About AskNYPL

Ask NYPL Overview

Ask NYPL is the virtual reference service of the New York Public Library. Patrons may submit questions via phone, chat, email, and text.  

Please note: By submitting a question to Ask NYPL you understand and agree that your question and the answer we provide may be posted on our website or used for other Library-related purposes. NYPL may also decline to answer any question if it determines that the question is inappropriate or if NYPL does not have the necessary expertise/resources.

We ask all patrons who use NYPL’s services to read the Library’s Privacy Policy.

Who answers your questions?

Trained information specialists will receive and answer your questions. 

When to expect a response:

Upon receipt of your question, you will receive an e-mail verifying that your question has been submitted. The minimum turnaround time is 24 hours (Monday to Friday). If you need an answer by a certain date, please be sure to specify this on the question form and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Questions for which we can provide sources only:

  • Medical or law-related questions
  • Used car values
  • Crisscross or reverse telephone directory information
  • Product evaluations
  • Contest or puzzle questions

Our service does not provide:

  • We are unable to fax or send material at this time. To receive copies of documents held by the library please contact Interlibrary and Document Services.
  • We do not do detailed research or provide bibliographies.
  • If you require in-depth research, contact Research Services at 212.592.7200 or copies@nypl.org . Research Services is the Library's fee-based research and document delivery service.

How to renew items:

  • Online
  • Through Self-Service Checkout
  • Via The Library’s Automated Telephone Renewal Service: 332.241.5525
  • Via a call to your neighborhood library
  • To get or reset your PIN/Password click here. The reset can take a little while to fully register. If after half an hour your reset PIN /Password does not work then please visit your local branch with your card and proof of identity (NYPL locations and hours).
  • To keep NYPL's library account system as up to date as possible, there is an expiration date for library accounts. To renew your library card you can visit any branch of NYPL with the library card, proof of identity and proof of your current home address - the process takes only a minute. General information on renewing library cards and a list of accepted documentation is posted online here.


While every effort is made to provide accurate information, The New York Public Library specifically disclaims all express and implied warranties with respect to the information and materials provided to patrons. The Library, its trustees, officers, employees and other representatives shall have no liability for any damages, including, without limitation, direct, indirect, consequential, compensatory, special, punitive or incidental damages arising out of or relating to the use of our services.