NYPL Mid-Manhattan Temporary Circulating Space

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The New York Public Library issued an announcement today to patrons of its Mid-Manhattan Branch, which is undergoing a major renovation:

While Mid-Manhattan Library is closed for a much-needed renovation, The New York Public Library is accommodating patrons by opening a temporary circulating space across Fifth Avenue on the ground floor of its historic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

The new space—called Mid-Manhattan at 42nd Street—opens today, August 29, and is accessible to patrons via the 42nd Street entrance of the Schwarzman Building. The space holds Mid-Manhattan’s circulating collections and offers computers, programming spaces, and tables for quiet study. Mid-Manhattan holds are now available at this location for pick-up, patrons can return books here, and the space also serves as a cooling center.

Hours for the new space are:

  • Monday, Thursday: 8 AM–8 PM
  • Tuesday, Wednesday: 8 AM–9 PM
  • Friday: 8 AM–6 PM
  • Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM
  • Sunday: 10 AM–5 PM

The Space

To create Mid-Manhattan at 42nd Street, the Library transformed a formerly non-public space used for staff offices and storage into a welcoming, functional circulating library. The space is divided into four rooms with dedicated areas for programming, computers, browsable collections, seating, and a teen zone. In building the new space, the Library retained several historic elements, including built-in shelving and seating.

How To Access Materials

All of Mid-Manhattan’s circulating collections have moved to Mid-Manhattan at 42nd Street and will be available for checkout (with the exception of the Picture Collection, which has moved to Room 100 of the Schwarzman Building). Mid-Manhattan’s most current and frequently used books are available for browsing, while the rest of the collection is held in a non-public area but available for retrieval by staff. Materials can be requested in advance at nypl.org, or at various service points throughout the temporary space. After a short wait, large electronic boards throughout the space will alert patrons when their books have arrived. There will also be kiosks for virtual browsing and reading recommendations so that patrons can still independently explore the library’s collection. Staff are readily available to help patrons navigate the process and to answer questions.

The Renovation

Mid-Manhattan Library closed on August 1 for a long-awaited renovation. The New York Public Library’s central circulating library opened in the 1970s in a space designed to be a department store and is in serious need of upgrades and improvements. The renovated library will have a dramatic multistory wall of bookshelves; an employment skills center with job-search help; a full floor dedicated to a business library; a full floor dedicated to separate libraries for children and teens; a free public roof terrace; and hundreds more seats than the current branch.

The renovated branch is expected to open in early 2020.

While the building is temporarily closed, the Library has expanded hours and added services at several nearby Midtown locations, as well as added the temporary space. For more information on the project and the expanded hours at other branches, please visit nypl.org/midtown.

To share feedback or ask questions, please email midtown@nypl.org.

About the Author

Jill Cirasella is the Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication at the Graduate Center, CUNY.