New Yorkers from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens share what they love about their neighborhood libraries.

Kids & Teens

Libraries are an invaluable resource for children, teens, and parents, providing a safe haven and wealth of activities for young people in communities where other after-school programs are nonexistent or prohibitively expensive.


New York City's seniors need places near their homes where they can easily access cultural resources, participate in intellectually engaging activities, and spend time with people of all ages—which is why so many treasure their neighborhood libraries.


The public library is the largest provider of services to immigrants in New York City. With free English classes, citizenship preparation, job search assistance, and a vast array of foreign language materials, it's no wonder that the first thing many do upon arrival in the city is go straight for their local library.

Career Services

Branch libraries provide a lifeline to New Yorkers looking for jobs. Patrons can access the internets, home relevant skills, polish their resumés, and receive personalized assistance with the search process.


Neighborhood Hub

As rare "third spaces" that allow community members to interact with each other outside of their workplaces and homes, branch libraries help to make neighbors out of New Yorkers of every stripe.

Literacy & Culture

Libraries have brilliantly adapted to our wired age, providing patrons with internet access, computer courses, and an array of activities not traditionally associated with libraries. But the classic role of libraries as places where anyone can explore humanity's cultural and intellectual achievements remains as important and appreciated as ever.


Storm Shelters

Superstorm Sandy was the deadliest hurricane of 2012; a storm surge topping nine feet hit New York City on October 29th. In its aftermath, libraries in heavily affected neighborhoods provided services and support to residents who had no other place to turn.

Community Investment

Despite budget cuts and perennially uncertain funding, libraries go above and beyond to serve their patrons. Additional resources would allow them to do even more.


Download the Book

Read stories from real NYC library patrons submitted for the 2013 NYC Neighborhood Library Awards, and learn about all of the amazing ways that local branches serve their communities every day.