New York's New Door to the Information Age

By Harriott, Esther | American Libraries, June-July 1996 | Go to article overview

New York's New Door to the Information Age


Harriott, Esther, American Libraries


NYPL OPENS ITS SCIENCE, INDUSTRY, AND BUSINESS LIBRARY IN TIME FOR AL CONFERENCE GOERS

When the new Science, Industry, and Business Library, known as SIBL, opened May 2, the occasion not only marked the conclusion of New York Public Library's yearlong centennial celebration, it also launched a new era in the institution's history. SIBL occupies part of an early-twentieth-century landmark building, the former B. Altman department store; but its interior has been transformed by the architects Gwathmey Siegel & Associates into a library for the twenty-first century.

"SIBL is the nation's premier public information center devoted to science and business," said NYPL President Paul LeClerc. "It puts the New York Public Library in the forefront of the information revolution and, in our second century of service, reaffirms the library's mission to make all its resources available to everyone."

Computer and telecommunications technologies connecting SIBL to other libraries, educational institutions, offices, and homes here and abroad will give its users, both inside and outside its walls, access to a world of electronic information. This is not to say that books have vanished, or that reading-room coziness has been replaced by high-tech impersonality: Just beyond the entrance lobby on Madison Avenue at 34th Street, visitors entering the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Circulating Library and Reading Room, named for its donors, are greeted with the reassuring sight of a block-long wall lined with 50,000 books. They can browse through these shelves, look at current business and science magazines, check out books, or sit and read at the comfortable chairs and tables, just as they would in any library.

What is different is almost invisible: wiring that permits users to plug in their laptop computers, connecting them to all of NYPL's online catalogs--both branch and research collections--and to its World Wide Web site on the Internet. Those without their own laptops can use the eight online terminals in the Cullman library for access to the same information. Or they can go to the lower level--which encompasses the rest of SIBL's public space and is reached by staircase or glass elevator--to tap into these networked connections at the 42 terminals of the Online Catalog Center.

Next to the Online Catalog Center is the B. Altman Delivery Desk, where users pick up books and periodicals that are transported on automated book lifts from the five upper levels of stacks, compressed into what used to be three sales floors. The stacks hold 1.2 million books and more than 110,000 periodical titles, which, along with a vast collection of patents and a collection of approximately l million items on microform, constitute the research collections. Together with the 50,000-volume circulating collection, these holdings, enhanced by electronic resources, make SIBL one of the world's largest public libraries in its field.

The two public service levels are architecturally united by the 33-foot-high ceiling of Healy Hall, an atrium that serves as the main lobby for the lower level and as a reception area for events--business seminars and meetings, lectures, and workshops--held in the adjacent conference center. Donor PaineWebber Group Inc. named the hall in memory of Timothy S. Healy, NYPL president from 1989 to 1992. Ten electronic kiosks, developed and donated by the IBM Corporation (which also donated 60 workstations), are placed at strategic points on both levels of this user-friendly library to guide visitors to SIBL's array of resources and services.

Users looking for specialized information are likely to head for the McGraw Information Services Center, where they will find a profusion of free services, from research assistance by subject specialists to information tailored to specific kinds of users. "SIBL's programs were developed to meet the needs of people in the business and science communities at every level of experience," said William D. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

New York's New Door to the Information Age
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.