70,000 limited edition New York Public Library cards with the words “Knowledge is Power” are being released today on a first-come-first served basis. The black and silver card is the New York Public Library’s initiative to highlight the essential mission of its library, and libraries everywhere to provide access to information for everybody. By drumming up excitement – much like the release of limited edition Metrocards – the library system hopes to remind New Yorkers to visit their local library (or the fabulous 42nd Street main branch) or get a card for the first time.

More than just a place to read and borrow books, a NYPL library card can give you free access to streaming videos (via Kanopy) or physical DVDs, tickets to access 40 NYC cultural institutions via CulturePass, online classes and databases (such as those on Lynda.com), and millions of magazine, books, and e-books (and of course free internet at the branch locations).

Back of the limited edition card

“Public libraries have always been at the foundation of our democracy of informed citizens,” said New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx. “We preserve and make accessible fact. We offer knowledge, education, and opportunity to all. Everyone is welcome in our spaces. We are the great equalizers. Armed with knowledge, all of us have the power to do anything. As we all strive to be active, productive members of civic society, it is so important to remember that knowledge is indeed power, and that we must be informed. Libraries are the place to do just that: to learn, to grow, and to strengthen ourselves and our communities.”

How to Get Your Limited Edition: Knowledge is Power Library Card: 

The card is available in limited quantities at any of The New York Public Library’s 92 locations across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island (Queens and Brooklyn have their own library systems).

A total of 70,000 cards are available on a first come, first served basis while supplies last. Members of the public can begin the application process online at nypl.org/librarycard, but must validate their applications at a branch—and should do it fast, before the limited edition card runs out.

Current cardholders can swap their old cards for new “Knowledge is Power” cards, but the standard $1 card replacement fee (a donation to the Library system) is required.

Untapped Cities will be working with the New York Public Library to host a series of visits for our Untapped Cities Insiders members into the NYPL’s research libraries. Become a member today to join in! 

Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of the New York Public Library.