Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Documentary; NR; 197m

Frederick Wiseman’s film, EX LIBRIS – The New York Public Library, goes behind the scenes of one of the greatest knowledge institutions of the world. The film reveals the library as a place of welcome, cultural exchange and learning to 18 million patrons and 32 million online visitors annually. There are 92 library branches throughout Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. The NYPL is committed to being a resource for all the inhabitants of this multifaceted and cosmopolitan city. It is accessible, open to everyone and exemplifies the deeply rooted American belief in the individual’s right to know and be informed. The library is one of the most democratic institutions in America—all races, social classes and ethnicities are welcome and are active participants in the life and work of the library. The library strives to inspire learning, advance knowledge and strengthen communities.


“Never talking down to his audience, he rather pulls them up to an intellectual level where other filmmakers fear to go.” – Deborah Young, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER


“In “Ex Libris,” democracy is alive and in the hands of a forceful advocate and brilliant filmmaker, which helps make this one of the greatest movies of Mr. Wiseman’s extraordinary career and one of his most thrilling.”  – Maohla Dargis, THE NEW YORK TIMES


“Frederick Wiseman’s Ex Libris: The New York Public Library is more than a magisterial mash note to that distinguished establishment, it’s a heartening examination of the vastness of human knowledge and the multiple ways we the people endeavor to access it.” – Kenneth Turan, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES



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