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General Information


About LIVE from the NYPL

LIVE from the NYPL is The New York Public Library's flagship ticketed event series, offering programs that are as unique and engaging as the Library itself, and embody the institution's mission to educate, inform, and inspire the diverse community it serves in New York and beyond. Under the direction of Paul Holdengräber since it launched in 2005, LIVE's provocative conversations, real debates, irresistible performances and original experiences are exercises in cognitive theater designed to stimulate cultural curiosity. During its Fall and Spring seasons, LIVE welcomes to its stage the literary icons, groundbreaking artists, creative filmmakers, notable historians, influential leaders and emerging tastemakers who are shaping the world today.

Past guests at LIVE from the NYPL include: Margaret Atwood, David Byrne, Don DeLillo, Joan Didion, Umberto Eco, Jeffrey Eugenides, Shepard Fairey, Jonathan Franzen, Frank Gehry, Gilberto Gil, Elizabeth Gilbert, Newt Gingrich, Werner Herzog, Jay-Z, Miranda July, Barbara Kingsolver, Fran Lebowitz, Spike Lee, Jonathan Letham, Toni Morrison, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Haruki Murakami, Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Salman Rushdie, Oliver Sacks, Al Sharpton, Russell Simmons, Patti Smith, Zadie Smith, Pete Townshend, Derek Walcott, John Waters, Robert Wilson, Howard Zinn, and Slavoj Zizek.

LIVE from the NYPL is made possible with generous support from Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund.


About Paul Holdengräber, Director of LIVE from the NYPL

Known for probing his guests to step far beyond talking points and orchestrating unexpected onstage pairings, Paul Holdengräber is the director of LIVE from the NYPL and is responsible for curating the series' Spring and Fall programs each year. Prior to joining The New York Public Library in 2004, Holdengräber founded and served as the director of the Institute for Art and Cultures at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). In 2003, the French government awarded him the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his cultural contributions. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the Getty Research Institute from 1995 to 1996, before starting at LACMA the following year. He has taught at Princeton University, Williams College, the University of Miami, and Claremont Graduate University. He has been a Fellow at the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities (University of Southern California) and served as a Board Member at the Santa Monica Museum of Art from 2000 to 2004. Fluent in four languages, Holdengräber lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons.

General Information

Where do LIVE from the NYPL events take place?

LIVE from the NYPL events take place at The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, located on Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10018-2788. Patrons should use the entrance on 42nd Street unless otherwise noted.

What time do LIVE from the NYPL events begin? What time should I arrive?

As a reminder, all LIVE from the NYPL events begin promptly at 7pm. We recommend arriving twenty minutes before the scheduled start time to get to your seats. In order to minimize disturbances to other audience members, we are unable to provide late seating.

Is there assigned seating?

No. All LIVE from the NYPL events are general admission. Seating is available on a first come, first serve basis.

Is NYPL wheelchair accessible?

Yes. The 42nd Street side entrance (between 5th and 6th Avenues) is wheelchair accessible.

Will there be assisted listening devices?

All events in the Celeste Bartos Forum offer on-site assistive hearing devices. As a box office associate for more information when you arrive.

Will books be available to purchase at the event? Will there be a signing?

Yes. Guests' books will be available to purchase onsite courtesy of the Library Shop. Typically, events are followed by a book signing. 

What is the phone number/email address for LIVE from the NYPL?

Phone: 212 930 0855 (General LIVE Offices—NOT box office)



Ticket and Membership Information

How do I purchase tickets for LIVE from the NYPL?

All LIVE from the NYPL tickets are purchased through Showclix.

You can buy tickets online at or on the phone at 1-888-71-TICKETS.

You will be able to print tickets at home, or pick them up at Will Call the night of the event.

How much are tickets for LIVE from the NYPL programs?

Tickets range from $25–40. Seniors, students, and Friends are eligible for discounts. 

What if I want to save more money?

LIVE is now offering subscriptions! Buy tickets to three or more events and get an additional 15% off. Buy tickets to six or more events and get an additional 20% off.

What are the benefits of becoming a Friend of The New York Public Library?

There are many benefits to becoming a Friend of the Library, including discounted tickets to LIVE from the NYPL and access to exclusive pre-sales on LIVE events. Click here for more information on benefits and to join, or call the FRIENDS Office at 212-930-0653.

How can I stay informed about upcoming LIVE programs, news, and guest updates?

Subscribing to LIVE from the NYPL's email newsletter is the best way to hear about the latest LIVE news. Sign up here.

If a program is listed as sold out, will there be any tickets at the door the night of the event?

For sold out shows, patrons can sign up for a standby list as early as 6 PM at the box office. If seats are available at 7 PM, we will open up the standby line on a first come, first served basis.

I purchased tickets but cannot attend the program. Can I have a refund?

All LIVE from the NYPL tickets are non-refundable. If you would like to donate your ticket or give it as a gift to someone else, please contact the LIVE offices at for more information.

I am a journalist and would like to cover an event. How can I request press credentials?

For all LIVE from the NYPL press inquiries, please contact Ayofemi Kirby in the Press Office at Please note, all press credentials MUST be arranged in advance of the event.

Are recordings or transcripts available for past LIVE programs?

Yes! Most LIVE from the NYPL programs are taped, and you can find video and audio recordings, as well as transcripts of past events at


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