Nov 19, 2023
Public Libraries in New York City: A Wealth of Books and Resources

New York Public Libraries

The Library’s collection includes millions of books and printed materials, audiovisual materials, maps, manuscripts, music, film and prints. It acquires new material daily through exchange with libraries worldwide, purchase, gift, deposit and copyright.

The library is free to all students. Library services include color and black & white printers, copiers and scanners.

The New York Society Library

The Society Library is the oldest cultural institution in New York. It was founded in 1754 and moved to its current home, a five-story, wood-paneled Upper East Side mansion, in 1937. The founders’ original civic-minded motivation remains clear today. The Library aims to promote a spirit of inquiry in the public by providing free access to books and other materials.

The collection is diverse with strengths in fiction and literature, history, social sciences, the arts, travel, and New York City and culture. The library also has a large collection of rare books and special collections including maps, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and sound recordings.

Anyone 18 or older can become a member. Members have access to all remote electronic resources as well as the Library’s collections on site. Members can check out up to 30 print/audio books at a time. Members can also suggest purchases for the Library by completing a call slip available at the Circulation Desk.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL) is NYPL’s new central circulating branch designed for all New Yorkers. Designed by Mecanoo and Beyer Blinder Belle, the transformative project combines NYPL’s vast historical collections with a state-of-the-art business center, five floors of browsable general collection stacks, public rooftop amenities including one of the City’s only free public spaces, extensive areas dedicated to children and teens, and world-class adult learning centers.

The heart of the library is the Long Room, a dramatic linear atrium that separates three floors of flexible daylit reading areas on one side from five levels of book stacks on the other. The atrium features a bold new abstract ceiling artwork by Hayal Pozanti.

The library’s main floors utilize both direct and indirect solutions to illuminate the browsable general stacks, while on the lower level, reading rooms are illuminated by a grid of overhead downlights with integrated task lighting for workstations. RDG also designed the building’s exterior roof lighting to articulate a new architectural roofscape and to frame views of NYPL’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building across Fifth Avenue.

The New York Public Library

One of the most famous libraries in the world, the New York Public Library features spectacular architecture and a wealth of art exhibits, programs, and collections. It attracts 18 million visitors a year. In addition to the majestic main building, which showcases Beaux-Arts style, NYPL has 83 research libraries in all parts of the city and a bookmobile.

The main entrance is flanked by two lion sculptures, named Patience and Fortitude, that have become a symbol of New York City. They are restored every seven to 10 years to ensure they keep their shine.

In a city where so many things seem to be on the move, the library is a place of stability and continuity. Founded on the ideals of free access to information and opportunity for all, it continues to serve New Yorkers through its world-renowned collections, majestic public spaces, and innovative programs and exhibitions. It is also the home of several iconic pieces of artwork, including the famous Theodore Rogoff murals in Astor Hall.

The Poets House

Poets House is a national literary center and poetry library with an extensive collection of more than 70,000 books. The organization offers a space for social imagination and dialogue about the world through poetry, as well as education programs for students of all ages.

The organization is looking for an executive director who can leverage their business acumen to drive creative vision for programming, reach, resources, value and impact with visitors and the poetry community. The executive director will report to the board of directors and have responsibility for all aspects of the operation of the library.

The Poets House hosts a variety of events throughout the year. One of the most popular is the annual poetry walk across Brooklyn Bridge. The walk celebrates poetry’s ability to cross cultural boundaries and bring people together. It also features readings by famous poets, such as Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore, and Langston Hughes. The event is free and open to the public.

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