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Times Square Blog

Get Lit (at the Library)

The Library of Congress

We're pretty sure our IQ goes up a few points simply by climbing the stately steps of the New York Public Library. The main branch (aka the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street) is century-old treasure welcoming literary-minded locals and visitors to explore and discover the country's second largest library. (The Library of Congress edges it out by 100 million items or so.) While you're there, check out Rose Main Reading Room (and try not to let its chandeliers and ceiling murals distract you from your favorite book) and the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room (perhaps New York's prettiest space with free WiFi). Docent-led tours are offered daily at 11 am and 2 pm and there are plenty of lectures, author readings and special exhibits to keep you occupied, including "Over Here: WWI and the Fight for the American Mind," on view through mid-February 2015. Our best insider tip? Guests of New York City hotels can apply online for a temporary library card granting access to its vast collections.

Address: Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street