NEW YORK — A rooftop terrace in Midtown Manhattan topped by a whimsical “wizard’s hat,” a light-filled long room with five levels of browsable book stacks, a center serving lifelong learners, a dedicated floor for kids and teens where they can see behind the scenes as books are sorted, and more await New Yorkers at the city’s newest library.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL), the New York Public Library’s (NYPL) wholly remade central circulating branch, is officially open as of June 1, 2021. The transformation of the library was made possible in part by a $55 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), the second-largest one-time individual gift in NYPL’s history.
“It is the central circulating library New York City has long needed, wanted, and deserves,” said NYPL President Anthony W. Marx. “As we all look towards our next chapter of recovery and renewal, it is important that public infrastructure be strong, and education and opportunity be readily and freely accessible. There is no greater public project than this one to accomplish those goals."
"This library is exactly what New York needs right now: a truly open and public place accessible to all, where people of all ages and backgrounds can experience wonder, grow in their understanding of the world, and launch on new trajectories that enrich life for all of us,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos. “Thriving public space is space that people can truly make their own, where everyone belongs, and SNFL is beautifully designed to encourage just that. As New Yorkers and global citizens, we could not be prouder and more excited for all SNFL has to offer the city in the years to come.”
The library partially opened in summer 2020 to offer grab-and-go service through the pandemic, and has since welcomed visitors in a phased opening.
SNFL has delighted patrons and the press, earning glowing reactions in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Architectural Digest.