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Unlocking Local Public Library Collections

This guide will walk you through signing up for an e-library card from NYPL, BPL, and QL, and will highlight a number of online resources as well as "Grab & Go" services available now from each library system.

Using this Guide

Though on-site library services are mostly on hold for now, our friends at nearby public libraries are working hard to expand their online collections and arrange for contactless "Grab & Go" pickups of library materials. The following guide explores recent expansions by New York Public Library (NYPL), Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), and Queens Library (QL) to their online collections. In addition, this guide breaks down the process of signing up for library cards and covers library services available from each system.

In response to the unprecedented crisis brought on by COVID-19, New York City's public libraries continue to expand their collections of:

  •  e-Books and magazines
  •  Audiobooks
  •  Research databases
  •  Music and video streaming platforms
  •  Image, photography, and local history collections
  •  Virtual arts and culture resources

For those of you with active public library cards, simply browse this guide to discover fun and useful resources. If you're in need of a library card, don't worry! The Getting Your e-Library Card page will walk you through the process of signing up for e-Cards with NYPL, BPL, and QL.  

Of course, all libraries look forward to reopening and serving our users face-to-face when we are safely able to. Until then, we hope these online resources help you in your academic and creative work and in finding books, movies, magazines, and other materials to make your time at home that much more enjoyable. 

Using Limited Book Pick Up and Return Services

Since the creation of this guide, local public libraries have begun introducing and expanding limited "Grab & Go" book pickup and return options at select NYPL, BPL, and QL branches. Click the links below to learn more about the services offered at each of these library systems, and to discover which library branches are currently open to the public: 

NYPL's Grab & Go Service 

BPL's Lobby Services 

QL's To-Go Service and Returns

Please remember that these services and webpages will likely be updated over time as the COVID-19 situation continues to develop in NYC. More information on these services can be found on the "resources" pages of this guide.