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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 NYPL's Grab & Go Pickup Service

NYPL is currently offering contactless "Grab-and-Go" pickups of physical library materials from 30 branches across Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx. This service allows users to return materials and pick up holds with minimal stress and exposure. Review this short tutorial for a step-by-step breakdown of the Grab-and-Go process, as well as a directory of library branches participating in the program. 

Grab & Go Logo

Using NYPL's Scan & Deliver Service

The New York Public Library offers remote access to portions of its vast research collections via Scan & Deliver, an electronic document delivery service. Cardholders can request selections from books or articles from scholarly journals, and the Library will scan and deliver them via email.

As of September 2020, more Library collection items than ever before are eligible for this service; all of those eligible items will have a Request button in NYPL's Shared Collection Catalog.

New York Public Library Online Collections: Highlights

‚ÄčE-Books & Audiobooks: A collection of over 300,000 e-Books, Audiobooks, and Magazines. In addition to bestsellers, popular magazines, and materials for individuals with print disabilities, NYPL's "E-Book Central" page also offers access to scholarly works like Oxford University's "Very Short Introductions" series. 

Digital Collections: With nearly 900,000 digitized images from NYPL's collections, the Digital Collections are a "living database" featuring high resolution prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, historical videos and film, and more. An incredible resource for academic research, creative inspiration, and recreation. 

Research & Academic Resources: NYPL's remote research offerings serve as an excellent supplement to Pratt Libraries' online collections. In addition to its suite of academic e-books and full-text article databases, NYPL offers online research assistance from research librarians and curators, as well as remote access to the popular genealogy site Ancestry.com. 

Archives & Manuscripts: These vast holdings include diary and journal entries from notable historical figures, drafts of famous literary works, historical memorabilia, and archival audio recordings, film, and videos. Featured collections include the papers of author James Baldwin and musician Lou Reed. 

Community Support Resources: A curated list of local community organizations offering business, career, and financial support, health and wellness materials, food security information, and resources related to affordable housing and tenant's rights. 

Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List: A selection of nearly 100 books of different genres related to the African diaspora, African American experience, and Black liberation movements. Many of these titles are available in both print and eBook form. 

Navigating New York Public Library's Online Collections

NYPL has developed a clear and approachable guide to navigating its vast online collections. Among other things, this guide offers best practices for starting your research, a breakdown of subject-specific research guides, tips on effective database searching, and current and historical newspapers available to browse. In addition, NYPL's research blog features database walkthroughs and interviews with historians and researchers who use NYPL's online collections to explore subjects like the Women's Suffrage Movement, Food History, and the Salem Witch Trials.  

Tune in to the Sounds of New York City

With much of New York City currently shut down, many of us are missing the vibrant sights and sounds that make life here so special. Thankfully, NYPL's got us covered. They've recently released an anthology of soundscapes titled Missing Sounds of New York, a "combination of familiar, ambient canvasses on which mini stories are placed." Who knew the sounds of screeching subway cars and bustling parks could be so comforting? 

                                                                Missing Sounds of New York