Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

The New York Public Library will be closed September 5 through September 7 in observance of Labor Day.

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

The New York Public Library and the libraries of Columbia University and New York University have launched an initiative to expand access and use of collections and better serve their users.  The collaboration, dubbed the Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI), enables NYU and Columbia doctoral students, full-time faculty and librarians, and approved New York Public Library cardholders with a demonstrable research need not met by currently available resources, to borrow materials from all three institutions. 

Any New York Public Library cardholder in good standing is eligible to apply to participate in this program which offers an unprecedented level of access to the academic research collections in New York City. The Manhattan Research Libraries Initiative (MaRLI) offers approved NYPL cardholders with a demonstrable research need the ability to access and borrow select materials owned by Columbia University and NYU.  Additionally, MaRLI participants will be able to borrow select materials from NYPL's general research collections.

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 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 complete the online application for MaRLI membership as directed.  Successful applicants to NYPL will have a demonstrable research need for materials housed at Columbia University or NYU participating libraries.  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.

Only books in good condition published from 1900-present will circulate; condition will be determined by library staff when the book is delivered to the circulation desk and based on criteria supplied by NYPL’s Barbara Goldsmith Preservation Division .

Please note the following exceptions:

  • The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture circulates only books in good condition published from 1970-present.
  • LPA does circulate scores from the Music Division, with the approval of the division's chief or assistant chief. 
  • Eligible collections in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building are limited to materials that can be  delivered to the Rose Main Reading Room.  Items from the Art and Architecture Division are not eligible to circulate through this program.

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.

Chat with a librarian now