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New York Public Library

Honoring the legacy of Andrew Carnegie’s gift to New Yorkers, the Carnegie Standards resulted in a vibrant community hubs to empower the next generation of learners, readers, and civic leaders.
Services Facilities: 92 Libraries Area: Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island Population: 3,500,000 residents Impact Goals: Activate the Carnegie branches for community empowerment

MSS was hired by the New York Public Library to generate a master facilities strategy to activate NYPL’s 39 Carnegie branches for optimum utilization, maximum adaptation, and 21st century service model alignment. The work resulted in a strategic facilities framework that is being applied system-wide. The Studio designed a methodology customized to address the specific challenges of the Carnegie buildings and the unique opportunities to celebrate in the rich, diverse neighborhoods these libraries anchor. The Studio’s goals for the project were to create a set of clear and concise space standards for NYPL to apply to all Carnegie branches, with an inherent flexibility to allow for the buildings to be optimally activated as vibrant neighborhood hubs. In a city where real estate values are at a premium and the library serves communities of extreme wealth and those marginalized by systemic racism, every square foot will be activated for community inclusion, access to learning and opportunity, and full participation in democracy.

Margaret and her team understood the rich diversity of the neighborhoods and communities NYPL serves.
NYPL Staff Workshop Participants