May 26, 2022

The New York Times Profiles NYPL Reference Librarian, Matthew Boylan

It’s not all that often we see a nearly one thousand word profile of a working librarian in The New York Times but today is one of those days.


Get to know Matthew Boylan and his work as a member of the Ask N.Y.P.L virtual reference service.

From the Article:

Mr. Boylan and the eight other full-time researchers sit in a network of cubicles in the library’s Main Branch at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street and field about 300 requests a day.

“In a certain sense, the work I do begins where the Internet ends,” Mr. Boylan said. “Certain things you can’t find with Google.”

The library system’s former president, Paul LeClerc, nicknamed him “the Magician” for his ability to take on complicated questions and stumpers, and find answers in the library’s stacks, microfilm and other resources.

“I guess you could say I’m well positioned,” Mr. Boylan said. “I sit near millions of books and I have access to 650 databases above and beyond the open Internet.”

Read the Complete Article


About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.