Earlier this year, I had the pleasure to visit the iconic New York Public Library. NYPL was founded in 1895. It is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 91 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org
Progress on the new “Central Library Plan” was very topical at the time of my visit where I viewed a display all about it in the Astor Hall. The Plan will create a state-of-the-art circulating library within the famous Stephen A Schwarzman Building. The removal of seven stories of aboveground stacks inside the Schwarzman Building, below the Rose Main Reading Room has already begun. I saw for myself the empty shelves with their beautiful ornate cast iron decoration. Always closed to the public, they were “well below current preservation standards.” Funding has been received to build underground storage space in Bryant Park behind the library which will allow 3,300,000 volumes out of the 4,500,000 volumes currently housed on-site to remain accessible. Those items culled for off site access will include items that have been digitised and those items that have never or rarely been consulted.
Visit this video for an idea of the future. It will have a simliar feel to the Open space in the renovated British Museum.
Learn more at http://www.nypl.org/help/about-nypl/renovation