Public libraries are an indispensable part of American communities. Their popular services include no-cost access to research resources, digital skill programs and creative technologies. About 77% Americans say that local libraries offer the resources they need and 33% believe closing them down could impact their personal lives, according to data released by Pew Research Center. If you’re looking for an in-person experience of the best libraries of New York, here are the best ones.
1. The Morgan Library & Museum
New York is home to a number of tourist spots, from the Brooklyn Bridge to One World Observatory and Metropolitan Museum of Art, according to an article by US Local Guide. Morgan Library & Museum can fit into the list very easily, since it is one of the most lavish buildings, hosting concerts and recital sessions. Original Steinbeck manuscripts, three Gutenberg Bibles, handwritten music notes by Beethoven and Michelangelo paintings are all present here.
2. New York Public Library
For over 100 years, this library has been providing essential books, research ideas and educational support to New Yorkers. It is the third largest library in the world, with around 53 million items in 92 different locations. The regal setting is gorgeous, with ceiling murals, chandeliers and marble lion statues. You can also sign up for author narrations, lectures and attractive exhibitions here.
3. Brooklyn Public Library
This is the 6th largest library system of New York City. It offers a Bookmobile service, with about 6,000 books, and a Kidsmobile service, with storytelling, art and craft programs. If you want to opt for adult literacy or education, the library provides such courses for free. It merged with the Brooklyn Historical Society in 2020.
4. Poets House
This is a premier literary center, with over 70,000 free poetry volumes, exhibition space, study halls and tons of reading and talking workshops. You get several opportunities here to engage in conversations with your favorite poet. From preschoolers to college goers, everyone can take advantage of the wide range of learning experiences here.
5. The Center for Fiction
A beautiful fusion of a library, café and bookstore, this one was founded in 1820. Originally know as Mercantile Library, it is the only library solely meant for the fiction genre. Members here can participate in writing workshops and take a look at their 19th century collection. This fun-filled three-storey building can also be used for seminars and meetings.
With over 171 million registered users and 113 million program attendees in 2016 alone, public libraries continue to meet the changing community needs in the United States, according to data released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. A sneak peek into the famous ones is definitely worth your time.