank for a conversation about queer books, making podcasts, and Xena Warrior Princess… and they Skyped in from their vacation, no less! Subscribe to Nancy wherever you get Podcasts, we highly recommend
LGBTQ Sci-Fi Book Club
Jun 22, 2017 • 38 min
How gay is Sci-Fi anyway? Gwen and Frank welcome Casey Maher, leader of the LGBTQ Sci-Fi Book Crew meetup (held at the Jefferson Market Library)! They discuss everything from technology and gaming to science fiction (of course) right on up to Hemingway.
Seeing Yourself on the Page
Jun 15, 2017 • 47 min
The fantastic Sona Charaipotra sits down with Frank and Gwen to talk representation and what it’s like to see (or not see) your own experiences reflected in a book. Plus: Archie and Riverdale, Bollywood, Hollywood, and a lot of geeking out over our favori
And Then There Was Chekhov
Jun 8, 2017 • 43 min
Wherein we discuss reading (and acting!) Anton Chekhov, the influence of Agatha Christie, and the controversial merits of Go, Dog. Go!
2017 Summer Reading Challenge
Jun 1, 2017 • 10 min
Join us as we embark on our Summer Reading Challenge!
Dark, Light, & In Between
May 25, 2017 • 26 min
We’re swinging from heavy, major, important nonfiction to the frothiest and most delightful YA romance this week.
Attack of the Killer Spelling Bees
May 18, 2017 • 39 min
Our annual spelling bee, words we can’t pronounce, a trio of music recommendations, and of course what we’re reading now.
Making Grown Men Cry, Since 2015
May 11, 2017 • 33 min
Sweet-sad poems, ghosts of the Village Past, and melancholy post-Victorian tales of ruined childhoods in creeepy cults… But we manage to have a little fun, too.
Serving the Least Served
May 4, 2017 • 35 min
Libraries and activism with Cory Eckert, one of the joint chiefs of Storytime Underground! We go in-depth on libraries as non-neutral spaces and how children’s librarians stand up for social justice. Plus: recommendations for romance novels and two brand-
American Passions
Apr 27, 2017 • 39 min
The triumph and tragedy of Jim Thorpe, the difficulty of Henry James, and the ferocity of Emily Dickinson and Camille Paglia. Bonus: Barbra Streisand’s underground wonderland!
“Hermione was Black. Dumbledore was Gay.”
Apr 20, 2017 • 44 min
The founders of Black Girls Create join us to talk about what it’s like to be a black girl nerd, defaulting to whiteness in books and pop culture, nerds vs. geeks vs. dweebs, feminism and visibility and representation — and, of course, sooooo much Harry
Podcasting the Apocalypse
Apr 13, 2017 • 38 min
We’re going weekly! One week, Gwen and Frank will talk books, culture and what to read next and the next, they’ll welcome a very special guest. Let us know what you think! This week: mesmerizing short stories, our Margaret Atwood obsession, and cree
What Lawyers and Librarians Have in Common
Mar 30, 2017 • 66 min
Reena Glazer of the Pro Bono Institute joins Frank and Gwen to talk about lawyers in the library and recommendations for great nonfiction about pro bono legal work. Plus: Purple diaries, yellow cable cars, and colorful characters.
Supermodel of the World: Sashay, Shauntee!
Mar 22, 2017 • 42 min
Wait, Super Model? Absolutely, but also: Super Librarian! Gwen and Frank talk to Outreach Services Librarian Shauntee Burns about her work with schools, her long and varied career at NYPL and her attendance at one very famous NYC high school!
A Librarian’s Path to Citizenship
Mar 2, 2017 • 65 min
How do libraries help immigrants and underserved communities? Find out with NYPL’s very own Adriana Blancarte-Hayward. Plus: major love for great journalism, time travel, ghosts, Frank’s hair, frozen yogurt, and Salt ‘n Pepa.
Kilts, Cupcakes, and Romance Novels
Feb 16, 2017 • 45 min
Frank and Gwen dive into two very different romance novels with NYPL librarians Annie Lin and Kate Fais. Plus: a super-clean podcast, a binge-watch-able show, and a gender-bending picture book.
At Home and Abroad
Feb 2, 2017 • 54 min
With books on the Syrian refugee crisis and American “hillbilly” culture, Frank and Gwen are looking for a deeper undstanding of the world here at home, and abroad. Also, dinosaurs. And then, the inimitable Nancy Aravecz, NYPL trainee and library-school
Lord of the Guys
Jan 19, 2017 • 66 min
Overdue in NYC! Frank and Gwen welcome Andrew and Craig of the Overdue podcast for a deep dive into William Golding’s 1954 classic, Lord of the Flies. Every reader for him/her/reallyjustHIMself…
Jan 5, 2017 • 55 min
Happy new year! Christopher Platt joins Gwen and Frank to talk about hate crimes, privacy and transparency, and how to start a revolution from your local library. Plus: Project Gutenberg reads, our technological future, and our crush on Carla Hayden.
So Long, 2016
Dec 21, 2016 • 28 min
Welcome to our Very Special Holiday Mini-Episode! We talk about our families’ book-giving traditions, Santa stress, and a few random gift suggestions.
Lots of Good Fun That Is Funny
Dec 8, 2016 • 55 min
Children’s librarian Louise Lareau joins Frank and Gwen to talk about NYPL’s annual Best Books for Kids list and why you should say “underpants” during first-grade storytime. Plus: Eve Babitz, Joan Didion, Zadie Smith, joy, suffering, existentialism, etc.
Turkeys Strike Back
Nov 22, 2016 • 57 min
Gwen and Frank are joined by Sarah Ball from NYPL’s Correctional Services unit to talk about library services for people in jail or prison. Plus: what we’re reading, books we’re thankful for, and a whole lot of Frank’s singing.
The Woman Behind the Curtain
Oct 27, 2016 • 48 min
Lynn Lobash, manager of Readers Services, peels back the curtain how how to make great book recommendations—and puts Gwen and Frank to the recommendations test.
Halloween Comes Early
Oct 13, 2016 • 65 min
As fall sets in and Halloween approaches, things get a little creeeeeeepy in the studio as Frank and Gwen bravely welcome horror expert and YA librarian Brian Stokes.
Sixteen, Going on Seventeen
Sep 29, 2016 • 54 min
Manga madness overtakes the podcast when Frank and Gwen are joined by YA librarian Chantalle Uzan. Plus: Love for Liesel… not so much for Lionel Shriver.
Winnie-the-Podcast, Ep. 21
Sep 15, 2016 • 51 min
Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga, and Roo join Frank and Gwen in the studio this wee… just kidding. But we have the next best thing: Michael Inman, curator of NYPL’s Rare Book Division, who tells us about the restoration of the Library’s historic Winnie-the-Pooh d
(Literary) Disco Dancing, Ep. 20
Sep 1, 2016 • 49 min
Frank and Gwen are joined by Julia Pistell, co-host of the Literary Disco podcast! We play multiple rounds of guess-the-book, talk about whaling ships and virtual reality and Garfield Minus Garfield, and offer a bazillion book recommendations.
Hot Garbage, Summer in the City, Ep. 19
Aug 18, 2016 • 53 min
Humidity can’t exist in outer space! Beat the heat by blasting off into orbit with Frank and Gwen’s brand-new segment. Plus: Do audiobooks “count” as reading?
Frankster & The Veve: Ep. 18
Aug 4, 2016 • 52 min
Up for some agony? Frank and Gwen chat about suffering in literature and movies, debate the gender politics of picture books, and hang out with one of our funniest guests ever: Genoveve Stowell, manager of NYPL’s new 53rd Street branch. Learn more at…
One Bad Podcast: Ep. 17
Jul 21, 2016 • 54 min
Gwen can barely contain herself this week when she and Frank are joined by Biz Ellis, one of the hosts of the One Bad Mother podcast, to talk kids and parents and books. And Biz’s 6-year-old daughter makes a book recommendation! Find show notes and…
Hogwarts & Hollywood: Ep. 16
Jul 7, 2016 • 38 min
It’s the first-ever Reading Challenge episode! Gwen and Frank assigned books to each other to read and discuss on the air. Hijinks ensue…
Reading Us the (Book) Riot Act: Ep. 15
Jun 23, 2016 • 42 min
Amanda Nelson, managing editor of Book Riot and host of BR’s own book recommendation podcast, joins Frank and Gwen to discuss book recommendations. (What else?) Find show notes and more at
Take Me Back to Manhattan: Ep. 14
Jun 9, 2016 • 50 min
Frank and Gwen keep it local this week, from a fashion show at Jefferson Market and Open Book Night with Mid-Manhattan’s Elizabeth Waters to a great read about the city’s Chintz Age and a karaoke trip around Broadway. Learn more at
Dame Margaret Comes to Town: Ep. 13
May 26, 2016 • 55 min
Margaret H. Willison, a.k.a. The Coolest Funniest Pop-Culture-iest Librarian Ever, joins Gwen and Frank this week for the ultimate high/low-culture episode.
Closer to Fine: Ep. 12
May 12, 2016 • 47 min
Along with Susen Shi from Mid-Manhattan Library, Frank and Gwen reveal their librarianship origin stories on this week’s episode. Plus: Self-help books, plays in print, and the legacy of the Indigo Girls. Learn more:
Raspberry Berets: Ep. 11
Apr 28, 2016 • 50 min
Frank and Gwen turn the tables on NYPL’s Jessica Strand this week, interviewing the host of Books at Noon about the coolest authors she’s ever interviewed herself. Plus: Prince’s book-related legacy and Frank’s best Carson impression.
Bros, Shakespeare, & Nudity… Not All at the Same Time: Ep. 10
Apr 14, 2016 • 45 min
Doug Reside from NYPL’s Library for the Performing Arts joins Gwen and Frank to talk about the Bard and the Great White Way. He even raps a teeny tiny bit from Hamilton.
What, Wait, What Happened!? Ep. 9 (Bonus Episode!)
Apr 7, 2016 • 52 min
Gwen and Frank discuss books that defy description and throw reality for a loop. Longtime residents of Harlem, Greenwich Village, the Bronx, and more get shout-outs in an interview with NYPL’s Alex Kelly about the Library’s oral history projects. Plus, T
Grace Jones and Spelling Bees: Ep. 8
Mar 31, 2016 • 42 min
Who’s ready to relive some traumatic moments from childhood?! We go toe-to-toe with the winner of the tri-library spelling bee: NYPL’s very own Rob Kelley. Also! After taping Rob discovered that both ‘pimiento’ and ‘pimento’ are acceptable ways to spell
All the Feels: Ep. 7
Mar 17, 2016 • 53 min
Earnestness sets in when Singing Children’s Librarian Emily Lazio joins us to talk about courage and encouragement, children’s classics, and a cool new trend in picture books. Music by Podington Bear: “All Hot Lights” & ”Ideas”
Far Out, Friends! Ep. 6
Mar 3, 2016 • 49 min
We’re heading back to the ’70s this week! Shola Lynch (of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture) joins us to talk about film, art, collecting history, and what it’s like to hug Bert from Sesame Street.
We Love Men! Ep. 5
Feb 18, 2016 • 53 min
Taboo subjects in adult and children’s books alike abound on our fifth episode. Plus, find out what makes a “rare book” rare with our very own rare book librarian, Jessica Pigza.
The Podcast That Must Not Be Named, Ep. 4
Feb 4, 2016 • 59 min
Go behind the scenes at BookOps, the Library’s special secret spy agen— er, the “technical services” unit. Also: the Helen Ellis/Shirley Jackson/Anita Brookner triumverate, Frank’s shocking Harry Potter confession, and more.
#TeamEdith, Ep. 3
Jan 21, 2016 • 56 min
We talk about how to fit more reading into busy schedules, Lin-Manuel Miranda, horror books and movies, childhood favorites, David Bowie, Lin-Manuel Miranda again, and our love for Downton Abbey’s kind Anna and unstoppable Edith.
Cloning Clooney, Ep. 2
Jan 6, 2016 • 53 min
We talk about feminist comics, The Golden Girls, squids and snails, intellectualism, and — yes — cloning George Clooney. Plus Frank and Gwen are joined by NYPL’s very own Jason Baumann.
Introducing Ourselves: Ep. 1
Dec 23, 2015 • 68 min
Hello, listeners! “The Librarian is In” is the New York Public Library’s new podcast about books, culture, and what to read next. On this, the very first episode, your hosts Frank and Gwen talk about book shame, their reading origin stories, the glory of