Summary

Once upon a time, there was a public library in New York City

It was a special place, with high ceilings and beautiful bookshelves—a place where people went to be inspired, to pass the time, to discover something new, and above all, to fall in love with stories.

But soon they stopped.

Existing readers went to the library less and less. Gen Z didn't even bother starting. They ignored their books and picked up their phones, dazzled by their glowing screens as they scrolled and swiped.

People worried—in the face of these new distractions, how would the New York Public Library continue to help young people fall in love with reading?

But one scrappy team had an idea. More than an idea, a philosophy: solutions are hiding everywhere, even inside the "problem" itself.

This is the story of how the New York Public Library turned social media from an enemy into an ally, and in doing so not just re-introduced a new generation to classic literature through Instagram, but helped re-imagine the NYPL's mission for today.