Living, Tips & Techniques

5 best Libraries to get work done in New York City

Get lost in the books.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Feb 21, 2022

Are you still working from home and hoping for a new scenery? Although I enjoy my apartment, I do find changing up my location every once and then (sometimes multiple times a week), renews my creativity, and gives me greater motivation to complete projects and fire off deadlines.


For this, I turn to libraries, whether they are true libraries or hotel lobby libraries—they always seem to do the trick. And, even if I don’t find the motivation to grind out all my tasks, it serves as a great distraction, being semi-surrounded by like-minded people hoping to do the same thing. Plus, the architecture can transport you to another world—a better world.


Ahead, we share 5 of the best public libraries in New York City (Manhattan and Brooklyn). Some require memberships and fees while others are completely free. Regardless, the below list is sure to delight all levels of readers, students, and employees. You’re welcome.


The New York Public Library

This iconic location, the New York Public Library, is one of New York residents’ favorite places to be let alone, study, and work. From the regal-looking pillars outside, to the ornate public spaces, you’ll find yourself getting lost in the Rose Reading Room and other floors, with hundreds of tables set up for willing students and employees.


brown wooden book shelves in library


The Morgan Library and Museum

Built in 1910 to honor John Peirpont Morgan, Morgan Library and Museum was remodeled in 2006, to be a more natural-lit building, and larger exhibition space. Today, visitors and locals alike will go there to see Michelangelo drawings, original manuscripts, concerts, and quiet workrooms.


low-angle photography of brown 2-storey structure


Brooklyn Public Library

The 1941 building is the most popular library and all-over tourist attraction in Brooklyn. It overlooks the Grand Army Plaza and has an incredible outdoor performance space open in the summer for concerts and other events. Day after day, artists come in to sit down and create their work. When you are having writers block, or just need a break, explore the expansive collection in the floors and floors of art.


people in library


The Center For Fiction

The Center For Fiction opened a Downtown Brooklyn location (formerly in Manhattan’s Mercantile Library), and is home to a wide array of literature, a bar, café, bookstore, and writing space. And of course, a stunning library. The only con is the space does require a membership in order to book the co-working spaces and upstairs library. The public is, however, able to stay on the ground-floor without fee—here they have tables, chairs, bar, and a bookstore. If you do decide to become a member, you will get great discounts on books, writing workshops, events, and the bookstore. It truly is an amazing space for literature lovers to read and explore or work-from-home employees who need a change of scenery.


Bookstore & Café-Bar | The Center for Fiction


Ace Hotel Library

Granted, this isn’t a traditional library, but the Ace Hotel’s public lobby access is home to New Yorkers and tourists who are looking to sit down and get some work done. You’ll see groups of colleagues and classmates, as well as singles, spending the morning or afternoon there, attempting to get some work done. Which is slightly hard to do with the contrasting elements and colors of the urban space. There is a sense of synergy and club chairs as well as free Wi-Fi that can keep you at this NoMad hotel for hours.




Fore more NYC-related content, check out the articles below:

5 easy day trips right outside of NYC
8 best hotels in NYC for a staycation
3 best Korean day spas in NYC


Photo sources: The Center For Fiction, Culture Trip, Ace Hotel