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The New York Public Library launched on Monday a limited-edition library card highlighting the message behind all public libraries: knowledge is power. The special black and silver card serves as a reminder to New Yorkers to fight misinformation, stay informed, and, of course, visit your local library. The card is available at NYPL‘s 92 locations across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island for a limited time.
Photo inside the Guggenheim via Flickr cc
For those New Yorkers who haven’t gotten their IDNYC, there’s now a new way to gain free access to museums across the city–your library card. Today, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), the New York Public Library (NYPL), and Queens Library launched Culture Pass, “a joint library-led, city-wide initiative providing free access to more than 30 museums and cultural institutions across all five boroughs available to every NYC library card holder.” According to a press release, all card holders have to do is go online to reserve a free day pass for themselves and up to three guests at 33 cultural organizations, from the Whitney Museum and MoMA (where regular adult entry is $25/person) to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Wave Hill.
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Photo via Jeffrey Zeldman/Flickr
The New York Public Library first roared into existence on May 23, 1895, educating and inspiring countless millions, free of charge. The Library’s 92 locations include four research divisions and hold over 51 million items. Out of all these tomes, the greatest tale might be Library’s own history: Founded by immigrants and industrialists, it was equally admired by William Howard Taft and Vladimir Lenin; open to all, it has counted among its staff American Olympians and Soviet spies; dedicated to intellectual exploration and civic responsibility, it has made its map collection available to buried treasure hunters and Allied Commanders; evolving with the city itself, it has made branch locations out of a prison, a movie theater, and most recently, a chocolate factory. The history of the New York Public Library is as vital and various New York itself, so get ready to read between the lions.
The 123-year-old history of the NYPL
The holiday season in New York is one of the most magical times, packed with lots of events to perpetuate the experience. Aside from ice skating, holiday-themed bars, and the tree at Rockefeller Center, be sure to tuck into these art exhibitions and events to get you into the spirit! From old standbys like the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show to contemporary offerings like Yayoi Kusama’s glittering installations in Chelsea and Erwin Redl’s haunting field of glowing orbs at Madison Square Park, we’ve rounded up the 14 best must-see artsy exhibits this year.
Our top picks right this way
New 40th Street entrance. Credit: Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle
At a Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday evening, The New York Public Library revealed the $317 million master plan that will guide the renovation of the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The plan was developed by Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and the NYC-based Beyer Blinder Belle. The historic Midtown Beaux-Arts building is home to one of the nation’s leading research libraries as well as historic spaces like the landmarked Rose Main Reading Room, the Maps, Periodicals, and Genealogy reading rooms, and Astor Hall.
This way for more renderings and what’s to come
In May, State Senators Brad Hoylman and Liz Krueger drafted a letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission asking them to designate the Rose Main Reading Room (one of the largest uncolumned interior spaces in the world) and the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room at the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 5th Avenue as interior landmarks. Though the LPC has been criticized in the past for their backlog of potential landmarks, they quickly put the request on their schedule and just this morning voted unanimously in favor of the designations, which protect the spaces’ murals, decorative plasterwork, metal and woodwork, light fixtures, windows, doors, balconies, built-in bookcases, and decorative elements.
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Toilet Paper Paradise by Plamen Pletkov
In a city where hundreds of interesting events occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Ahead Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer shares her top picks for 6sqft readers!
If you haven’t been to the Cadillac House–the cultural venue by the car company–now is the time to check it out, as two artists take over the space with room-sized installations perfect for Instragramming. Mo Scarpelli’s compelling documentary about journalists in Afghanistan plays at St. Bartholomew’s Church, and Amelie plays at Videology. Get an insider’s tour of the historic New Yorker Hotel, then stay after hours at the gorgeous New York Public Library. The famed Salmagundi Club will stay open all night for a draw-a-thon, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts hosts another great Gala at the Conrad. Finally, Beau Stanton transforms his artwork into a special stop-motion film at Brilliant Champions.
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Image: Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle
Hot on the heels of wrapping a major renovation and hosting an epic reopening for the Rose Reading Room at their flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the NYPL is now moving forward with another mammoth revamp on its Mid-Manhattan Library. Last September, the library revealed that Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo had been tasked with the $300 million overhaul of both the flagship and the Mid-Manhattan branch at Fifth Avenue and 40th Street. And now, the NYPL is offering us our first look at the latter, a project they are calling a “state-of-the-art library that will serve as both a model and catalyst for a rejuvenated library system.”
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With over four million research books in their possession, finding a place for each and every title has been an ongoing challenge for the New York Public Library (NYPL). First starchitect Norman Foster was brought in to help remedy the issue, but his plans for expansion were dropped when researchers realized a redesign would mean moving 1.5 million books to Jersey for an undefined amount of time; and more recently, the library unveiled a brand new $23M storage facility below Bryant Park, complete with a $2.3M “Book Train” able to zip miles of volumes across the library’s 11 floors. But even with this new facility, space remains a challenge. So in hopes of increasing capacity, the NYPL has decided to abandon the Dewey Decimal System for a more space-friendly cataloging system. Yes, when it comes to sorting, subject is no longer of interest—rather, it’s size that matters.
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The New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room and Bill Blass Public Catalog Room officially reopened to the public today at 10 AM. Early this morning, NYPL staff held a ribbon-cutting celebration for two adjacent spaces located on the third floor of the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 5th Avenue. Both rooms had been closed to the public for more than two years for repairs and restorations.
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