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Ex Libris - The New York Public Library

Airs Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV + Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. on KPBS 2

Exterior photo of the New York Public Library.

Credit: Courtesy of The New York Public Library

Above: Exterior photo of the New York Public Library.

The New York Public Library is one of the great knowledge institutions of the world.

Like its peers, the Library of Congress, the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, it is a memory bank of humankind, an irreplaceable repository of documents of human thought and action; an instrument of education and transmitter of culture and information; and a prime example of democracy.

The Library is accessible, open to everyone and exemplifies the deeply rooted American belief in the individual's right to know and be informed. It is one of the most democratic institutions in our society.

Public libraries throughout the U.S. are undergoing challenges to simultaneously sustain their traditional activities and concurrently develop new programs that are both related to the digital revolution and are expansions of their well-established practices.

This is the first time the New York Public Library has given permission to make a documentary about this important, vast and complex institution.

Ex Libris – The New York Public Library: Preview

Frederick Wiseman’s film, "Ex Libris – The New York Public Library," goes behind the scenes of one of the greatest knowledge institutions in the world and reveals it as a place of welcome, cultural exchange and learning. With 92 branches throughout Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, the library is a resource for all the inhabitants of this multifaceted and cosmopolitan city, and beyond.

The New York Public Library is the dominant cultural and democratic institution in the City of New York for the following reasons:

  • The Library is open and available to everyone
  • The richness of its collections in literature, world history, dance, film, photography and prints
  • The diversity of its programs and (4) its usefulness and appeal to all social classes and ages

The New York Public Library is on Facebook, Instagram, and you can follow @nypl on Twitter.

A film by Frederick Wiseman.


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