The New York Public Library (NYPL), founded in 1895, is the largest library system in the United States. Naturally, NYPL has become a hub for much more than free books and historical collections; it is now a center for educational innovation and community service, providing resources for local students and even offering resources for job seekers. Located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman building is the Library Shop, which boasts three rooms full of literary-inspired products including our MOVA Creations. A MOVA retailer since 2009, this charming gift shop has become one of the city’s go-to destinations for tourists and locals alike. We spoke with shop buyer Elana Sinsabaugh to learn more:
MOVA: Tell us a little bit about your gift shop.
Elana Sinsabaugh: Within the landmark New York Public Library building, The Library Shop is curated for book people visiting from all over the world. The shop’s editorial vision focuses on the best in all literary-related products featuring modern and classic books for adults and children, desk items, personal accessories and its own distinctive collection of New York Public Library inspired designs. All selections reflect a passion for knowledge and learning, words, reading and writing.
How did you discover MOVA Globes and why did you decide to carry them in your shop?
Years ago, I was visiting the American Museum of Natural History and there was a spectacular display of MOVA globes. They were mesmerizing and I thought they would make a great addition to our product mix.
Despite being located in one of the nation’s largest library systems, do you feel your gift shop is a hidden gem?
Many of our customers don’t expect a shop when visiting the Library. They are always pleasantly surprised when they discover the shop.
How do customers typically react upon seeing MOVA Globes and what is your favorite method of explaining the technology?
Many of our visitors are instantly drawn to the globes and will stand mesmerized before a staff person engages them. We like to say the globes are solar powered and will place a globe into the visitor’s hands so they can see how it moves on any surface.
NYPL is much more than just a provider of free books. Why is it so important to the culture of the city?
Besides our building, which is a hub for events, lectures, and exhibitions, the NYPL branch libraries are centers of educational innovation and service, vital community hubs that provide far more than just free books and materials.
Which MOVA Globe design is your favorite and why?
The Antique Terrestrial is probably my favorite. I love the mix of antique and historical with the modern, clean design.
As a library gift shop, naturally you sell books – what are the most interesting and quirky books that you’ve carried before?
The Penguin Classic Deluxe editions are a personal favorite. You can tell All My Friends Are Dead is pretty quirky from the title alone. Humans of New York, the book version of the popular blog, is a perennial bestseller and the author is a friend of the shop.
How can donations be made to the NYPL?
There are several ways one can support the Library from making a one-time contribution to becoming a member.
Whether you’re visiting The Big Apple for the first time or making your daily trek through the city streets, the Library Shop at NYPL should be at the top of your to-visit list. After you’ve found a unique gift for yourself or a friend, be sure to check out an exhibition or attend a reading series from Periodically Speaking.