For two years, New York’s three separate library systems have been working on a plan to offer a single, seamless library account for all New Yorkers that would unify checkouts, returns, deliveries and even late fees for the New York, Brooklyn and Queens public libraries.
Now, two of the libraries are taking a significant step forward, laying the groundwork for patrons to drop off books at any branch in at least four boroughs, if not citywide.
By May, the New York Public Library—which serves Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island—will consolidate operations with the Brooklyn Public Library at the New York library’s book-processing center in Long Island City, Queens. The move will save the two systems about $3.5 million per year combined, the libraries said.
Although city officials had hoped that all three libraries would join operations, the Queens Library isn’t participating in the merger.
Queens Library President Thomas Galante said relocating book processing to Long Island City from the library’s current hub in central Queens would increase trucking costs and wouldn’t achieve any labor savings.