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MyLibraryNYC Special Collection for NYC Educators

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MyLibraryNYC Special Collection for NYC Educators

New York Public Library, N.Y.

Advocacy & Awareness | Top Innovator

Innovation Synopsis

MyLibraryNYC, a public library outreach program working with 500 New York City schools, offers use of an extensive special library collection built on a customized interface that allows teachers to find single and multi-title text sets and experience ease of ordering in just three clicks.


MyLibraryNYC works across New York City’s five boroughs and three public library systems to offer enhanced library privileges, professional development, and special collections of 100,000+ pre-kindergarten through grade 12 items to help supplement and support school and classroom libraries. As separate entities working together to support educators, our challenges involve 1) supporting a decentralized school system and 2) creating and supporting a system-agnostic ordering platform.

Key Elements of Innovation

Commonly requested keywords and phrases were added to our catalog records (i.e. unreliable narrator) to customize the process for educators. We support both curricular and free-reading needs and the material is delivered directly to their school. Internally we have learned that our expectations of what educators want were not always as expected. Adding world language materials, digital audiobooks, tabletop games and graphic novels have created a dynamic collection for the classroom.

Achieved Outcomes

Our collection goals were (1) increased collection use, (2) increased educator engagement, and 3) better understanding of educator and school librarian needs. Circulation of the special collection continues to grow year-after-year. A challenge we have seen is school librarians placing holds for educators, skewing the number of educators using the material, forcing us to re-think our metrics.