Since opening its doors in 1895, The New York Public Library has been at the forefront of public access to knowledge and has grown into one of the world's foremost cultural institutions. The Library operates 90 libraries throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and a website that receives more than 26 million visits each year. Its mission—to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen communities—represents the Library's active engagement in meeting users' 21st-century needs.
The Library serves an immensely diverse range of users, from preschoolers to adults, from immigrants needing help with English to esteemed writers and scholars. 18 million people come through the Library's doors each year, and many of them attend the thousands of free exhibitions and public programs the Library offers, including classes in computers and technology, job-search techniques, and English as a second language.
NYPL is home to four world-class research centers: the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in Harlem; the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; the Science, Industry and Business Library in midtown; and the landmark 42nd Street Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (housing NYPL's collections in humanities and social sciences).
Today, NYPL is focused on growing New York City's human and intellectual capital as part of its vision of the "Library for the Future." Neighborhood libraries serve as digital access hubs, providing free wireless access to the Internet and close to 4,000 free public-access computers. All over New York and the world, NYPL invites users to actively engage with Library communities—to "Discover, Connect, and Get Inspired."