NYU Steinhardt welcomed Tony Marx, president of The New York Public Library, for a keynote address and conversation on how public libraries can play a pivotal role as centers of educational opportunity in communities across New York City and around the country.
The event – Books and Beyond: Connecting Community, Literacy, and Technology – took place at NYU on April 4, 2017, and was part of NYU Steinhardt’s Education Solutions Initiative series designed to inform, support, and challenge scholars, thought leaders, policymakers, and the general public about critical issues in education today.
Since 2011, Marx has led The New York Public Library (NYPL), the nation’s largest public library system with 18 million visits per year. He has expanded its role as an education provider, creating new after-school programs; expanding English language, citizenship, computer and coding classes; and improving programming for all ages at the 88 neighborhood branches. Under his leadership, NYPL has increased access to e-books, partnered with the New York City’s public schools to enable millions of books to circulate directly to teachers and students, and launched a pilot to provide internet access in low-income homes to remedy the digital divide. From 2003 to 2011, Marx served as president of Amherst College.
After a keynote address, Marx was joined NYU Steinhardt faculty for a conversation about the intersection of the work of libraries on such issues as cross-sector leadership and community engagement, access to technology, and early childhood literacy. Panelists included June Ahn, associate professor of learning sciences and educational technology, and Fabienne Doucet, associate professor of early childhood education. Noel Anderson, director of the educational leadership program at NYU Steinhardt, moderated the discussion.