Magazine article American Libraries

$1-Billion NYPL Expansion to Add Branches, Technology

Magazine article American Libraries

$1-Billion NYPL Expansion to Add Branches, Technology

Article excerpt

New York Public Library announced a five-year, $1-billion expansion March 11 with the goal of doubling its number of unique users.

Adopted after an 18-month study, the improvement plan has three major elements, the library said in a press release. A $300-million renovation of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library on 5th Avenue will transform it into a Central Library. "It's going to be an integrated research and circulating library," Herb Scher, NYPL director of public relations, told American Libraries, noting that it last functioned as a circulating library in 1970. The renovated library will also feature improved exhibition spaces, hundreds of new computers, wireless access, meeting rooms, programming venues, and a cafe. Scher said the renovation is planned for completion in 2014.

Two new hub libraries, in northern Manhattan and Staten Island, will be built at an anticipated cost of $80 million. These will offer expanded services similar to those of the Bronx Library Center, including seven-day-a-week hours, dedicated teen and children's areas, and a variety of classes and events tailored to the community. Another $130 million will be used for online expansion, including expanded digital content, systemwide technology upgrades, a new online catalog in 2009, and the newly launched "NYPL Labs," which will create and test information-delivery methods.

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Additional money will be used for branch refurbishment ($130 million); construction of a new Library Services Center in Long Island City and a new Donnell Library ($60 million); and endowment funds for acquisitions, processing, preservation, educational outreach, staff scholarships, and general operations ($300 million). …

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