We're Celebrating 125 Years and Our Top 10 Checkouts of All Time

By NYPL Staff
January 13, 2020

It's a big day at The New York Public Library as we celebrate our 125th Anniversary! The Library serves millions of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world, and our values of trust, respect, and free and open access to knowledge and opportunity are as essential today as they were when NYPL was founded in 1895.

To mark this milestone year, and celebrate the power of reading, we've compiled a list of our 10 most-borrowed books—ever. In the words of New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx, "This list tells us something about New Yorkers over the last 125 years—what moves them, what excites them, what stands the test of time."

Top 10 Checkouts of All Time

NYPL Top Ten Checkouts

So what are the most checked-out books in Library history? They include four picture books, two dystopian novels, a Pulitzer Prize–winner, a classic children's story, the first book in one of the most popular series ever and—the oldest on the list—a self-help book. Are you suprised by any books on the list? Any titles you're suprised not to see? How many have you read?

The Snowy Day: Limited-Edition Library and MetroCards

Snowy Day Metro Card and Library Card

The Library's most borrowed book (racking up nearly a half million checkouts) is Ezra Jack Keats's beloved picture book The Snowy Day, first published in 1962. To honor our 125th anniversary and the top checkout, New Yorkers can now get a limited-edition library card and, in 10 stations, a limited-edition MetroCard, both featuring Keats's memorable artwork from The Snowy Day.

Buckle up for an exciting anniversary year which will include include special book lists, author talks,  public programs, the reopening of a Midtown branch, and more.