The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL), NYPL’s Reimagined Central Circulating Library, Is Now Open
03 June 2021

A rooftop terrace in Midtown Manhattan topped by a whimsical “wizard’s hat,” a light-filled long room with five levels of browsable book stacks, a center serving lifelong learners, a dedicated floor for kids and teens where they can see behind the scenes as books are sorted, and more await New Yorkers at the city’s newest library.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL), the New York Public Library’s (NYPL) wholly remade central circulating branch, is officially open as of June 1, 2021. The transformation of the library was made possible in part by a $55 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), the second-largest one-time individual gift in NYPL’s history.


“It is the central circulating library New York City has long needed, wanted, and deserves,” said NYPL President Anthony W. Marx. “As we all look towards our next chapter of recovery and renewal, it is important that public infrastructure be strong, and education and opportunity be readily and freely accessible. There is no greater public project than this one to accomplish those goals."

"This library is exactly what New York needs right now: a truly open and public place accessible to all, where people of all ages and backgrounds can experience wonder, grow in their understanding of the world, and launch on new trajectories that enrich life for all of us,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos. “Thriving public space is space that people can truly make their own, where everyone belongs, and SNFL is beautifully designed to encourage just that. As New Yorkers and global citizens, we could not be prouder and more excited for all SNFL has to offer the city in the years to come.”

The library partially opened a year ago to offer grab-and-go service through the pandemic, and COVID-19 precautions remain in place: the rooftop and adult learning center remain closed for now, and in-person programs are not yet on offer.

SNF support for SNFL builds on a long-term vision for helping create thriving public space for all, through efforts like the Stavros Niarchos Foundation-Lincoln Center Agora Initiative. Support for libraries has been a particular focus, including to NYPL from the Foundation’s earliest years, and to the National Library of Greece, now at home in state-of-the-art facilities at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.

 

View the full opening ceremony.