Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

9 October
Location informationArc Cinema
Event cost$12 / $10 (season pass: $100 / $80)

With 92 branches across the city, The New York Public Library is a vital resource – and determined to remain so in the 21st century.

In this fascinating tour, we encounter passionate readers, archivists and educators, budget-focused administrators and inspiring speakers (including Patti Smith and Elvis Costello).

Wiseman films in grand marble foyers, crowded annexes and anonymous meeting rooms, creating a mesmerising portrait of a rich and diverse institution.

There is no need for talking heads to attest to the value of NYPL’s social and cultural mission: the humble observation of people at liberty to learn, question and interact compellingly states the case. And confirms the importance of libraries everywhere. 

'In Ex Libris, democracy is alive and in the hands of a forceful advocate and brilliant filmmaker, which helps make this one of the greatest movies of Wiseman’s extraordinary career and one of his most thrilling' – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times 

See more films in our season It Takes Time: 10 Films by Frederick Wiseman.



Bookings are essential for all ticketed events. Learn about measures we have in place to keep you COVID-safe here. See the ACT Government COVID-19 website for more information.


Be rewarded for every paid screening, event or exhibition at the NFSA every time you visit. Your seventh visit is free. More details on Club NFSA at our Ticketing page.