Library also shares top e-book checkouts since the temporary closure of physical locations in March, providing a snapshot of what New Yorkers were reading during historic lockdown

JULY 27, 2020—Following its initial opening of eight branches for limited service on July 13, The New York Public Library will reopen 22 additional neighborhood branches for limited, grab-and-go service beginning on Monday, August 3. 

With these additional locations—temporarily closed since March 16 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19—The New York Public Library system (which serves the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island) will have 30 branches open for grab-and-go service, or about one-third of its neighborhood locations.

The Brooklyn and Queens Public Library systems are also planning to open additional locations beginning on Monday, August 10. 

The following additional NYPL branches will reopen on August 3:

The Bronx


*Please note that research libraries, including the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, continue to remain temporarily closed during these initial reopening phases, but will offer expanded Electronic Document Delivery (EDD) service for all collections collections. Patrons will be able to request scans of general collections material via the Shared Collections Catalog beginning in mid-August.

Staten Island

Hours for all of these grab-and-go branches will be 11 AM to 6 PM on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday; 12 PM to 7 PM on Wednesday; and 11 AM to 5 PM Friday and Saturday. 

At this time, New Yorkers:

  • Can access a small area of the open branches to pick up and return checkouts placed online or on the phone (the process will be contactless)
  • Must wear masks (this is mandatory, as per State guidelines)
  • Must physically distance from staff and other patrons
  • Must respect capacity limits inside the open locations 
  • Must leave the libraries as soon as their pickups or returns are complete; at this stage, there will be no browsing, in-person reference, or computer use.
  • Can continue to access programming, e-books, research databases, classes, and more virtually, via enhanced digital offerings that will remain in place; for the time being, in-person programs and classes will not
  • Can check out materials without accruing fines for the time being (fines will not accrue on items checked out before temporary closure or during this first phase of reopening)
  • Please note: all returned items will be quarantined for 96 hours before being recirculated, as per updated guidelines from public health authorities including the REALM Project (a research partnership between OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle). 

The first eight branches reopened on July 13, and include Belmont LibraryFrancis Martin Library, and Parkchester Library in The Bronx, George Bruce LibraryEpiphany Library, and Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL) (formerly known as Mid-Manhattan Library) in Manhattan, and Richmondtown Library and Todt Hill–Westerleigh Library in Staten Island. 

Since reopening, New Yorkers have reserved approximately 25,000 items. The most requested titles were:

  1. Too Much and Never Enough: How my family created the world’s most dangerous man by Mary L. Trump, PhD.
  2. The Dutch House: A Novel by Ann Patchett.
  3. The Order: A Novel by Daniel Silva.
  4. Blindside by James Patterson and James O. Born.
  5. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.
  6. The Guest List: A Novel by Lucy Foley.
  7. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.
  8. Normal People: A Novel by Sally Rooney
  9. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
  10. Such a Fun Age: A Novel by Kiley Reid.

While the Library continues the gradual reopening of its physical locations, it will continue to offer a wide range of free educational, cultural and business programs online for all New Yorkers, which are available here. This includes e-books via the Library’s e-reader SimplyE; since the Library’s temporary closure of physical locations began on March 16, the Library has had 65,000 new SimplyE users and had over 2 million e-checkouts.

The e-books New Yorkers checked out the most during lockdown are:

  1. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  2. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
  3. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
  4. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  5. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
  6. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  7. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
  8. How to Be an Antiracist by By Ibram X. Kendi
  9. Normal People: A Novel by Sally Rooney
  10. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

Several of the books—The Glass Hotel, My Dark Vanessa, and The Nickel Boys—were featured titles in the Library’s virtual book club with WNYC, a part of WNYC’s “Get Lit” book club with “All of It” host Alison Stewart. The Nickel Boys and How to Be an Antiracist were also featured on the Library’s Black Liberation Reading list, curated by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (one of the Library’s research centers) in response to the global uprisings calling for justice for Black lives.

For updates about open branches and continued plans for reopening, visit

 About The New York Public Library

For 125 years, The New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library receives approximately 16 million visits through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at

(credit Jonathan Blanc / NYPL)
(credit Jonathan Blanc / NYPL)

Media Contact: Amy Geduldig,