NYPL – SNFL – Photo by Max Touhey

The Library system offers free books, virtual programs and resources, exhibitions and more for all ages at branches across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island

Looking for something to do over winter break? The New York Public Library has you covered, with free books, virtual programs and resources, exhibitions and more for New Yorkers of all ages at its 92 locations across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

While New York City public school students are on winter recess, and so many New Yorkers are off of work or hosting visitors, NYPL locations are expected to be open for regular hours (with the exception of December 24, 25, and 31 and January 1, when the Library system is closed for the holidays). There are a host of activities for New Yorkers and their families to participate in; for more and the latest updates, visit nypl.org. Please note that masks are required at all NYPL locations. Some highlights include:

  • Get a library cardGet a jump on 2022 resolutions: get a library card and save money and read more often in the new year. Anyone who lives and works in New York City can apply for and receive a card at any branch. 
  • Check out books: With a free library card, patrons can access over 6 million items from NYPL’s circulating collections, including physical books, e-books, and audio books. Patrons can visit branches to browse book displays and shelves, visit the catalog on NYPL.org and reserve a book for pick-up at branches, or download the SimplyE app and read from anywhere on any iOS or Android device. For those looking for reading recommendations, check out the Library’s Best Books of 2021 for adults, kids, and teens (recommended by expert librarians)
  • The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures: 250 rare and unique items from the Library’s research collections are on display in a free exhibition at the Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Items such as the stuffed animals that belonged to the real-life Christopher Robin and inspired the Winnie-The-Pooh stories and the Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson’s hand are on display, along with manuscripts, photographs, screenplays, sheet music, letters, drafts, and objects connected to Charles Dickens, Maya Angelou, Virginia Woolf, George Washington, Malcolm X, Ludwig von Beethoven, and any more. Free timed tickets are available at nypl.org/treasures.
  • The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL): On June 1, 2021, the Library opened its completely transformed central circulating library the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library on Fifth Avenue and 40th Street. The beautiful branch is a true destination, complete with public artwork (such as the ceiling installation “Instant Paradise” by Hayal Pozanti), a free rooftop terrace, an area for children (complete with a book sorter kids can watch and a set of Library lions made of LEGO), and a flagship teen center. The branch at 455 Fifth Avenue is a must-see for any New Yorker.
  • Virtual Fun: For New Yorkers more comfortable staying home, the Library offers a robust bank of virtual storytimes at nypl.org/storytime, a podcast about books and reading called The Librarian Is In, and many online events and classes. Additionally, for families, the Library has a host of virtual activities for kids, including online programs to make comics, watch animated picture books, and research family history.

About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is 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 serves nearly 17 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at nypl.org. 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 nypl.org/support.