But while book titles can be searched online, the books themselves cannot be downloaded or taken out. They must be read on site, in one of two large rooms: one is somewhat dark and filled with bookshelves and old newspaper clippings; the other has a few computers and the librarians.
The volumes stocked by the library are not the kinds of books most people would consider summer reading — “Financial Problems of the City of New York” is one title — and they also tend to be large and bulky.
“Sometimes they will say, ‘It’s a lot of reading.’ I always say, ‘Well, you know what, I wish I had time to sit and read it. I would love to do it,’” Ms. Bruzzese said. “I think a lot of people, too, are used to electronic things now, they expect to find something on a computer. They see a book this size, and they think, ‘Oh, it’s a lot to read.’”
Below the library are the cavernous storerooms and vaults that contain some of the maps, books, photographs and other items that are part of the Municipal Archives. They document the city’s government and leadership dating back to the unification of the boroughs into New York City in 1898, and back to the first mayor of the city, Thomas Willett, in 1665.
[Photo Via: the Atlantic]