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The New York Public Library is so much more than just a well lit place for books. Its main location is a magnificent cultural attraction that welcomes many millions of visitors from all over the world every year.
Readings, guided tours and many other special events take place here all year round, alongside a vast array of ever-changing exhibits and displays. Activities include computer classes, writer's workshops, musical performances and children's films.
The New York Public Library is a world-famous landmark, featuring several stunning event spaces like Astor Hall and the McGraw Rotunda, both shown below.
The main building, whose main entrance is located on New York City's Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, is an artistic and architectural wonder to behold. A pair of lion statues flanking the front entrance are probably the library's most famous feature. Most people don't know that these lions have names. They're called Patience and Fortitude.
The New York Public Library was established in 1895. The building was completed in 1902, and open to the public by 1910, at a cost of about nine million dollars.
The Library's inventory occupies 75 miles of shelf space (!), and includes quite a few priceless treasures, like a Gutenberg Bible and a copy of Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
The library currently employs more than three thousand workers. It is the third largest library in North America, with ninety branch locations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Its research collection alone contains nearly sixteen million books! Its branch offices contain nearly five million books.
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