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Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI)


For more information about the partnership between NYPL, Columbia and NYU, see

To apply, please complete the online application. If you are unsure whether MaRLI serves your needs, please speak with a librarian at any of our Research Libraries

General Information

Any New York Public Library cardholder in good standing is eligible to apply to participate a new library service that offers an unprecedented level of access to our collections. The Manhattan Research Libraries Initiative (MaRLI) offers approved NYPL cardholders the ability to borrow select research library material for at-home use for the first time ever. Additionally, MaRLI participants will be granted access to select materials owned by Columbia University and NYU.

In addition to Library policies outlined here, MaRLI participants remain subject to New York Public Library cardholder Terms and Conditions.

Eligibility Requirements

To participate in this pilot program, interested applicants must first acquire a New York Public Library card, if they do not have one already. After consultation with a staff member at a participating Research Library, applicants should then complete the online application for MaRLI membership as directed. Successful applicants will be contacted by the Library via e-mail, generally within 5 business days. E-mails will be sent from

Upon admission to the program, MaRLI participants will need to visit a participating Research Library location to have their library card authorized and updated. Participants should bring the required identification listed here.

NYPL cardholders who are approved for MaRLI privileges will have the expiration date on their record adjusted accordingly. To renew their membership, as either a MaRLI participant or standard cardholder, the forms of identification referenced in the above link will need to be presented in person.

Borrowing Materials

Participation in MaRLI allows for 120 day, non-renewable loans on select library materials available at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Science Industry and Business Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. All requested material will be reviewed by staff for suitability for circulation prior to checkout.

Borrowers are reminded that New York Public Library cards are non-transferable. In order to leave a Research Library location with MaRLI materials, cardholders must present photo identification at the time of checkout.

Eligible registered MaRLI borrowers also have access to participating library facilities at NYU and Columbia University during regular hours of operation and borrowing privileges as follows: 

  • On-site access to collections as comparable members of the host institution.
  • On-site access to electronic resources -  excluding resources with license agreements requiring institutional authentication.
  • Borrowing privileges for circulating print materials, including those materials that may be shelved in an off-site location. Standard loan period is 120 days. Some materials will have a shorter loan period at local sites, consult a librarian if you are unsure. Please note that multimedia, audio, video, microforms and other nonprint items are not currently included.
  • Materials are subject to recall.  
  • Renewal and recall procedures and fines are the same as those for comparable members of the host institution.
  • Materials shelved in an off-site location will be provided to the requestor in the most appropriate format, i.e., entire item or a scan of appropriate articles or chapters.
  • Appropriate reference/research assistance.

Non-MaRLI NYPL items will circulate for their standard loan periods; typically one day of in-library use access only for Research Library materials and four to twenty-one days for material in our circulating collection. Additional information on borrowing non-MaRLI items may be found here.

Returning Materials

All MaRLI-loaned items must be returned to the library from which they were borrowed. Late fees will be applied for any items not returned on or before their due date.  Borrowing privileges for MaRLI-eligible items as well as NYPL circulating items will be temporarily suspended for NYPL cardholders whose accounts contain at least $15 in fines and fees; privileges will resume upon payment of fines and fees.  MaRLI privileges will be rescinded if a MaRLI-eligible item is lost and not paid for.  Cardholders with past-due balances in excess of $50 are subject to contact by a collection agency and the application of an additional $10 mandatory charge to their record. 

Recall of Borrowed Materials

The nature of the library materials being lent out as part of this initiative requires that they may be recalled by the Library from time to time. If an item they have borrowed has been recalled, MaRLI participants will have two weeks to return the item to the original lending library before late charges begin to accumulate.