Central Library first opened its doors to the public on February 1, 1941. With its breathtaking façade, sweeping grand lobby and vast contemporary and historical collections, it has been a Brooklyn icon since its opening. The library was designated a New York City Landmark in 1997 and joined the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
Central Library is Brooklyn’s home library, and one of New York City’s foremost cultural, civic and educational institutions. It is home to the Brooklyn Collection, the world’s largest public archive for the study of Brooklyn’s social and cultural history; the Dr. S. Stevan Dweck Cultural Center, home to our premiere programming series BPL Presents; the Shelby White & Leon Levy Information Commons, an innovative public coworking and meeting space offering the latest technology; and a Business and Career Center, offering books, resources and assistance on job search, small business entrepreneurship and personal finance. Three floors of collections span a multitude of subjects, and include rare reference resources as well as books and materials in more than 30 languages.
Central Library receives more than 1.2 million visits each year, and items from its collections circulate 1.6 million times.