Not very far from The New York Public Library lies Bryant Park – a beautiful, peaceful spot to wander and indulge the beauty of nature.
But ….. did you know that underneath Bryant Park, there is space for 2.5 million books?!
While it’s kind of eerie to think that a huge stash of books lays under the beautiful surrounds of this park, a seroius relocation of books from the New York Public Library has been operating for quite some time.
A recent article by Sarah Laskow: The New York Public Library is moving 1.5 million books to an underground lair outlines the comprehensive plans that have been put in place to create a safe, secure and highly organized location for books that can no longer be stored in the library.
Twenty-five years ago, when the library first moved books under the park, construction crews carved out two underground floors, but only the top one was finished. The second level, deeper down, was an unlit hollow, until, starting in April 2015, renovations transformed it into an archive-quality storage facility.
It is a beautifully cool 65 degrees down here, with 40 percent relative humidity, and there’s a new electric trolley system, in which books can be sent off to reading rooms upstairs in bright red carts. Most importantly, there is space for 2.5 million books.
The process of relocating the books, organizing, storing and thinking through how books requested can be easily retrieved is quite fascinating, so take the time to have a look at the article.
UPDATE: Further to details outlined above, I’ve just read an article on Quartz which describes the unusual method of storing the 4 million – yes: 4 million! – books stored in the underground collection in Bryant Park. Out with Dewey and in with ….. size!