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New York City Public Libraries

A guide to the three public library systems of our city. No matter which borough you live in, you can get a free library card at all three systems.

Branches closest to Hostos

NYPL map 115th St.

 125th St.

Countee Cullen

Hamilton Grange


Macomb's Bridge

Mott Haven

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture 

To see all the NYPL branches, click here.

Special nearby libraries

image credit: New York Public Library

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is one of NYPL's four research libraries, and has valuable special collections.

It is usually open later than other branches, and also holds many  interesting public events.  It's only one subway stop away from Hostos on the downtown 2 train, near the subway exit at 135th Street.

Just a few stops north of Hostos (near Fordham Road), the Bronx Library Center is the biggest NYPL branch in the Bronx.  It is also usually open later than other branches, and has free public performances and many free classes.

Freedom to read

Across the country, an alarming number of attempts are being made to remove books from public and school libraries. The American Library Association has found that 4,240 books were targeted for censorship in 2023, a 65% increase over the already high number of 2,571 books the year before.

A disproportionate number of the books being targeted are written by and/or about Black people and history, Indigenous people and history, other people of color, and people who identify as LGBTQ+. 

There have been local movements to defund public libraries, harrassment and threats against individual librarians who have resisted censorship, and bills introduced (usually at the state level) to criminalize libraries for creating access to books that others object to.

Learn about how New York City's public libraries have been fighting back to defend everyone's freedom to read:

Books for All (NYPL)

Books Unbanned (Brooklyn Public Library)

Banned Books Week at Queens Library.

To learn more and find out how to support anti-book-banning efforts, see United Against Book Bans (a project of the American Library Association) and the advocacy group Every Library.

Culture pass

You can use your library card from the New York Public Library, or the Brooklyn Public Library, or the Queens Public Library, to gain FREE entrance into a wide range of museums and other cultural institutions through Culture Pass !  You do have to make a reservation online.

See the Culture Pass website for more details. 

Digital images from NYPL Collections

Bronx real estate ad    (Explore over 800,000 images in the NYPL Digital Collections!)

   Men in Harlem listening to radio, 1930's Design for Grand Central Terminal