To ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the libraries they need and deserve, The New York Public Library has built and is building several new state-of-the art branches and facilities across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island while also undertaking major renovations at existing neighborhood libraries. Over the past decade, we have invested $300 million in dozens of projects in 50 branches throughout our system, and we anticipate spending at least another $125 million in capital projects over the next five years. Some highlights:
Bronx Library CenterThe brand-new Bronx Library Center opened to the public in January 2006. With five floors and 78,000 square feet of space, it is the largest library in the Bronx and was the first LEED-certified “green” library in the city.
NYPL completed a major renovation of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 2007 that created a new lobby and scholars center and refurbished its reading room. Phase II of the project is expected to begin next summer.
NYPL opened Job Search Central at the Science, Industry and Business Library at Madison Avenue and 34th Street in April 2009, uniting in one center a full range of free resources for job seekers, from resume help to career coaching and online job-search databases.
The brand-new Grand Central Library opened in the heart of Midtown Manhattan in April 2009. The branch features a “laptop bar,” comfortable lounge chairs, and Teen Central, a vibrant teen center.
St. Agnes Library on the Upper West Side, an original Carnegie Library, reopened to the public in February 2010 following a major renovation.
Battery Park City LibraryThe brand-new Battery Park City Library in Lower Manhattan opened in March 2010. This state-of-the-art library was constructed with a focus on environmental sustainability and was our first “green” library in Manhattan.
NYPL opened its new Library Services Center in Long Island City in April 2010, providing the Library with its first central location for distributing and preserving library materials. The four-level, technologically advanced facility features the world’s largest automated book sorter.
High Bridge Library in the Bronx reopened to the public in May 2010 after a major renovation. With an additional 2,100 square feet, the branch now boasts expanded adult and children’s areas, a new community room, and 34 new public-access computers.
Kingsbridge LibraryGrand Concourse Library in the Bronx opened its newly renovated Children’s Room in August 2010.
NYPL opened its brand-new Kingsbridge Library in the Bronx in June 2011. This 12,600-square-foot library is the first branch in the system to feature a green roof that catches and reuses rainwater.
The Teen Center at Hamilton Grange LibraryIn October 2011, NYPL opened its first Teen Center in northern Manhattan at Hamilton Grange Library. The center serves the neighborhoods of Hamilton Heights, Harlem, and Washington Heights — where nearly one-third of the population is under the age of 19.
A major renovation of the facade of Jefferson Market Library was completed in summer 2012. Additional work on its portico is expected to beJefferson Market Library completed in spring 2013. Major ADA-compliant improvements are currently in design.
Award-winning designs for the 53rd Street Library unveiled in May, 2013.
Stapleton Library on Staten Island is expected to reopen in 2013 after a complete renovation and expansion.
The brand-new Mariners Harbor Library is expected to open on Staten Island in fall 2013.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will undergo Phase II of a major renovation beginning in summer 2013. The project will add space for children’s programs and exhibitions, create a new Schomburg Shop visible from theStapleton Library street, and include a full renovation of the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
Washington Heights Library in Upper Manhattan is expected to reopen in late 2013 following a major renovation.
Mariners Harbor LibraryNYPL’s 53rd Street Library is scheduled to reopen to the public in 2015.
Images (from top): Dennis Finnin; Julie Stapen; Kathy Saeed; Beowulf Sheehan; Dani Piderman; Andrew Berman Architects; Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani Architects Planners LLP