Top Public Libraries In New York City

writer icon

Reem Mohamed

calender icon

04 April, 2022

time icon

4 mins read

Share NOW

fav icon
main topic image

Being one of the world’s most famous cities, a renowned tourist destination, and a locale for students, New York City, certainly has plenty to offer. As a student in such a compact city, you’ll definitely want a quiet place where you can work or study in peace. The city does not disappoint in this aspect; there are multiple public libraries in New York City showcasing wide spaces, a range of books spanning different fields and interests, as well as stunning views and architecture. We’ve compiled a list of the ones you should check out!

1. New York Public Library

The New York Public Library has over 90 branches across the city. Their branches are located in Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island. The library’s most notable branch is New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. This particular library branch is known for its breathtaking architecture, its ornate ceilings, and the majestic lions adorning the library’s steps. The NYPL branches come with numerous amenities, including Wi-Fi access, photocopiers, scanners, research centres, and cafes. Additionally, most New York Public Library branches are accessible.

Working Hours and Location: The library’s opening hours vary according to location. You can check all the locations and schedules here.

2. Queens Public Library 

Queens Public Library is another New York Library with multiple locations spanning the city. The library's branches are accessible and offer a variety of services for people studying, reading, or researching there. These services include printing services, computers and Wi-Fi, international partnerships, and self-publishing services. The libraries are also home to vast collections of physical and digital material across different fields of study. 

Working Hours and Location: The library’s opening hours vary according to location. You can check all the locations and schedules here.

3. Brooklyn Public Library

Amongst the numerous public libraries in New York City, Brooklyn Public Library definitely stands out. This architectural wonder serves as a completely free of charge place where you can work, study, or research. There’s also an on-site cafe where you can grab a coffee and refuel in between study sessions. The library gives out free library cards for students in New York City, and it hosts numerous student-related events, as well as developmental, career, and interview prep workshops. Their halls are filled with collections of physical and digital materials, and they have multiple public and private reading rooms. The Brooklyn Public Library also has several branches and divisions you should check out.

Working Hours and Location: The library’s opening hours vary according to location. You can check all the locations and schedules here.

Heritage Greenwich

Starting from 2,300$

Book now!

4. Albany Public Library, Bach Branch

Albany Public Library’s brand new Bach branch is a modern one with sleek exteriors and partial glass walls. This library holds a number of different free programs, including  science experiments, ballroom dancing, and a LEGO club, among others. This library has something for everyone and provides a peaceful environment for working, studying, or simply enjoying a good book.

Location: 455 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208

Working Hours: 

  • Monday: 10 AM – 6 PM
  • Tuesday: 12 PM – 8 PM
  • Wednesday: 10 AM – 6 PM
  • Thursday: 12 PM – 8 PM
  • Friday: 12 PM – 6 PM
  • Saturday: 12 PM – 5 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

5. The Morgan Library and Museum

Once a private entity, The Morgan Library and Museum was gifted to the public back in 1924. It’s now open to visitors and houses vast collections of rare books and manuscripts, art objects, prints, and ancient artefacts that were once collected by the library’s namesake, Morgan. It is more of a museum than a library, with its various regularly held exhibitions and galleries. Nevertheless, a visit to The Morgan is definitely worth the admission fee. If you’d prefer not to pay a fee, worry not. The library offers free entry on Fridays from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. 

Location: 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York, NY 10016

Working Hours: 

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 10:30 AM – 5 PM
  • Wednesday 10:30 AM - 5 PM
  • Thursday 10:30 AM - 5 PM
  • Friday 10:30 AM - 5 PM
  • Saturday 10:30 AM - 5 PM

Library in New York

6. Montauk Library

Montauk Library is home to a huge collection of physical books, as well as ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and journals that you can borrow. This library offers its patrons a number of services, including Ereader loans, Wi-Fi, printing, and computer workstations. The events and programs held at Montauk Library are plentiful and include tech lessons, yoga, movie nights, bilingual storytime, and English conversation groups. 

Location: 871 Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954

Working Hours: 

  • Monday 9 AM – 5 PM
  • Tuesday 9 AM –5 PM
  • Wednesday 9 AM – 5 PM 
  • Thursday 9 AM – 5 PM 
  • Friday 9 AM–5 PM 
  • Saturday 9 AM – 5 PM 
  • Sunday 1 PM –5 PM

7. Grand Central Library

Another notable New York Public Library branch in Grand Central Library. Not only is its location convenient for commuting students, but it’s also home to multiple collections of books and resources as well as programs and events. Their services are numerous and include ebooks and audiobooks, materials and databases, digital collections, and computers and ports with a stunning view of the city. The library is fully accessible and has something for everyone: fiction and nonfiction books for adults, children’s books, and a teens program with its own books and events. 

Location: 135 East 46th Street, New York, NY 10017

Working Hours: 

  • Monday 11 AM - 6 PM
  • Tuesday 10 AM - 5 PM
  •  Wednesday 11 AM - 6 PM
  • Thursday 10 AM - 5 PM
  • Friday 10 AM - 5 PM
  • Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM 
  • Sunday Closed

While this doesn’t include all of the libraries in New York City, it will serve as a good starting point. So, if you’re a student in New York City and need a quiet place that’s accessible, resourceful, and free of charge, where you can catch up on your studies, do some research, or simply enjoy a good book, then this list will serve as a guide for you during your stay there. 


Subscribe to download

Share NOW