January 27, 2022

NYPL Launches 125th Anniversary with List of the Top Checkouts of All Time; Two Special, Limited-Edition Library Cards Also Released

From NYPL:

The New York Public Library is kicking off its 125th anniversary year with the release of its top check-outs of all time, chronicling what New Yorkers have been reading for over a century. Children’s book The Snowy Day, written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, tops the list, followed by The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss and 1984 by George Orwell.

The full list:

  1. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats / 485,583 checkouts
  2. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss / 469,650 checkouts
  3. 1984 by George Orwell / 441,770 checkouts
  4. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak / 436,016 checkouts
  5. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee  / 422,912 checkouts
  6. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White / 337,948 checkouts
  7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury / 316,404 checkouts
  8. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie / 284,524 checkouts
  9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling / 231,022 checkouts
  10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle / 189,550 checkouts

The list also includes an honorable mention: children’s book Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, which would have been among the system’s top checkouts if not for an odd piece of history: extremely influential New York Public Library children’s librarian Anne Carroll Moore disliked the story so much when it was published in 1947 that the Library didn’t carry it . . . until 1972.

Top 10 List: The Video

Library Cards

The Library is celebrating its top check out with two special, limited-edition cards: beginning today, a special, limited-edition Snowy Day library card is available at all 92 New York Public Library branches (the system covers the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island), and a special, limited-edition MetroCard is available at 10 stations across the five boroughs beginning this week. Both cards are available while supplies last.

Year 125

The Library’s 125th anniversary celebrations will span all of 2020, and include the reopening of the system’s completely-renovated Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, the opening of its Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures, Library participation in the Census (especially to reach hard-to-count communities), branch celebrations and a weekend festival in midtown from May 10 to 17, the release of several book lists to inspire a true love of reading, and more.


Complete List w/ Annotations: Top 10 Checkouts of All Time

News Release (Including Key Factors to Influence Whether a Book is a Top Checkout)

NYPL 125 Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.