Reimagining the Library for the Future @ The New York Public Library

Reimagining the Library for the Future @ The New York Public Library

Pt 683

Reimagining the Library for the Future @ The New York Public Library:

For more than a century, The New York Public Library has been a fount of knowledge for hundreds of millions of users. As the Library looks ahead, it is poised to take the next step in a bold plan that will build on this legacy and focus on our neighborhood branches as vibrant, democratic libraries for all. 

…We envision a system where people of all ages and backgrounds come together in energetic community spaces filled with books, ideas, services, and public programs that anchor our libraries as the cornerstone of civic life in New York City.
We envision libraries that are more than storehouses for books waiting to be checked out. They should be active hubs of knowledge that incubate new ideas while bonding communities and neighborhoods together.
To this end, we are moving forward with an ambitious plan for the future that will transform and upgrade our 91 locations, including the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The Library is creating state-of-the-art branches and reenvisioning the public programs and services we offer to patrons from all walks of life — from writers and researchers to immigrants, entrepreneurs, and schoolchildren.

Without your input, we cannot create the Library for the Future that New Yorkers need and deserve.

If you want to see 3D printers, tool lending, laser cutters, skill building, entrepreneurial classes and hackspace-like activities visit the NYPL “Join the Conversation” page and send in your comments. You can also email:

Thanks Koren!

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14 thoughts on “Reimagining the Library for the Future @ The New York Public Library

  1. Reimagining the Library for the Future @ The New York Public Library amgibb says:

    Love love love the article and the concept. As someone who moved from library science to open hardware, there are many crossovers with what libraries do best: make information accessible to the public, and promote freedom of information. Creating techshops is crucial to the survival of the public library in the digital age, and an important role to the public forum as we need 21st century education for all people.

    1. Phillip Torrone says:


  2. drwho8 (@drwho8) says:

    I quite agree!
    The Library not too long ago hosted a handsome print on demand station. Strangely enough it looks to be the same unit that’s now in residence at the BPL (Brooklyn Public Library) at Grand Army Plaza. When it was residing at the library on 34ST at Madison, I never saw anyone actually making use of the service.

    The NYPL needs the money to expand its offerings and that should include all of the above and a better method to offer books. (Computers are nice, but better ones are nicer.)

  3. Halfvast Conspirator (@halfvastcnsprtr) says:

    Does anyone have a parts/price list for what it would take to set up such a thing(s)? And ongoing support and operating costs? Say for a basic -> full type of operation. some incremental growth path from basic to full-up operation? How does that compare to whatever a library spends on books and computers and such?

  4. Brooklyn librarian says:

    Yes, Brooklyn PL is now hosting an Espresso Book Machine (that print on demand station). It’s not up and running yet, but stay tuned. As for what NYPL is doing, I can’t speak to that, but I do think that however public libraries evolve in the coming decades, the best we can try to do is act in the spirit of amgibb’s comment while still not losing sight of the value of our more low-tech services and collections.

  5. Gimme shelter « Reel Librarians says:

    […] Reimagining the Library for the Future @ The New York Public Library ( […]

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