Let The Lions Roar!

or… as Patience  and  Fortitude say  “Come on in!” to the Main Branch of the New York Public Library!
Patience and Fortitude
Patience and Fortitude in front  of New York Public Library  (photo: The consortium/flickr C)
 And see the newly renovated Rose Main  Reading Room
Rose Main Reading Room
Rose Main Reading Room.  After being closed for two years for renovation is now open to the public.
“Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You!”

There is so much to say about this Main Branch of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, I couldn’t figure out where to begin.  And, these days, it’s not all about books! So my first suggestion is go to the NYPL website https://www.nypl.org/  and spend some time reading about everything this  Main Branch has to offer. Then, when you’re done, look up the other branches and other major facilities (see in Kay’s Notes)  and do the same thing.  I was amazed, I think you will be too. I’ve described below several sections of the Library, but, and a big but, there is so much that I haven’t touched upon.

93,000 free programs a year across its 92 locations, from author talks and performances to exhibitions. Meet your favorite author, hear a live concert, or find something new at the Library.”

” Good News!”

There’s a  “train” inside the Main  Library that delivers materials  in less than 5 minutes! “The cars pick up requested  materials from the newly-expanded Milstein Research Stacks   (underground under Bryant Park)  – which now have two levels that can hold up to 4 million research volumes – and deliver the materials to library staff in two locations: one on the first floor and the other in the Rose Main Reading Room. Staff then provide the materials to researchers for use in the library.”

“Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”

Check out The Map Room, established in 1898,  is according, to the NYPL, one of the world’s premier map collections in terms of size, scope,and  unique holdings…established in 1898 with more than 433,000 sheet maps. And the room itself is simply beautiful.

Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division
“Strawberry Fields Forever”
Child’s Menu from 1907

Calling all foodies!  This main branch has over 45,000 menus dating from the  1840’s to the present.  They are also looking for volunteers to help with a major project for the collection to transcribe their historical restaurant menus so, as they put it, they can be more easily researched.  I haven’t done it yet, but it’s on my list. .   Go to Menus on the site – full details are there. menus@nypl.org

NYPL Lion SocksSpeaking of food…Amy’s Bread Cafe  has a location on the first floor  and don’t forget a stop at the Library Store  also on the first floor.   Lots of interesting things including these “lion” socks!

“The Best Things in Life are Free!”

Take the time to take the tour! Available everyday – check the website for times.  The Beau-Arts building itself is stunning and what it holds is beyond awesome.  Remember, the Library is free and in a city like New York costly  things are happening all the time, so knowing that there is a wonderful haven out there, to relax, to read, to learn, to be entertained and more and at no cost is, indeed, a New York treasure !

“I’ll See You Again”

Before I close, a post on nright-precous-daysthe New York Public Library wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention at least one book that I borrowed and  a note on what kind of wine I was drinking…rose’.  The lines below open the latest novel By Jay McInerney, Bright, Precious Days and took me by surprise.  Why?  Because I was in the midst of writing  this post, I  just had to figure out where to put it.  I decided to add it at the end.    So here it is…

“Once, not so very long ago, young men and women had come to the city because they loved books,  because they wanted to write novels or short stories or even poems, or because they wanted to be associated with the production  and distribution of those artifacts and with the people who created them. For those who haunted suburban libraries and provincial bookstores, Manhattan was the shining island of letters. “

And so it was and still is, as is the wonderful New York Public Library’s Main Branch  and the NYPL system itself.  If you haven’t been to one of these libraries lately or especially to the Main Branch, go and go again and keep going!

“To the Library and Beyond”
Psst… The Music Division  is at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center. Check it out !  Songs I use in this post  are in Kay’s Notes.
“The division has made the documentation of American classical and popular music a major priority. Collection efforts bring to the division a copy of almost every piece of classical and popular music published in the United States each year.”
Enjoy!  Love this City!


Important to know: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (the main branch) “Dedicated on May 23, 1911, the majestic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, houses outstanding research collections in the humanities and social sciences, as well as a circulating children’s collection; and plays host to numerous talks and special events. Standing proudly before this Beaux-Arts building are “New York’s most lovable public sculptures, the lions Patience and Fortitude.”

 The New York Public Library System’s other three major locations.

(The) Library’s strength in three areas in particular is so great that major facilities have been built to house them: The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (LPA), at Lincoln Center; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in Harlem; and theScience, Industry and Business Library (SIBL), in midtown Manhattan.

Interesting to know:  Pew Research :http://www.pewresearch.org.

Americans are {also} divided on a fundamental question about how books should be treated at libraries: 24% support the idea of moving books and stacks in order to make way for more community- and tech-oriented spaces, while 31% say libraries should not move the books to create such spaces. About four-in-ten think libraries should maybe consider doing so.  Plus further from Pew Research: 80% of those ages 16 and older say libraries should “definitely” offer programs to teach people, including kids and senior citizens, how to use digital tools like computers and smartphones.  September, 2016

Good to know: http://www.jaymcinerney.com/  Author,Bright,Precious Days”   Besides his great  novels  on NYC, he is also a wine aficionado and has written several books on the subject along with a column in the Wall Street Journal.

Where to eat:  Amy’s on the first floor for light food, sandwiches, plus the surrounding area is packed with restaurants.

Restrooms: On the first floor.

Kid Friendly: Not in all parts, but definitely in the Children’s Room on the first floor.

How to get there: Bus, subway, walking are the best. Parking difficult and expensive.  Easy location on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.  Can’t miss it!

Music acknowledgments: “Getting to Know You” from  The King and I;” To the Library and Beyond” from Matilda, the musical; “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” by Burt Bacharach; “Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Beatles; “The Best Things in Life are Free” by Ray Henderson; “Good News” by Ray Henderson; “I’ll See You Again” by Sir Noel Coward

Credits: The NYPL’s website  was the source for the information about the libraries  on this page and all   photographs.

Disclaimer: I try for correct info on my posts, but no guarantees people.





Author: Kay

I knew when I started my blog I wanted to reach out to seniors like myself. I wanted to share my stories and even be a bit of a tour guide on what I’ve learned and the fun I’ve had at famous and not so famous New York places.

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