The New York Public Library or NYPL , located in Manhattan’s midtown section , is one of largest in the world and one of United States most significant public research libraries. New York Public Library is privately managed by a nonprofit corporation with a public mission, operating with both private and public financing.The New York Public Library has branches in the boroughs of Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island. According to the American Library Association, the branch libraries comprise the twenty-sixth largest library in the United States.
When the officials of New York City decided that the city needs another public library, they didn’t spare any expense. It took 500 workers for 2 years to dismantle the reservoir that was situated at the site where the library was to be built. The construction began in 1902 and was finished with a total cost of $9 million an unbelievable amount for the early 20th century. First opened in 1911, the New York Public Library was created with the help of a $2.4 million donation from Samuel J. Tilden who wanted to “establish and maintain a free library and reading room in the city of New York” . The site of the Croton Reservoir was chosen for the new library, and its landmark design was conceived by Dr. John Shaw Billings. When the building opened, it was the largest marble building in the United States, and was home to over 1 million books when it opened.The library’s famous lion statues that sit outside the main entrance , made from pink Tennessee marble , welcomed nearly 50,000 visitors on the library’s first official day of business.
New York Public Library consists of 87 libraries: four non-lending research libraries, four main lending libraries, a library for the blind and physically challenged, and 77 neighborhood branch libraries. The research collections contain 44,160,825 items from which 15,985,192 are books. The Branch Libraries contain 7,565,579 items of which 4,416,812 are books. Together the collections total more than 50 million items, and the books number more than 20 million, a number surpassed only by the Library of Congress and the British Library.
The library has especially fine collections on Americana, art, economics, folklore, music, black history and literature, New York City, Jewish history, and Semitic languages. The library’s collection features magnificent holdings such as the Gutenberg Bible and the manuscript copy of Jefferson’s document which would become known as The Declaration of Independence.
Several million people travel through the doors of the New York Public Library each year and an amazing 1.8 million individuals are NY library card holders. The size of the New York Public Library and the diversity of its holdings make it one of the best libraries in the US and visitors surely know that. All libraries in the NYPL system may be used free of charge by all visitors .
The New York Public Library , one of the largest in the world also sponsors a number of special events each month from lectures and poetry readings to concerts and dance exhibitions.