What stretches 88 miles with 87 branches?

As some of the curious g readers may know, I am a huge fan of the New York Public Library (NYPL). It’s a fabulous system and a wonderful resource that is readily available to New Yorkers in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. (Brooklyn and Queens have their own branch library systems, more on that later).

NYPL @100, celebrating reading and research, Patience and Fortitude,

With 88 miles of books, 87 branches throughout the three boroughs and extensive hours, even in this depleted economy, NYPL is one of my favorites places in the city. I love the way Patience (south lion) and Fortitude (north lion), are situated in front – lovingly guarding the main branch between 40th and 42nd on Fifth Avenue. With its newly-revealed restored façade, the building sits as a majestic entrance to uptown Manhattan.

In a city with five boroughs, why you ask, do Brooklyn and Queens have their own library systems? My curiosity has been sated. Brooklyn was an independent city until its consolidation with New York City in 1898. In 1901, Queens was consolidated into NYC and its branch libraries were united. Combining the three unique library systems has been considered, but never realized.

NYPL is celebrating its 100th. Happy Birthday, and here’s to us who reap the benefits:

Listen to Elaine Charnov, director of education, programming and exhibitions at the New York Public Library, talk to WNYC’s Leonard Lopate about the exhibition “Celebrating 100 Years.”

Sculptor Edward Clark Potter designed Patience and Fortitude in 1911. They’re carved from Tennessee Pink marble in 1916. Image of Fortitude is from Wikimedia Commons and is in the public domain.

2 Responses to “What stretches 88 miles with 87 branches?”

  1. LennyD Says:

    It’s amazing in a city of millions of people that the system works – and works well. I’m with ya, I LOVE the NYPL and take full advantage of its riches.

    One note: let’s hope they keep the Bronx branches hours intact.

  2. Janet Giampietro Says:

    Hi LennyD:

    Thanks for the comment. I filled in the online petition/letter to the mayor et al, and got a form response a few days ago indicating that the hours were not cut that badly. I hope that’s true for the Bronx branches too.


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