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The New York Public Library Opens Doors to Coursera Students


NYPL / Coursera Partnership First in Nation Providing Digital Students Venue to Discuss and Meet in Library Spaces

APRIL 30— The New York Public Library (NYPL) announced today a partnership with Coursera, one of the leading providers of free online education, to support their curriculum of online courses through their Learning Hubs program. Several branches will provide users with weekly in-person class discussions with trained facilitators, in addition to internet and wi-fi access. The partnership builds on the Library’s strong community role in providing learning options for New Yorkers.

"Online courses can be a boon to increasing learning, especially when students engage with each other, keep each other focused, and have access to advice and further options for study,” said NYPL President Tony Marx.. The Library is proud to be joining this experiment by providing Coursera students with a place to gather, support each other and delve into the library for more information to help them persist and learn.”

Over the past two years under Marx's leadership The New York Public Library has greatly increased its educational programs to support the needs of local residents, including NYPL TechConnect technology classes, ESOL and literacy classes through its Adult Learning Centers, and NYPL’s recently launched series of free after-school programs, which promote student advancement. NYPL is also one of the leading providers of free wi-fi and computer access in New York City at 92 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.

Starting this summer the Library will begin offering the free discussion classes in conjunction with several popular Coursera courses at locations in the Bronx and Manhattan.

Students and Library users alike can also enjoy the Library’s exhibitions, lectures and book discussion groups to enhance their learning experience.

“Over the past 6 months, Learning Hubs have introduced a collaborative learning paradigm to students in 30 countries across 5 continents. We’re delighted to welcome eight new organizations into our growing network, including the prestigious New York Public Library System,” said Lila Ibrahim, Chief Business Officer at Coursera. “Learning Hubs empower organizations across the globe to offer students quality online education enhanced with local support and mentorship, be it a refugee camp in Kenya, a US embassy in Seoul or a public library in the Bronx.”

In the beginning of November 2013 Coursera announced the launch of Learning Hubs with partners across the globe including the U.S. State Department. With more than 50,000 Coursera users located in the New York City area, the Library’s Learning Hubs will serve a city that shows great demand for online learning opportunities.

Coursera works with professors to format and record popular courses for online consumption. Course materials can include video lectures, discussion boards and even assignments. While computers can grade assignments and quizzes for the hard sciences, in the humanities Coursera has students grade each other. 


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 92 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 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