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Perspectives In Circulation

Library Date Night

Visit Watson Library for a Special Behind-the-Scenes Tour

February 21

a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils

Bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils. Endless shelves of books. A book elevator. These are just some of the highlights of the behind-the-scenes tours of Watson Library that are offered as part of Date Night at The Met. Currently, this tour is offered one evening per month (please check online for exact dates and times). For those who can’t make it in person, here are a few tour highlights.

Library dumbwaiter

Sometimes books need their own elevator. People not allowed.

Library stacks

Take a one-time sneak peek at our library stacks, which are not open to the public. 

a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils

Gift your date, or yourself, a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils!

Watson Library is the Museum’s main art research library. We’re open to visiting researchers, college-age and above. You can register for a library account online, search our online catalog, Watsonline, and request books in advance of your visit. Our FAQs for Visitors provide helpful and important information for a successful research visit.

Library signage reading "to folios" with an arrow pointing down

There are many different signs you will see when touring the library stacks, but can you spot this hand-lettered sign from forever ago?

book of sailors’ valentines

You can view themed pop-up displays of books from the library’s extensive collection. One such book is this fascinating book of sailors’ valentines. Fondas, John. Sailors’ Valentines (New York: Rizzoli, 2002)

In addition to a tour of the library’s public spaces, we’ll take you down to our closed library stacks which are usually not open to visitors. You will be welcomed by the sight of thousands of books and can peruse any of the aisles. You may even hear a ghost story or two. If time allows, you can sneak a peek into our Book Conservation Lab.

After ascending from the stacks, take some time to view our exhibition—currently on view is Isms and Non-Isms: Recent Acquisitions by Watson Library. For our date night tours, we also prepare one-night-only themed pop-up displays of books from our collections.

Reading room with the Calder mobile above

Our Reading Room has a collection of browsable art reference books. And a Calder mobile!

We hope to welcome you to our next date night library tour. Bring your date, your friend, or just yourself!

About the contributors

Assistant Museum Librarian for Reader Services