Thursday, October 11, 2012

Case Study No. 0582: Gwendolyn Taylor-Davis, the Rappin' Librarian

The Rappin' Librarian - Age 65
Gwendolyn Taylor-Davis was the 2002 New York Times Librarian of the Year. After retiring as the senior adult librarian of The NY Public Library's 96th St. branch, Gwen discovered a new life career at age 65 as "The World's Finest Rapping Librarian"

....and probably the world's FIRST!
Tags: Rapper Librarian NYPL 96 Age 65 retiree Rap star Gwen taylor-davis
Added: 3 years ago
From: RAdamsDPVideo
Views: 762

"Runway Beauty Queen"
written by: G.T. Davis/R.C. Adams
music production: J.A. Adams

Just dropped outta school
Ain't no thing
School's got nuthin' for me
So I'm hangin' with my friends
Chillin' in the Bends
Up and down the ave
No big deal
Keepin' up with my posse
Stylin', chillin', drinking
Soarin' at the Roxie
On a rock-hard knockin'
Laced up and down
On the town
I'm out
I'm a fine hot young black thing
Hottie hottie!

Lost a Versace
Cindy and Gap
Appointments with my beauty
Hair, it is my duty
Nails all curled and painted, see
I hang right rackets in the front
So I might just hollah at you
With some dollahs
Do a sista right
You got to listen when I get ya
Cause I'm doin' what I wanna
Mama never told me
All she did was scold me
I'm a self-appointed and anointed
Runway beauty queen

A self-appointed and anointed
Runway beauty queen

Sixteen to twenty-five
Life is all that
I didn't see it coming
When my world went black
Everything was shattered
Nothing even mattered
Sharp times, sellin' crack
Incarceration, life is jack
Though I couldn't see it
I thought that I could be it
Hangin', frontin', chillin', drinkin'
Listen, didn't know what I was missin'
Homeless, all alone
Now my life is gone
I'm a disappointed and anointed
Runway beauty queen

Bought a mother barrel
Left my life in disarray
Until an angel came to me
And took that life away
She sponsored me
So I could read
Knowledge is the key
To livin' large, be in charge
Pass the GED

The library, my dear, will have the answers that you seek.
You will read, you will write, you will explore, and more.
You will climb, you will soar.
Your mind will seek and peek between the clouds of shattered dreams.
It seems so hard to do, but rest your fears upon the chest of hope and treasures.
There's much to learn for your mind's pleasures.
With a library card, and it's not hard to view yourself, the self be true.
If you start to fall, I'm just a call away.
I'm always here, I'm here for you.

Photography by Robin C. Adams

Gwendolyn Taylor-Davis is the proud recipient of the 2002 New York Times Librarian of the Year award and the 2006 Pratt Institute Alumni Award

RKV/Brooklyn Group
www dot rkvbrooklyngroup dot com



NY Times Bestows Librarian Awards
Library Journal, 10/15/2002

The New York Times announced October 8 the winners of the 2002 New York Times Librarian Awards. For its second year, the paper expanded the award beyond the boundaries of New York City's five boroughs to include librarians from areas of nearby suburban counties. The Times received more than 1400 nominations from the public.

"Librarians act without fanfare," said Alyse Myers, marketing VP, who spearheaded the program along with Jennifer Pauly. She announced that the awards would expand again next year. Each librarian received a cash prize of $2500 and two plaques (one for the library) at an awards ceremony. Among the winners are a "real-life Mother Goose" (Karla Kostick), "an expert in all subjects" (John Moran), a librarian "who helps people appreciate the good things in life" (Karen Jaffe), and a mentor and teacher ("Thanks to Jose [Ruiz-Alvarez] I learned to write"):

New York City

* Violet Alfalla, branch librarian, Castle Hill Branch Library, NYPL (the Bronx)
* Karla Kostick, senior children's librarian, Great Kills Branch Library, NYPL (Staten Island)
* John Moran, reference librarian, Central Library, Queens Borough PL
* Leonard Martin Newman, senior children's librarian, Kings Highway Branch, Brooklyn PL
* Gwendolyn Taylor-Davis, senior adult librarian, 96th Street Regional Branch Library, NYPL (Manhattan)



Friends of Gwen Literary Advocates, Inc. ("F.O.G.") is a non-profit 501(c)(3) literacy advocacy group serving New York City. F.O.G., founded by Gwendolyn Taylor-Davis, the former senior adult librarian of the New York Public Library's 96th Street Branch and the recipient of the 2002 New York Times Librarian Award, is dedicated to enriching and expanding the literary, educational and cultural experiences available to area adolescents, particularly those who are underprivileged.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This is GREAT! Thanks for sharing. I shot the documentary about Gwen Davis 11 years ago for NHKTV Japan, and we just shot and will release the music video for that song at our film and music festival.