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Library Facilities and Services

The striking, 12-story Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, is the flagship of an eight-library, 4.6 million-volume system that provides students and faculty members with access to the world’s scholarship and serves as a center for the University community’s intellectual life. The New York University system includes seven other specialized libraries: those of the Institute of Fine Arts, the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the Real Estate Institute, and the Law, Medical, and Dental Schools. Faculty have borrowing privileges to the libraries at Cooper Union, Mannes College of Music, the New School, and Parsons School of Design, through the Research Library Association of South Manhattan. Faculty also have reading privileges at Columbia, Yale and Princeton.

The Bobst Library houses more than 3.3 million volumes, 29 thousand journal subscriptions, and over 5 million microforms; and provides access to thousands of electronic resources both on-site and to the NYU community around the world via the Internet. The Library is visited by more than 6,400 users per day, and circulates ca. 500,000 books annually.

Bobst Library offers three specialized reference centers, 28 miles of open stacks shelving, and approximately 2,000 seats for readers. The stacks are open until midnight and a 24-hour study area is located on the A & B levels.

The Avery Fisher Center for Music and Media, one of the world’s largest academic media centers, has over 100 audio and video viewing carrels and 5 media-enhanced classrooms; students and researchers use more than 51,000 audio and video recordings per year. The Studio for Digital Projects and Research offers a constantly evolving, leading-edge resource for faculty and student projects and promotes and supports access to digital resources for teaching, learning, research and arts events.

Among the noteworthy collections of Bobst Library are those in American and English literature and history, economics, education, science, music, United Nations documents, Near Eastern and Ibero-American languages and literatures, and Judaica and Hebraica. Bobst Library is also home to significant special collections such as the Fales Library of English and American Literature, one of the best collections of English and American fiction in the United States. Fales contains the unique Downtown Collection, archives documenting Downtown New York literary and artistic creativity from the 1970s to the present, focusing on the developments of postmodern writing and dance, performance art, outsider art, and the downtown music scene. Bobst Library houses the Tamiment Library, one of the finest collections in the world for scholarly research in labor history, socialism, anarchism, communism, and American radicalism. Tamiment includes the Archives of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, which holds the Jewish Labor Committee Archives, and the historical records of more than 200 New York City labor organizations.

Librarians who are subject specialists serve as liaisons to faculty in the various New York University schools and departments. Faculty participation in the collection development process is encouraged. In addition to collection development, the subject specialists provide specialized reference assistance, library instructional sessions, and work directly with faculty and students to assist with specific research needs. 18 Beyond Bobst, the library of the renowned Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences focuses on research-level material in mathematics, computer science, and related fields, and the Stephen Chan Library of Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts houses the rich collections that support the research and curricular needs of the Institute’s graduate programs in art history and archaeology. The Jack Brause Real Estate Library at the Real Estate Institute is the most comprehensive facility of its kind, designed to meet the information needs of the entire real estate community.

Complementing the collections of the Division of Libraries are the Frederick L. Ehrman Medical Library of NYU’s School of Medicine and the Dental Center’s Waldman Memorial Library. The Law Library serves the programs of the School of Law and is strong in a variety of areas, including legal history, biography, jurisprudence, copyright, taxation, criminal, labor, business and international law plus such legal specialties as urban affairs, poverty law and consumerism. The Web sites of all the libraries at the University can be found at Faculty can also stay in touch electronically with New York University Libraries by subscribing to the listserv LIBLINK.

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