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New York Public Library

Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street

About Us

The New York Public Library is one of the cornerstones of the American tradition of equal opportunity. It provides free and open access to the accumulated wisdom of the world, without distinction as to income, religion, nationality, or other human condition. It is everyone's university; the scholar's and author's haven; the statesman's, scientist's, and businessman's essential resource; the nation's memory. It guarantees freedom of information and independence of thought. It enables each individual to pursue learning at his/her own personal level of interest, preparation, ability, and desire. It helps ensure the free trade in ideas and the right of dissent.

The mission of The New York Public Library is to use its available resources in a balanced program of collecting, cataloging, and conserving books and other materials, and providing ready access directly to individual library users and to users elsewhere through cooperating libraries and library networks. The New York Public Library's responsibility is to serve as a great storehouse of knowledge at the heart of one of the world's information centers, and to function as an integral part of a fabric of information and learning that stretches across the nation and the world.


James Gibson

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
This huge library offers a massive collection of books and periodicals, artworks, and more. I urge persons in New York City to take advantage of this excellent facility. During my June 2018 visit to New York City, I took part of a guided tour of the Stephen A Schwarzman building, the main library for Manhattan. The guided tours are offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. I urge visitors to New York City to seek to tour the building. I thought the tour would only last about an hour, but I was on the 2 p.m. June 21 tour for about an hour and 15 minutes before I left to get ready for my bus departing from New York City. My understanding is that the latter part of the tour was to include two large reading rooms and a view of part of the conveyor system used to transport books to readers. I would love to have seen that part of the tour. The docent also mentioned features of the library that were not part of the tour that visitors could see after the tour. In addition to missing the end of the tour, I got to the second floor beginning point of the tour a couple of minutes after 2, so I missed a few of the opening remarks by the docent. Note that this regular library tour is different from the tours offered of a special exhibit at the library. The two large sculptures of lions outside an entrance to the library and Bryant Park next door to the library are worth seeing, too. It is free to visit the library and the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. tours are also free. If I lived in New York City, the library would not only be worth taking a guided tour of, but worth devoting days to reading and researching in.

Dr. Craig Follins

Friday, July 27, 2018
One of the best libraries in the world. Great service, excellent location and a wealth of scholarly and general reading resources available. Staff is knowledgeable, friendly, efficient and customer focused. Always enjoy my visits there. Thanks so much for all that you do to add value to the lives of so very many!

Tashi Pakhrin

Monday, July 23, 2018
I hung out here with a friend for 2hrs and I enjoyed every minuet of it! It really is an impressive building. There are chairs and tables out side the library to sit and relax. There is a bag check in and on the way out of the building - security reasons. Toilets are on the second and the third floor of the building. Make sure your look up at the ceiling for they are beautifully carved out of wood. Bryant Park is behind the library and that is a whole other treat.

Suresh Jayanthi

Monday, July 23, 2018
A wonderful place. I joined the free tour of the library and the special exhibition that is conducted by very spirited volunteers (check website for schedule). The story behind the library, the architecture of the building and its donors (look for the story of Martin Radtke, it is moving). The tour of the library took about hour and half and that.of the special exhibition took another hour. The special exhibition was about the counter culture of the America of 60s and 70s. Unlike almost all tourist spots in NY, this is absolutely free. I salute the civic mindedness and philanthropy of the people who make it possible.

Mauricio Sovero

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
What a great public library. In the heart of New York. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The bathrooms were clean and the signs were properly placed. I love the actual building. Just a nice little heaven in the middle of Manhattan to rest and read.

New York Public Library is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media