New York Public Library to fashion new high-tech spaces

Cutting-edge facilities in Tennessee, North Carolina to serve as models for planned additions
June 30, 2014 11:08AM

Libraries can be more than just quiet reading rooms and stacks of dusty books.

After the planned $300 million renovation, the New York Public Library aims to be innovative and interactive and it’s doing so by looking south for inspiration.

The New York Public Library is using two innovative libraries in Tennessee and North Carolina as models for its planned high-tech, collaborative spaces. At the Chattanooga Public Library in Tennessee, the fourth floor features 3-D printers and 1 gigabyte per second internet access. At North Carolina State University in Raleigh, surfaces are writable and data is displayed on video screens.

NYPL already owns a 3-D printer and opened a renovated teen center with high-tech equipment at the Hamilton Grange branch in Harlem.

The project will include traditional reading rooms and bookshelves as well as collaborative space that include tools for creative projects. It’s still unclear where these spaces will be located. An architect has not yet been selected.

The library’s flagship Fifth Avenue location, as well as a branch across the street, will be renovated. [WSJ] — Claire Moses