Policies & Procedures

To ensure the health and safety of the public and our staff, policies and procedures created in collaboration with safety experts must be followed.

At all our open locations:

  • Holds placed online or on the phone can be picked up at your designated branch.
  • Materials must be checked out using one of the Library’s three checkout systems: with staff assistance, at a self-checkout station, or via the NYPL app.
  • Materials must be returned in designated areas, including book drops.
  • Visitors may browse materials for an unlimited amount of time.
  • Advanced reservations are available to use public computers. Learn more.
  • Laptops are available to use at our libraries by request.
  • General available space and library seating may be used for an unlimited amount of time.
  • Visitors can sign up for a library card or update their card’s status from digital-only to full borrowing privileges.

In addition, the Library is taking precautionary cleaning measures, as well as making a few accommodations for patron accounts, during this period of service:

  • Late fines on all items have been eliminated as of October 2021.
  • New Yorkers issued digital library cards during closure must update their card type in order to check out physical materials.

Research Update

Our research centers have restored onsite access to their collections. In addition, service has been expanded at select locations to permit walk-in patrons who want to sit in public reading rooms, including the Rose Main Reading Room at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, for quiet study, thought, and computer use. Some research divisions are operating on an appointment-only basis, in line with pre-pandemic service. Find out how to access collections and services at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and the Thomas Yoseloff Business Center at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL).

Research services will continue to serve patrons virtually via at-home access to research databases, virtual reference, staff monitoring research requests, etc. More information here.