New York Public Library - Tompkins Square Branch

331 East 10th Street
New York, NY 10009

United States


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Branch History

The Tompkins Square Branch of The New York Public Library has been serving residents of Manhattan's Lower East Side since 1904. Historically, it dates back to 1887, when it opened as the Fifth Street Branch of the Aguilar Free Library. The branch relocated three times before moving to its present site facing Tompkins Square Park. Designed by the famous architects McKim, Mead and White and constructed with funds donated to the City by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the three-story branch has 16-foot ceilings and a spacious children's room on the second floor. Traditionally, Tompkins Square has served varied ethnic populations, including German, Italian, Jewish, Polish, and Ukrainian, and, since the 1960s, a thriving arts community (an art gallery in the basement features shows by local artists). A major renovation of the branch, as part of the Library's Adopt-A-Branch program, was completed in 1996.

Collections & Services

* Book collections for all ages available for borrowing and use in the library
* Materials in languages other than English, including Spanish and Chinese
* Video library of 2,000 tapes for all ages
* Community Information collection
* Personal computer for public use programs by appointment
* Internet access for free public use by appointment


* Picture books, preschool films, and other programs for children
* Saturday drawing classes for adults
* Original artwork by local downtown artists displayed in art gallery
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