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Best Libraries in NYC for Students

New York is the city of lights, sounds, and dramatic visuals. As a student living in New York City, it can often be difficult to find quiet places to study. A library offers a sanctuary where students can go and read in peace. New York City has several libraries, so read the list below to find one near you, no matter which university you are enrolled at or where your student housing is located. Keep reading to find out the best libraries in NYC and everything you need to know about them! 

1.  New York Public Library

(Address: 476 Fifth Avenue, Midtown West, Manhattan)

Situated in the heart of Manhattan, this is the largest library in the city that never sleeps. At any time of the day, you will find the library packed with all kinds of people. The library is also referred to as the central library of Manhattan One downside is that as a famous landmark, there are always people roaming about. But the reading rooms are very quiet. The woodwork is stunning and the giant halls give you a rare sense of space in an otherwise compact city. You are not allowed to eat in the reading rooms, but there is a cafe on the 1st floor and Bryant Park is right outside. Get your library card on the NYPL official website for free! 

Fun fact about NYPL: Movies like Ghostbusters, Spiderman, Ted 2 and Breakfast at Tiffany’s were filmed here. 

Note that NYPL has 93 branches spread across Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island. Some of the most popular branches are Bronx Public Library, Battery Park Library, New Dorp Library NYC, Yorkville Library NYC and Grand Central Library NYC. Wouldn’t be wrong to say that NYPL has given the best libraries in NYC for students to benefit from! 

Opening Hours:

1 PM to 4:45 PM on Sunday

10 AM to 5:45 PM on Monday

10 AM to 7:45 PM on Tuesday & Wednesday

10 AM to 5:45 PM from Thursday to Saturday

New York Public Library

2. Poets House

(Address: 10 River Terrace, Battery Park)

For students living in Downtown Manhattan, Poets House is a refuge from the hustle-bustle of the city. There is a large collection of poetry. By large, we mean over 70,000 poetry books and material! Apart from poetry, the library has a vast collection of multimedia, chapbooks, journals, magazines and a lot more! 

The first floor has comfortable seating that you can sink in with your laptop and workbook while enjoying the amazing views of the Hudson River and Battery Park. And like so many great initiatives in NYC, this library is completely free for use. 

Several workshops and exhibitions take place at Poets House every month. Keep a track of all of the happenings on their official website, so you don’t miss out on any of these events!

Opening Hours:

Tues to Fri: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Sat: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Poets House Library, New York City

3. Mid Manhattan Library at 42nd Street

(Address:  476 5th Ave, New York)

Located in the heart of Midtown, the Mid Manhattan Library is one of the most popular NYPL branches. You’ll find a massive collection of classic fiction, popular and most recent books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and online databases of all kinds here. If you are new in New York, know that this location is temporary while the permanent location on 5th Avenue is shut down for renovation. This library is also known as the Midtown Library. Become a member and enjoy special benefits like an annual invite to Library’s Holiday Open House and get frequent recommendations from the NYPL librarians. The membership fee pays for the majority of the operational expenses. A little expenditure shouldn’t stand in the way of wisdom, correct? 

The library is open all week.

Opening Hours:

Sunday 10 AM–5 PM

Monday 8 AM–8 PM

Tuesday 8 AM–9 PM

Wednesday 8 AM–9 PM

Thursday 8 AM–8 PM

Friday    8 AM–6 PM

Saturday 10 AM–6 PM

Mid Manhattan Libarary at 42nd Street

4. Brooklyn Public Library

(Address: 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, New York)

Standing at the door of the Brooklyn Public Library, one cannot help but appreciate the gorgeous architectural detail at the entrance. This library service is completely free and has a cafe inside, so you can refuel while studying. If you are studying in New York, you are eligible to get a free library card as well! 

The best part about this library is that it is full of events that are relevant to students. They host skill development workshops and have a Career and Business Center with tools to help with interview prep. To stay updated with the events and classes at Brooklyn Public Library, keep checking their official website. Sometimes, the reading rooms can get loud, so it is recommended to book a private room in advance if you really need to focus. 

Brooklyn Public Library

Opening hours:

Monday to Thursday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Friday and Saturday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Sunday: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

5.  Queens Library – Elmhurst

(Address: 86-07 Broadway, Elmhurst, Queens)

For those living in the Eastern borough of NYC, this library is a haven for students looking for a quiet place. It is modern and has sleek interiors makes it one of the most famous libraries in NYC. There are computer areas and reading rooms. They have over 4 million physical items and around 700,000 digital material. The library aims to provide free access to information for educational and recreational purposes. You can order a book at the Queens Library website and it gets delivered to this branch for easy pickup. The staff is helpful and efficient. You need a library card to access the wifi, but the library card is free. So head on to the reading atrium, find a comfy spot and cram all that study material into your brain before your next exam!

The library remains closed on Sundays. The opening hours of Queens Library are different every day, so we have listed them below to avoid any confusion.

Opening Hours:

Monday:  9:00 am – 8:00 pm  

Tuesday:  1:00 pm – 6:00 pm  

Wednesday:  10:00 am – 6:00 pm  

Thursday:  12:00 pm – 8:00 pm  

Friday:  10:00 am – 6:00 pm  

Saturday:  10:00 am – 5:00 pm  

Queens Library Elmhurst

6. St. Agnes Library  – NYPL

(Address: 444 Amsterdam Ave, Upper West Side)

St. Agnes is one of the best public libraries to study in NYC. This is a quiet place in the Upper West Side with plenty of light in the reading spaces. It is wheelchair accessible and they have a special collection of books for the blind as well.
This library is the perfect place for students living around the Upper West Side to find a peaceful space where they can study without being disturbed. Many cool exhibitions are held here often. Keep track of all the events happening at St Agnes on their official website. The library has gorgeous arch windows and detailed roofline, making this study spot super aesthetic.

Opening Hours:

Monday, Friday & Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM

Tuesday, Wednesday &Thursday: 10 AM–7 PM

St. Agnes Library NYPL

Hope you will begin to make the best use of the best libraries in NYC during your stay here. New York wouldn’t be New York without its libraries for sure!

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