Reading and Study Spaces Availability & Policies during the pandemic

The building is open to members for reading and study. On this page, you will find a few key reminders about our new policies in the age of COVID-19, changes and access floor by floor, other services available, how to reach us now that some of our staff are working on-site and some are remote, how to book study spaces, space availability chart, and our revised and updated hours. As always, don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.  


  • MASKS (mouth and nose covering) are mandatory at all times throughout the building. 
  • EVERYONE must check in at Circulation Desk upon arrival. When you check in, please let us know how you plan to use the Library so we can direct you and issue seat tickets or room keys. Bring your Library card to scan for faster check in.
  • Please stay 6 feet apart wherever possible and remember that the main elevator is limited to 2 people (or 1 family) at a time, and the stacks elevator is limited to 1 person (or 1 family).
  • Hand sanitizing stations, disposable gloves, and disposable wipes are available for use throughout the building. Please be a good citizen and use them!
  • Please stay home if you are sick, unwell, have a fever or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive for COVID-19, have been in close proximate contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or have recently traveled to a state on New York’s travel advisory list.




  • Check in at the Circulation Desk and let us know what space(s) you will be using
  • No member/non-member seats are available in the Reference Room at this time
  • A second check-out station is set up in the Reference Room. If you do not have a reservation for a study space, you may check at the Reference Desk for walk-in availability and/or put your name on the waitlist for your preferred space.



The Peluso Family Exhibition Gallery is open to members and the public at limited capacity.

Members’ Room capacity is limited to 12 seats on a first-come-first-served basis. Magazines and newspapers are accessible, but please use provided hand sanitizer/gloves.



Children’s Library remains open for book browsing/book check-out only. A ticket is required for each visitor and the capacity is limited to 5.

Whitridge Room capacity is limited to 4 seats. Reserve a seat in advance and pick up your ticket at the Circulation Desk when you arrive or pick up a walk-in ticket in the Reference Room.  

Little Whit capacity is limited to 4 seats. Reserve a seat in advance and pick up your ticket at the Circulation Desk when you arrive or pick up a walk-in ticket in the Reference Room.



Individual Study Rooms. Reserve a room in advance and pick up your key at the Circulation Desk when you arrive or pick up a walk-in ticket in the Reference Room.

Hornblower Room capacity is limited to 12 seats. Reserve a seat in advance and pick up your ticket at the Circulation Desk when you arrive or pick up a walk-in ticket in the Reference Room.

Lockers have been assigned for Jan - Jun 2021. If you would like to be added to the waitlist for a locker next term, please inquire at the Circulation Desk. 



  • 13 seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Pick up a ticket in the Reference Room.
  • Member terminals with printers are available on stacks 5 and 6 only



  • Laptops are available for check-out while in the building. Ask at the Circulation Desk. Laptops will be cleaned between member use.
  • Interlibrary Loan – we will do our best, but not all libraries are open or fulfilling requests at this time. Email ill@nysoclib.org.
  • Reference Questions or Requests – best way to reach us is by emailing reference@nysoclib.org
  • Special Collections – consult our Special Collections Librarian for questions or assistance at rare_books@nysoclib.org
  • Remote Services – electronic resources and events are available from wherever you are



Book Requestsrequests@nysoclib.org212-288-6900 x211
Children’s Librarychildren@nysoclib.org212-288-6900 x424
Events Departmentevents@nysoclib.org 
Head Librariancwaters@nysoclib.org212-288-6900 x244
Help Deskhelp@nysoclib.org 
Interlibrary Loanill@nysoclib.org 
Membership & Developmentmembership@nysoclib.org212-288-6900 x214
Reference Deskreference@nysoclib.org212-288-6900 x202
Special Collections/Rare Books/Archivesrare_books@nysoclib.org 
Space Booking Requestsrequests@nysoclib.org 
Space Availability chart  




Monday / Friday10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday / Sunday11:00 AM – 5:00 PM