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Ex Libris: The New York Public Library (2017)

A look within the walls of the New York Public Library.


Frederick Wiseman
5 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Ta-Nehisi Coates Ta-Nehisi Coates ... Himself
Elvis Costello ... Himself
Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins ... Himself
Edmund de Waal Edmund de Waal ... Himself
Carolyn Enger Carolyn Enger ... Herself
Miles Hodges Miles Hodges ... Himself
Paul Holdengräber Paul Holdengräber ... Himself
Yusef Komunyakaa Yusef Komunyakaa ... Himself
Anthony Marx Anthony Marx ... Himself
Khalil Gibran Muhammad Khalil Gibran Muhammad ... Himself
Candace Broecker Penn Candace Broecker Penn ... Herself
Patti Smith ... Herself
Jessica Strand Jessica Strand ... Herself


A look within the walls of the New York Public Library.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

1 November 2017 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Ex Libris: Die Public Library von New York See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,926, 17 September 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$158,192, 22 February 2018
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Not exactly the tour I was looking for
4 April 2018 | by bettycjungSee all my reviews

4/3/18. Oh, so the New York Public Library isn't at all like the way I would envision what happens to a museum like in those Night at the Museum movies. The books still sit on the shelves as silent as ever, but the people who go there do so for than just the books. Apparently, a lot more is going on than just people sitting around and reading or looking at a computer screen. This documentary takes a slice of life approach to looking at what goes on at this iconic library. I should say it's more a swath than a slice. I get that it's an extremely large library and there's a lot going on. However, nothing is ever explained, so it's like being a ghost wandering through the halls and looking into the meetings and programs going on. Not sure if spending over 3 hours of wandering around actually helps the viewer develop an appreciation for the library itself. I suppose it like visiting another country - you can wander around and discover new things, or get a good tour guide who can really help you tear the city apart for its precious secrets. I think I would have enjoyed a more historical approach that commemorates the building of the library and how its mission and vision have changed over time. Just going into some detail about its architecture would have been quite enlightening - the building is absolutely gorgeous. So, this documentary may be more for the curious than for the librarian at heart, who would definitely prefer the Dewey Decimal System for organizing people's thoughts and ideas embedded on the printed page.

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