Two More Local Libraries to Open Grab-and-Go Book Access

Photo by Lynn Friedman.

The New York Public Library has been offering grab-and-go book pickups at a few locations in the last few weeks, and on Monday they’ll be adding some more — including two in and around the neighborhood.

One is at Riverside Library at 127 Amsterdam Avenue (66th Street). The other is Harry Belafonte 115th Street Library at 203 West 115th Street.

To get a book, people can order it online or call ahead, and they’ll be notified when the book is ready.

To learn more about how to do grab-and-go, click here.

NEWS | 11 comments | permalink
    1. A says:

      Glad to hear it! I can walk to Riverside, so I may actually be able to start taking out and returning materials again.

      I wonder why they haven’t reopened the Performing Arts library yet. I would have expected it to be one of the first. I often wonder how the staff there have been doing since the lockdown.

      It’s so sad that the memory of being able to go to any branch and browse the shelves at will feels like a kind of unrealistic fantasy now. How much we all took for granted.

    2. MaryC says:

      A, Why do you think the Performing Arts Library would be first? It will probably be among the last because much of the material isn’t loaned so the grab and go plan doesn’t apply. Also, the material that isn’t books is even more problematic to handle safely since Covid stays on certain surfaces much longer than on books.
      I’m thrilled that libraries are reopening and to me it makes more sense that they will reopen in some neighborhoods sooner than others and the ones that have more lending material will open before the research ones.

      • A says:


        Have you ever been to the PA library?
        I would have expected it to be one of the first because even though it’s a research library, it has a huge curculating stock of cds, DVDs, VHS, and books – much larger than any of the branch libraries.

        I’m not sure why you think it’s more difficult to clean non-book items. Most of them are made of plastic, which is easily disinfected. How do you disinfect a 300 page paper book? The virus can live up to 3 days on plastic, but up to 5 days on paper.

        • MaryC says:

          Actually, I have a friend who works there, so yes I’ve been there 😉
          The library system categorizes it as a research library. While it is a treasure, it’s not of interest to as many people as a small local library in other parts of the city.

    3. SBG says:

      Yes, the covid-inspired expression “grab-&-go” seems fine for food but somehow inappropriate for books.
      My cousin, who is head librarian at a small rural library in New Hampshire, is reluctant to go back in to work, but the residents are successfully insisting the library be reopened so they can “browse”.

    4. Susan says:

      Think this is an excellent idea and perhaps utilizing 2 libraries right now are a trial to see how it goes. This might even encourage reading…two thumbs up as they say!

    5. Bob says:

      As an NYPL employee but speaking very unofficially, because it is also a research center, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts has additional issues that prevents it from being an immediate Grab-n-Go location.

      But the good news is that we’ll soon become a fulfillment center: you can request circulating items to be sent to your Grab-n-Go location and they will be sent there. Assuming all goes well, soon thereafter the Performing Arts Library will also turn into a Grab-n-Go location.

    6. Lisa Wager says:

      does this mean we can return books we’ve had out since March??

    7. Hello, thanks for the article. Just one note: patrons can call ASK-NYPL 917-275-6975 to order library items BUT patrons need to wait for pickup notice to arrive before you can stop by and get the items.

      All patrons who go to the library will need to wear face masks and social distance.

      Also, West Side Rag, is is possible for you to name our library in your “useful contacts” list in the print edition? Thanks.

    8. Yes, patrons can visit the Riverside Library to return NYPL library materials, too, inside the building. Just wear a face mask and socially distant from others during your visit.

      Another note: there will be no new/accrued fines on library materials borrowed from March 2020 until the end of September.

    9. Stephanie says:

      I had no idea! Thanks for the heads up!