Neighborhood Libraries

| February 26, 2018
Teachers College students and faculty have access to a wide range of materials and research resources.  Teachers college affiliates have many options on or near campus, from the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College, to all of the Columbia University Libraries as well as Barnard College Library and the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary.
Local public libraries also have rich collections and may have items unavailable through Teachers College or Columbia University.  Anyone who lives, works, attends school or pays property taxes in New York State is eligible to receive a New York Public Library card free of charge. Here we’d like to highlight some wonderful local libraries that our community has to offer.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture  135th St & Malcolm X Blvd.
One of the New York Public Library’s five research libraries, the Schomburg Center is an integral part of the Harlem community.  Comprised of five research divisions, the Schomburg Center is one of the world’s renowned library collections dedicated to the collection, preservation and dissemination of works by and about people of African descent throughout the world.  At the Schomburg Center, patrons will find not only books, newspapers, and periodicals documenting and discussing the African Diaspora, but also special rare book and manuscript collections featuring first editions of books such as Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Patrons can also view archival papers of writers, thinkers, activists and artists like James Baldwin and Jean Blackwell Hutson and listen to amazing recordings by artists and activists like Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Malcolm X, Shirley Chisholm and John Lewis. Visitors can also watch moving image works by directors like John Akomfrah, Julie Dash, William Greaves, Ayoka Chenzira and Oscar Micheaux. The Schomburg’s photograph collections feature prints from notable photographers like Gordon Parks and James van der Zee and the Art and Artifacts Division holds original artwork such as Aaron Douglas’s paintings and artifacts such as buttons from civil rights movements.  Also of special interest to educators may be the Schomburg’s Children Collection.  In addition to their remarkable collections, the Schomburg Center is also noted for its lively public programs, exhibitions and youth education projects.
The Hispanic Society Museum & Library  155th & Broadway
The Hispanic Society Library offers a comprehensive collection of research resources related to the history and culture of Spain, Portugal, and the Americas.  The library holds important manuscripts such as Zapotec Genealogy of Macuilxochitl, illuminated liturgical manuscripts and original editions of poetic works from many Spanish poets. While the collections cannot be taken out, anyone with a demonstrated research purpose is welcome to read in the modern library during opening hours and appointments can be made to look at the library’s rare books, manuscript or cartographic collections.  *Due to renovations, the library is currently only available by appointment.
New York Public Library Morningside Heights Branch  115th Street  & Broadway
The Morningside Heights Branch of the New York Public Library offers another welcoming space to study or relax. The library has books, audiobooks, videos and compact discs available to check out and programs an array of workshops, lectures and family activities for the public. Teachers College students and staff may be interested in their circulating picture books and juvenile fiction and non-fiction collections.
Harry Belafonte 115th Street Library
Located in Central Harlem, the Harry Belafonte Branch offers circulating collections and programming for adults, teens and children. The library also has computers available for public use.
Countee Cullen Library 136th St & Malcom X Blvd.
The original home of the Schomburg Collection, formerly known as the 135th Street Branch, the Countee Cullen Branch library is located in Central Harlem.  The library provides the neighborhood with circulating and reference collections including items focused on the African-American experience. The library is also home to the James Weldon Johnson Reference Collection for Children and offers an array of public programs for patrons of all ages.
How to Get A New York Public Library Card
As mentioned above and as stated on the NYPL website, any person who lives, works, attends school or pays property taxes in New York State is eligible to receive a New York Public Library card free of charge. Adults and teens can apply online or in person at any branch, children must apply in person with a parent or guardian.  
Anyone with an NYPL library account can also access the New York Public Library’s databases.  Some are available remotely while others are only accessible at NYPL research libraries. We hope you will enjoy visiting these and otehr local neighborhood libraries.  Whether for research, reading at leisure or participating in a workshop, they offer wonderful services and spaces for all.