PartyLines- photographs by Patrick McMullan

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The 2009 Library Lions Gala

New York Public Library. November 2, 2009. By Bennett Marcus and Mike Vilensky

Have you ever failed to return a library book? “Yes, I did and I was heavily fined for it. When my daughter was 8 years old, she created a library and had library cards and categorized all the books in her bookcase. I took out Arthur Conan Doyle just to indulge her. And after the summer passed, she came to me and told me I owed her $16 in late fees.” —John Lithgow

Leighton Meester

Why do you love the library? “It’s the first place I ever got laid. It was in the nonfiction section in 1958.” Seriously? “I wasn’t serious, but she was.” —Dustin Hoffman (Getty Images)

Nora Ephron & Nick Pileggi

If Eloise lived in New York right now, where would she live? “Here in the library. It’s more glamorous, really. Right now it is.” —Hilary Knight

Gay Talese

Do you ever read books online? “I despise the Internet and I don’t care about Facebook or Twitters or flitters or any of that stuff. I do use e-mail ... as a necessary evil. And I read the New York Times, usually every morning when I’m in Albuquerque and not in Wyoming. I can’t get it in Wyoming.” —Annie Proulx

Dr. Henry Kissinger

The Yankees are playing in the World Series tonight. Is it hard for you to skip watching the game? “You know, for a schools chancellor, when it comes down to the library or the Yankees, painful though it might be, you’ve got to go with the library.” —Joel Klein, New York City Schools Chancellor

Julia Chang

Who gave you the idea to put Robert Pattinson on the December cover of Vanity Fair? “I have a 16-year-old daughter who talked me into doing this cover. He’s got a smoldering thing. He’s got a certain thing that 16-year-olds like. That’s the thing about having kids — they cost a lot, but they’re very good for research.” —Graydon Carter

Fran Lebowitz

David Smith

Do you wish you could be a writer? “I count on people to write for me. And one of the primary reasons I do that is because everything that I’ve written before kind of blows.” —Billy Crudup

Frank Langella

Christine Quinn, New York City Council Speaker (Getty Images)

Do you read blogs? “Oh, God, no. I never read blogs. I read trash, like political thrillers. My wife reads literary stuff.” —Bryant Gumbel

Oscar de la Renta

Do you ever read on the job? “I read on the Internet in my car, too. We’re able to do that. We have a terminal in the car. So I do a lot of reading.” —Ray Kelly, New York City Police Commissioner

Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Have you ever taken out a library book and not returned it? “No, I’m too good for that. I’m a perfect person when it comes to the library.” —Barbara Walters

Janice Moore-Smith

Has the library become busier and noisier with more people unemployed? “More people are using the library now than ever in history, which is great. And if there’s a problem we have, it’s that lots and lots of people want space to write. So we have to find a way to accommodate all of them now.” —Paul Leclerc, New York Public Library President

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