Stephen A. Schwarzman Building > Collections & Reading Rooms > General Research Division > Introduction

Bill Blass Public Catalog Room

Photo © Peter Aaron/Esto
Source: The New York Public Library: A Beaux-Arts Landmark

The Bill Blass Public Catalog Room, generally considered the gateway to the Division’s remarkable collections, was renamed in 1994 to recognize a generous gift from the fashion designer who was also a Library trustee and longtime benefactor. A majority of the Research Libraries’ patrons start their work in this room; it is here that many creative and research projects take their first tentative steps. Each day an average of more than one thousand requests for material are submitted, and a glance at the titles held on reserve on any particular day would give one an idea of the staggering variety of works which are typically in use. To locate books and other material readers will find numerous computer workstations providing access to the Research Libraries’ online catalog and an electronic resource menu offering well over one hundred subscription databases. Although a reader embarking on a research project will sometimes find a bewildering profusion of books, periodicals, electronic resources, and audio-visual material, librarians are stationed at the main reference desk to help in the use of the catalog, to suggest approaches to specific research projects, to answer general questions, to direct readers when appropriate to the resources of the Deborah, Jonathan F. P, Samuel Priest, and Adam R. Rose Main Reading Room, and to locate alternate sources of material. When appropriate, librarians may direct researchers to special subject and language divisions within the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building or to the other three Centers of the Research Libraries: The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Science, Industry and Business Library. Readers may also access the Library's free Wi-Fi connection while doing research in the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room.



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