Last week, the New York Public Library released stunning photographs of the renovation of its historic Rose Main Reading Room and Bill Blass Public Catalog Room, along with news that the spaces would be reopening to the public on October 5th. As of this day, when guests request research materials, they’ll come from a new, $23 million state-of-the-art storage facility below Bryant Park. To bring the materials up, the library installed an innovative conveyor system known as the “book train,” which, according to a press release, “consists of 24 individual red cars that run on rails and can seamlessly and automatically transition from horizontal to vertical motion,” transporting up to 30 pounds of materials at a time in just five minutes.
The renovated Rose Main Reading Room via Max Touhey Photography
The $23 million storage facility came after a previous, controversial plan to move the research collection to New Jersey. As 6sqft explained, “The new space will hold 4.3 million research volumes, allowing the Library to ‘fill over 90 percent of research requests with materials located on-site.'”