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New York Public Library Expands into Late Night and Early Morning Hours in Libraries Throughout its System

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Mid-Manhattan Library Open 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; Expanded Hours Start at Ten Libraries September 14
Kickoff Features "Cover-to-Cover Cafe" at Mid-Manhattan Library (for One Day Only) with Free Coffee and Timbits from Tim Hortons All Day and Live Music at 8 p.m.

What’s the latest late night spot? Yes, it’s the Library!

At a time of skyrocketing demand for its services, The New York Public Library is expanding into early morning and evening hours at 10 libraries throughout its system. Starting September 14 night owls can head to the library for late night literary quests, and early birds will have something to celebrate as several sites will open earlier for a morning cup of “knowledge to go.” The Library’s branches will be open an average of 52.5 hours per week, the most since the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, representing an increase of 65% since 1990 when the average library was open 31.9 hours. Never in the history of the Library have so many of its locations been open so many hours.

What’s the latest late night spot? Yes, it’s the Library!

At a time of skyrocketing demand for its services, The New York Public Library is expanding into early morning and evening hours at 10 libraries throughout its system. Starting September 14 night owls can head to the library for late night literary quests, and early birds will have something to celebrate as several sites will open earlier for a morning cup of “knowledge to go.” The Library’s branches will be open an average of 52.5 hours per week, the most since the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, representing an increase of 65% since 1990 when the average library was open 31.9 hours. Never in the history of the Library have so many of its locations been open so many hours.

For example, the Mid-Manhattan Library at Fifth Avenue and 40th Street will open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the landmark library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, will now open most days at 10 a.m. and will remain open until 9 p.m. two days per week. In addition to the 10 libraries expanding hours now, late night and early morning schedules were introduced at five other sites as a pilot in the last year [see link below].

“This is a moment to celebrate,” said Paul LeClerc, President of The New York Public Library. “In the current economic climate we have seen that access to libraries is essential. People with different circumstances and needs require their libraries at different times. I am enormously gratified that whether seeking a job, writing the next great novel, completing a school project, researching a new business or checking out the latest best seller, all our users will have time for in-depth pursuit of what they seek from us. I am very grateful to Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn, and the City Council for preserving funding for library hours, and our staff deserves credit for their willingness to experiment with new ideas and approaches to serving our users.”

“New York City’s public libraries are cherished institutions that offer free resources often otherwise unavailable to New Yorkers in communities throughout the City, and we’ve worked to ensure they continue to thrive,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “The expanded early morning and evening hours at the New York Public Library branches will provide New Yorkers greater opportunity to take advantage of all the libraries have to offer, whether it’s perusing periodicals, listening to lectures or wandering the web.”

“In difficult economic times New Yorkers depend even more on our libraries, for everything from employment counseling to literacy education and after school programs,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “But none of these great services will do you any good if your library is closed when you get there.The City Council was extremely proud to have successfully preserved funding to maintain library hours in this year’s budget.And now, thanks to the New York Public Library, people all over the city will have even more opportunities to take advantage of everything they offer.”

"For the people of New York who work long hours, or just can't get enough of all the amazing things our libraries have to offer, this is fantastic news," said Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., chairman of the City Council Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries & International Intergroup Relations. "In these tough times it's important that all New Yorkers have access to the services our libraries provide at hours that are convienient to everyone."

“Neighborhoods in Staten Island, Manhattan and the Bronx are about to get more access to one of the most valuable public resources in the City – public libraries,” said Councilman Vincent J. Gentile, Chair of the Libraries Subcommittee. “Extending hours in local branches means that students have the resources they need to excel, seniors have the resources they need to flourish, and job-seekers have the resources they need to succeed. The New York Public Library should be commended for their continued investment in local residents and families, and Speaker Christine Quinn must be thanked for making the restoration of library funding, which makes these extended hours possible, a priority.”

Cover-to-Cover Café
To celebrate, the Library and coffee and baked goods restaurant Tim Hortons are joining on September 14 to present (for one day only) the Cover-to-Cover Café from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Mid-Manhattan Library at Fifth Avenue and 40th Street. The Café will offer free coffee and Timbits (donut holes) all day from Tim Hortons, one of the largest coffee and baked goods chains in North America, including 12 locations in New York City. The Café will also present live music at 8 p.m. from the Bushwick Book Club, a group of songwriters who take their inspiration from literary works.

Expanded Hours
Hours are being expanded in branches in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the three boroughs served by The New York Public Library. The ten libraries with new hours are the Baychester and Morris Park libraries in the Bronx, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Mid-Manhattan Library, Jefferson Market, Chatham Square, 58th Street, Morningside Heights and 96th Street libraries in Manhattan, and the Todt Hill library in Staten Island. Expanded hours were previously introduced at the Bronx Library Center and Parkchester libraries in the Bronx, Terence Cardinal Cooke Library and Grand Central Branch in Manhattan, and the St. George Library Center in Staten Island.

“Oh, wow," said Ilene Chazanof, a user of the Mid-Manhattan Library. "I work during the day and it has always been difficult to find the time to get to the Library when I need it. I’m looking forward to having the time to use the Library after work and into the evening.”


To find the schedule for New York Public Library locations offering expanded morning and evening hours clickhere


About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. Its renowned research collections are located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem; and the Science, Industry and Business Library at 34th Street and Madison Avenue. Eighty-seven branch libraries provide access to circulating collections and a wide range of other services in neighborhoods throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English for speakers of other languages. All in all The New York Public Library serves more than 17 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org.

 

Contact: Public Relations Office 212.592.7700 

 

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