BOOKS
05/12/2011 01:09 pm ET Updated Jul 12, 2011

New York Public Library Centennial Reminds Us Why Libraries Still Matter

There are bigger and busier libraries in America, but none more iconic than the main branch of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, that stately, marble Beaux-Arts temple of knowledge whose entrance is flanked by two enormous stone lions. May 23 is the 100th anniversary of the edifice (which was renamed the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in 2008, after the financier donated $100 million toward a major renovation).

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