The New York Library Club, Inc. was founded by Melvil Dewey and 11 other metropolitan area librarians in June of 1885. Dewey and the first Club president, Richard Rogers Bowker, saw a need for an informal forum of librarians and interested parties from related fields. Early meetings included discussions of library policies and procedures, new collections, and preservation concerns. Many view the founding of our Club as a seminal event in the establishment of librarianship as a professional discipline.
The Club’s archives are held in the Manuscripts and Archives Division of the NYPL’s Humanities & Social Sciences Library. This extensive collection of materials includes correspondence, minutes of meetings, financial records, photographs, and printed ephemera.
Today, the Club continues its active role as a network of area librarians and related professionals. It awards an annual scholarship to a library and information science graduate student in a local school’s program. Club events are held in various venues, bringing together members and colleagues to showcase the variety and unique characteristics of the libraries our city holds.
We welcome new members throughout the year. Membership and admission to Club events are offered to students at especially attractive rates. For information on joining, please visit our Membership Information page. You are most welcome to attend any of our Club’s activities to become better acquainted.