What are the prices for an event?

Rental fees are quoted upon request and are an integral part of our fundraising efforts. They go directly to support the Library's invaluable programs and services.
Fees include operational expenses (basic security and maintenance) and dedicated support from the NYPL Office of Special Events.
Film shoots: Fees are quoted on a case-by-case basis.
Day before load-in: Based on availability. Fees are available upon request.

What time can my event start and end?

Rental fees are based on a five-hour event ending no later than midnight. After five hours or midnight, whichever occurs first, an hourly overtime charge will be in effect for each hour or portion thereof (events may go no later than 1 a.m.). Events may be held in Astor Hall and McGraw Rotunda only after the Library has closed to the public.

How can I hold a space for an event? Is a deposit required? Is my deposit refundable?

If you are interested in a space for an event, we will place a hold on that space for your desired date(s)—no deposit is required to place a hold. If there is already a hold on your desired room and date, you may place a second hold and we will attempt to release that date for you.
To firm your event, a deposit is required. All deposits and corporate donations are non-refundable.

Are fundraisers for other organizations allowed at the Library?

Fundraising events are allowed at the Library if the following conditions are met:

  1. The event does not conflict whatsoever with the Library's own fundraising activities.
  2. The event does not involve any direct solicitation of funds or the payment of funds in cash or otherwise at the event.
  3. Products and services are not sold at the event.

Determination of whether an event meets these criteria will be at the sole discretion of NYPL. The Library has the right to decline any event based on such determination. Any non-profit organization must provide proof of their non-profit status to take part in our non-profit fee schedule.

Are religious, political, or coming-of-age events/ceremonies allowed at the Library?
No religious ceremonies, political events, or coming-of-age parties are allowed.

Civil wedding ceremonies, included in the full reception package, are allowed on Library premises. A civil wedding ceremony is defined as a nonreligious marriage ceremony performed by a government official rather than by a clergyman. Any civil ceremony taking place on Library premises must be without any religious affiliation and meet the legal requirements of the State and City of New York.

A written synopsis of the ceremony and verification that the ceremony will be performed by one of the following must be presented to the NYPL by a date set by your Event Coordinator.

The following are acceptable officiates for your civil ceremony at the Library:

  1. the mayor of a city or village;
  2. the former mayor, city clerk, or one of the deputy city clerks who has legal authority;
  3. a county executive of a county, city magistrate, police justice or police magistrate of a city;
  4. a court clerk or county clerk who has legal authority;
  5. a justice or judge.

How do I get permission to film at the Library?

All filming and photography requests must be submitted in writing at least 2–3 weeks prior to filming.

Please submit to spev@nypl.org. The NYPL reserves the right to decline involvement in any project and to approve any scene in which the Library is featured. All projects MUST be submitted in writing or they will not be considered.

Can I rent the front steps? Are there restrictions?

The front steps are available to rent for qualifying events, film and photo shoots. Fees are available upon request. Events or filming on NYPL's front steps cannot take place while the Library is open to the public. Any filming on the front steps of the Schwarzman Building is handled by Bryant Park Corporation. Fees and permits apply. Please visit www.bryantpark.org for assistance.

Can I feature the Library Lions and/or the Library name on my invitation or in my film or photo shoot?

The name The New York Public Library and the Edward Clark Potter Lions are registered marks of The New York Public Library. They can only be published with permission. All rights are reserved. Licensing agreements and fees apply. We are not the sponsor of your event, and our name, logo, or image(s) may not be used for any purpose without permission. Accordingly, we reserve the right to approve, in writing, all invitations, press releases, and other promotional materials (that refer to the facility or the Library) relating to the event— prior to printing.

Can I use whatever vendors I wish?

The Library has a list of preferred vendors. If you would like to use a vendor not on the Library listing, you may, but please note that the Library has final approval over all vendors. You should discuss your vendor choices with your NYPL Event Manager.

Can I hang signs or banners in and around the Library?

The New York Public Library does not allow the promotion or advertising of any brand other than The New York Public Library brand. No signs, banners, or promotional materials may be placed in the public areas of the building. This includes the front steps, plaza, façade, and sidewalk areas of the building. Any products, signs, or promotions must be displayed or take place solely within the client’s rented space (if a public space, after public hours) and with the approval of the NYPL.

Will I be required to sign a contract and supply insurance?

All renting parties will be required to sign and comply with a standard facilities rental agreement in order to use Library space. In addition, if liquor is to be served, rental parties will also be required to sign a liquor contract. Contracts are not negotiable. Various levels of insurance will need to be obtained depending upon the nature of the event.

How do I get liquor for my event?

The Library maintains a liquor license so all wine, liquor, and beer needs to be purchased through us. All arrangements will be made through our Beverage Manager. Separate liquor insurance and contract apply.

Is security available for my event?

Basic security and maintenance are included in all rental fees. Any additional security or maintenance necessary, whether determined by you or by us, is at the expense of the client. Library security has final say in all security matters.

Can other events take place in the building at the same time as mine?

The Library will determine the number of events to be operated simultaneously in the Library building, and we do not guarantee you sole use of the Library building except in the location(s) as contracted. However, we will ensure that your event is in no way disrupted by any other event. In addition, you may rent the entire building to ensure your sole use at the time of your event. Your Event Manager will speak with you about this option if you wish.

Do my guests need to go through a bag check?

Bag checks are not required at rental events. However, the Library reserves the right to inspect any and all packages, boxes, bags, purses, backpacks, or similar items and their contents being brought into the Library facility. The Library may refuse to admit certain persons and/or certain packages or contents into the Library premises based on any security concerns.

Are there smoking areas in the building?

There is no smoking whatsoever in any interior area of the building, including the loading dock and adjacent areas. Without exception, anyone caught smoking will be asked to leave the premises. Smoking is allowed only outside the building, including the street and front step areas.

How do I get a floor plan for my event space?

You may ask your NYPL Event Manager or go to www.meetingmatrix.com where you can download and work within the Meeting Matrix program to lay out your event. Several, selected floorplans are also available in the General Information section of this website.

Does the building have access for persons with disabilities?

A ramp to the building is located at the 42nd Street entrance. All levels of the building are accessible by an elevator at the north end of the building. Wheelchair-accessible restroom facilities are available.

Are all of your rental areas air-conditioned?

There is no air-conditioning in either Astor Hall or the McGraw Rotunda.

During the holiday season, are there decorations present that may affect my event?

Annually, from mid-November until mid-January, there are a significant number of holiday decorations throughout the building. During this time, rooms are rented as is and these decorations may not be altered or removed for any reason.

Does the Library provide parking and are there hotels nearby?

The Library is set in the heart of New York City. While we do not offer parking on-site, many parking facilities and hotels are within walking distance of the building’s location.

Do I receive a discount at The Library Shop?

Rental clients are entitled to a discount at The Library Shop for merchandise purchased for use during their rental event only. You must organize purchases through your Event Manager. The Library Shop offers a selection of distinctive merchandise for all of your gift-giving needs, including books, jewelry, stationery, holiday cards, and Library publications. You can visit The Library Shop while at the Schwarzman Building or online at shop.nypl.org.

How can I support the Library?

By renting space with us, you are providing support for all of the invaluable programs and services The New York Public Library has to offer. In addition to space rental, the Library has a variety of membership programs that may appeal to you. 

Office of Special Events  I  212.930.0730   I  spev@nypl.org