Oct

11

LibraryHop: Lincoln Center’s Performing Arts Library

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You’ve heard of LectureHops, you’ve heard of RoomHops, and BarHops. Meet the latest species of the Hopping persuasion: the LibraryHop. 
  Here, Bwog offers a guide to the NYPL’s Performing Arts Library.  Happy studying! 

O, autumn! That time of year when yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang! This may or may not be such a great thing depending on whether you’ve become a part of Butler’s permanent collection. But the problem with dear Butler is that it’s everyone’s favorite library: On any given visit you’re likely crosses paths with your freshman year roommate, the TA from the poetry class you regularly skip, the entire PKA pledge class or that guy you were hitting on at Cannon’s two weeks ago. 

So, in the spirit of new things and new faces, Bwog suggests switching things up and testing your luck at one of the many public libraries the city has to offer. 

Like any other savvy New York co-ed, Bwog was weary of the numerous urban legends that circulate about the New York Performing Arts Library and its reputedly under-staffed and under-funded branches.  If the NYPL is under-staffed and under-funded, the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center shows no sign if it.  The well-endowed library houses three galleries, an auditorium seating over 200, specialized divisions with circulating and reference collections in theater, dance, music, recorded sound, moving image and film. 

Maybe it’s all the money or maybe it’s the location, but the Performing Arts Library’s patronage is not your regular public library crowd. Any visit to the Morningside NYPL branch between the hours of two and six undoubtedly involves gaggles of third graders, baby carriages and confused geriatrics trying to access the Inter-Web.  Here you’ll find plenty of laptop savvy thespians, arts critic-types and silver-haired metropolitan patricians all taking advantage of the library’s resources, which include an impressive collection of historic recordings, videotapes, autograph manuscripts, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters, and photographs.

It’s not necessary to have a library card to enter the museum, but you do have to have to to check out any materials.  At many NYPL branches, a library card is necessary for WiFi access, but not so at the Performing Arts Library. Here, the WiFi is relatively fast but admittedly not as fast as the WiFi at Butler.

There are four main reading rooms, include two on the third floor, one of which overlooks 66th Street and the other overlooks Lincoln Center Plaza.  The latter is Bwog’s study room of choice.  Set in loft above the second, this reading room contains three parallel light wood tables that run the length of the room, plus, it’s well-equipped with power-out and USB plugs. An eastern facing glass wall provides plenty of natural light and a view of Lincoln Center.  Again, due to major construction projects, the Plaza does boast the loveliest of vistas at the moment. But the architecture of its surrounding buildings is impressive and at the very least, a welcome change from the flat lighting of the Butler cafe.

The New York Public Library for Performing Arts is located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza and is accessible by the 1 to 66th Street.

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