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Mid-Manhattan Library To Temporarily Close Beginning in August For Much-Needed Renovation


Services, Staff, and Programs to be Moved to Other Midtown Libraries While Central Circulating Branch Transformed

MARCH 16, 2017 – The New York Public Library announced today that its central circulating branch The Mid-Manhattan Library will temporarily close to the public beginning in August.

The Mid-Manhattan – located at 455 Fifth Avenue in Midtown – is slated to get a long-awaited $200 million renovation that will transform the outdated building into a state-of-the-art library with a dramatic, multi-story wall of bookshelves; a full-floor business library; a full floor dedicated to separate libraries for children and teens; the only free public roof terrace in Midtown; and hundreds of additional seats.

The Library announced last year that the building would close during the renovation to allow work to happen as quickly and efficiently as possible. Today, in an email to Mid-Manhattan patrons, the Library shared news that the closure will begin in August.

The renovated Mid-Manhattan is expected to open in early 2020.

“The Library is eager to begin work on this important project, which will transform our central circulating library – a branch that was outdated when I used it in high school – into the library that New Yorkers need and deserve, linked programmatically as a campus to the Schwarzman building across the street,” said New York Public Library President Tony Marx. “Libraries and their mission to provide open access to information, knowledge, and opportunity have never been more important, and we need to ensure that our branches, especially Mid-Manhattan, can best serve the public now and in the future. We thank the city for its support and our patrons for their patience as we build the best possible branch.”

During this temporary closure, all services offered at Mid-Manhattan Library will relocate to other nearby Midtown locations, including an interim space on the ground floor of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building across Fifth Avenue. That space—accessible via the 42nd Street entrance and called “Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street”—will hold Mid-Manhattan Library’s circulating collections and offer computers, programming space, and tables for quiet study.

Mid-Manhattan’s technology classes will be offered in the Science, Industry and Business Library; IDNYC sign-ups, Single Stop, and citizenship services will be offered at Grand Central Library; and the Picture Collection will be accessible at its new home at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The newly opened, nearby 53rd Street Library is also an option for circulating materials, classes, programs, and computers.

While Mid-Manhattan Library is closed for renovation, hours will be extended at the Science, Industry and Business Library, Grand Central Library, and the Children’s Center at 42nd Street (although specifics are not yet finalized).

The renovation – being done with $151 million in city funds and private funding – is much-needed at Mid-Manhattan, which opened in the 1970s in a space originally designed for a department store. The branch receives approximately 1.7 million visits annually and circulates approximately 2 million items each year.

Schematic designs were released in November 2016 by the project’s design team, led by architects Francine Houben of Mecanoo and Elizabeth Leber of Beyer Blinder Belle. The team worked for over a year analyzing library usage data, interviewing staff, surveying the public, and meeting with community stakeholders to ensure that the new branch will best meet the needs of library patrons.

For more information on the temporary closure and on the project overall, please visit:


Media Contact:

Angela Montefinise |


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