The New York Public Library (NYPL) is a public library system in New York City. With nearly 53 million items and 92 locations, the New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States (behind the Library of Congress) and the third largest in the world (behind the Library of Congress and the British Library). It is a private, non-governmental, independently managed, nonprofit corporation operating with both private and public financing.
The library has branches in the boroughs of the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island and affiliations with academic and professional libraries in the New York metropolitan area. The city's other two boroughs, Brooklyn and Queens, are not served by the New York Public Library system, but rather by their respective borough library systems: the Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Public Library. The branch libraries are open to the general public and consist of circulating libraries. The New York Public Library also has four research libraries, which are also open to the general public.
The library, officially chartered as The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations, was developed in the 19th century, founded from an amalgamation of grass-roots libraries and social libraries of bibliophiles and the wealthy, aided by the philanthropy of the wealthiest Americans of their age.
The "New York Public Library" name may also refer to its Main Branch, which is easily recognizable by its lion statues named Patience and Fortitude that sit either side of the entrance. The branch was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, and designated a New York City Landmark in 1967.