An indispensable part of getting to know your beat neighborhood is exploring its public library branch. Public libraries across the U.S. draw local residents for events and group meetings, and in New York, branch libraries of the New York Public Library system (serving Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island), as well as branches of the Queens Library and Brooklyn Public Library, often have collections which highlight the unique characteristics of the neighborhoods they serve. If you’re having trouble finding neighborhood newspapers, the local branch library is a good place to start your search.
Before setting out, use the links above to locate your beat’s branch library and most importantly, check its hours of operation! To explore the branch library catalogs, here are some useful links:
The Catalog at NYPL, formerly two separate catalogs – LEO and CATNYP, is now integrated, providing the convenience of a single searchable database for both circulating and non-circulating collections. Take a virtual tour of the new NYPL catalog, and don’t forget to obtain a library card for checking out materials from the branch libraries. Apply for one today while you are living in New York City! The NYPL also offers you access to online research databases which you’ll be able to use after graduating, when you no longer have access to Columbia’s resources.