What to Expect Now that the Reading and Study Spaces are open

The building is now open to members for reading and study (as of Tuesday, September 8.) We want to provide members with information about what to expect when you return to the building. 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, 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.




  • To prevent overcrowding in the Circulation Hall and at the elevators, you may be asked to wait in the entry stairwell before checking in
  • 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



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.

Whitridge Room is reserved for consultation w/Children’s & YA Librarians and access to YA-Middle School and Chase Poetry Collection materials only.

Little Whit capacity is limited to 4 seats by timed entry. Reserve a seat one to two weeks in advance and pick up your ticket at the Circulation Desk when you arrive.



Individual Study Rooms. Reserve a room one to two weeks in advance and pick up your key at the Circulation Desk when you arrive.

Hornblower Room capacity is limited to 12 seats by timed entry. Reserve a seat one to two weeks in advance and pick up your ticket at the Circulation Desk when you arrive.

Locker usage will be extended to the end of the year for those who were issued lockers in January. If you no longer need your locker, please let us know so we can offer it to another member.



  • 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 – there is currently no on-site access to rare books or archives, but 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