The New York Public Library’s beloved Van Nest branch, which has served the Bronx in various locations since 1912, is being renamed the Pelham Parkway-Van Nest Library.
The Library decided to rename the branch to more accurately reflect the neighborhood in which it is located. Although the branch – like all NYPL library branches – has always served residents of multiple communities, including Van Nest, Pelham Parkway, Morris Park, and others, it has moved four times since it opened over 100 years ago, and is currently located at 2147 Barnes Avenue, in the neighborhood of Pelham Parkway, close to Van Nest.
In recent years, the community of Pelham Parkway has showed unprecedented support for a name change – something the Library rarely does for a variety of reasons – including written support from all local elected officials. After working closely with the elected officials including Congressman Joseph Crowley, Councilmember James Vacca, State Senator Jeffrey Klein, and State Assemblymember Mark Gjonaj, various community groups and patrons, the Library decided to change the name, retaining the historic “Van Nest,” but adding Pelham Parkway.
“After many months of discussion, the Library and the community are moving forward together with a plan that pleases all parties," said Tony Marx, president of the Library. “This community, including elected officials, showed an unprecedented amount of support for this action, as well as extreme pride and passion for its local library – which is very encouraging and satisfying for us. We look forward to continuing to work with the community, and to a new, successful chapter as the Pelham Parkway-Van Nest Library.”
The new name will officially take effect on August 27, when an official renaming ceremony will take place at the branch with local elected officials and members of the public. All are invited to attend.
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library 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. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.