Our Events

Danielle Arceneaux, S.J. Rozan, and Paul Vidich talk mysteries in the Members' Room, December 2023.
Danielle Arceneaux, S.J. Rozan, and Paul Vidich talk mysteries in the Members' Room, December 2023.

Our Events Winter-Spring 2024

Our calendar combines in-person and livestreamed events. Click on any event title for more details and to register where required.

Events are added throughout the season. Join our mailing list to get the word first.

Registration is required for all events unless individual listings state otherwise, and space is limited. Please see individual listings for details on time, format, and location. Many events are open to the public, with some for members only; check individual listings for details. For Members' Room events, check-in begins thirty minutes prior to the stated start time. Registrants are asked not to arrive for check-in prior to that time. A seat cannot be guaranteed after an event has begun.

All start times are U.S. Eastern.

Exhibitions | Special Events | Performances | Lectures, Conversations & Panels | Poetry | The Writing Life | Seminars & Reading Groups | Children's & Young Adult Events | Informal & Informational Gatherings


A Belief in Books: The 270th Anniversary Exhibition

open to the public in the Peluso Family Exhibition Gallery January 18-December 31, 2024

Established in 1754, the New York Society Library is the city's oldest cultural institution and one of the first libraries in the United States. The Library founders were all committed to Enlightenment values - but also to the idea that slavery was part of the natural world order. The ships that carried books from London also carried enslaved Africans to the American and Caribbean colonies. A Belief in Books examines this history in the context of books from the Library's collection between 1754 and the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. A new selection of 18th-century books now on display!


NURSE! A Solo Show by Ayun Halliday

Saturday, June 22, 7:00 PM | Members' Room | open to the public | $20 per person | registration required
Inspired in part by the life of Kate Claxton, ingenue turned entrepreneur-of-a-certain age, who made misfortune into a meal ticket, spending decades recounting the events of the Brooklyn Theatre Fire to sold-out crowds, Juliet’s Nurse hits the lecture circuit to set the record straight. Teenagers! Aging! Sex! Shakespeare! Nurse demands the last word on the greatest love story ever told.

Lectures, Conversations & Panels

Roxana Robinson, Leaving, with Amanda Vaill

Tuesday, June 18, 6:00 PM | Members' Room & Livestream | open to the public | free of charge | registration required
What risks would you be willing to take to fall in love again? In this one-of-a-kind event, Roxana Robinson discusses her novel Leaving with Amanda Vaill.

Elizabeth Birkelund, A Northern Light in Provence and Lorenzo Carcaterra, Nonna Maria and the Case of the Lost Treasure

Wednesday, June 26, 6:00 PM | Members' Room & Livestream | open to the public | free of charge | registration required
A woman leaves her coastal Greenland village to translate the works of a renowned Proven├žal poet and finds her life irrevocably changed. “One of the most charming amateur sleuths ever created” (Tess Gerritsen) dodges assassins and hunts for hidden treasure. In this one-of-a-kind event, bestselling authors Elizabeth Birkelund and Lorenzo Carcaterra discuss their latest fiction and the charms and challenges of their European settings.

Morgan Talty, Fire Exit: A Novel

Thursday, June 27, 6:00 PM | Livestream (online only) | open to the public | free of charge | registration required
From the award-winning author of Night of the Living Rez, Morgan Talty’s debut novel, Fire Exit, is a masterful and unforgettable story of family, legacy, bloodlines, culture and inheritance, and what, if anything, we owe one another.


More to come!

The Writing Life


for members only | free of charge | registration required
Join your fellow member writers for a fun and stimulating hour+ of prompts, writing, and sharing. Sessions are separate - attend any or all.

In person with Carol Weston
Thursday June 13

Seminars & Reading Groups

Springtime with Henry James: One Novel, One Novella, and Seven Tales, taught by Jane Mallison

Wednesdays April 17, May 8, May 29, June 26, 11:00 AM | Whitridge Room | for members only | $100 for the four sessions/$25 per session | registration required
“We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” Henry James put these highly quotable lines into the mouth of the main character of “The Middle Years.” In this four-session seminar, we’ll read that tale and three others that James wrote about authors.

Seminar: “What A Lark! What a Plunge!” Mrs. Dalloway at 100, with Nicholas Birns

Wednesdays May 15, June 12, 11:00 AM | Whitridge Room | for members and their guests | $50 for the two sessions | registration required
2025 will see the hundredth anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Reading Merve Emre’s recent annotated edition, published by W. W. Norton, we will explore such themes as the aftermath of war; life in the modern city; depression and its treatment; and the possible lingering effects of the 1918 pandemic, all juxtaposed with perhaps the most memorable party in modern literature.

Children's and Young Adult Events


View our playlist of recorded children's events here.

Informal and Informational Gatherings

270th Anniversary Building Tour

Sunday June 16, 2:00-3:00 PM
Reference Room | open to the public | free of charge | drop in

Every 15 minutes beginning at 2:00 PM, with the last tour of the day beginning at 2:45 PM


weekdays, 3:00 to 3:30 PM
Reference Room | open to the public | free of charge; donations welcome | drop in

Take a break for tea, coffee, and cookies in our first-floor public Reference Room.

The Library will be closed all day Wednesday, June 19, for Juneteenth. Otherwise we observe normal hours.

A Belief in Books is generously supported by Elizabeth A.R. Brown and Ralph S. Brown, Jr., The Felicia Fund, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso, The Hazen Polsky Foundation, The H.W. Wilson Foundation, and Humanities New York.

The Writing Life events in 2024 are generously underwritten by Jenny Lawrence.