Exploring the New York Public Library

As we dive into the Fall semester, it’s a good time to review a few of the resources available to us in New York City. Let’s take a closer look at one nearby location – the New York Public Library (NYPL).

Image of the New York Public Library's Rose Reading Room

Patrons in the Rose Reading Room of NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Photo is © Moody Man, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

NYPL is the largest public library system in the United States, with eighty-eight neighborhood branches throughout Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. In addition, there are four major research libraries, two of which are within walking distance of the Graduate Center – the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Science, Industry, and Business Library.

The Graduate Center and NYPL

For decades, the Graduate Center and the New York Public Library have enjoyed a close and long-standing relationship. Graduate Center students are eligible for extended borrowing privileges at NYPL, up to 120 days – to register, just bring your GC ID card and NYPL library card to one of the four research libraries (listed above), and sign up!

The MarLI program is designed to expand research opportunities, and provides access to the libraries of Columbia University and New York University. To apply for the program, which is coordinated by NYPL, please visit this page for more information.

NYPL offers a wide variety of workshops – from “Excel Genius,” to classes about Adobe Creative Suite, photography, career skills, and more! In addition, be sure to check out their blog channel – Paperless Research – for some tips on how to navigate their many electronic resources. Electronic Resources librarian Rhonda Evans offers guidance about many subjects, taking a look at genealogy, fashion studies (“Flapper Fabulosity!”), LGBTQ studies, and others.

Rooms and Meeting Spaces

If you like, you can reserve a meeting room at the branch closest to the Graduate Center – the Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL), with an entrance on the Madison Avenue side of 34th Street. Just fill out this form: the rooms can accommodate up to 2-6 people, for 1-2 hours, and may be reserved up to 2 weeks in advance, pending availability. Another option for quiet study space is to apply to use one of the Research Study Rooms available at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

About the Author

Elvis Bakaitis is currently the Head of Reference at the Mina Rees Library. They're also proud to serve on the University LGBTQ Council, and as a board member of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies.