Central Library (downtown Buffalo)

Central Library (downtown Buffalo)

1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203
United States

Fax: 716-858-6211

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Enter the downtown Central Library from the either one of these accessible entrances:

  • Washington Street entrance (across from Lafayette Square), between Clinton and William Streets.
  • Ellicott Street entrance, between Clinton and William Streets
  • Note: the Clinton St. entrance is open when there is an event taking place in the Library Auditorium.

Directions to Central Library
Map of the Central Library
Book a Library Tour
Accessibility at Central Library

About the Central Library

Extending two city blocks in length and encompassing more than 400,000 square feet of floor space (and more than 58 miles of shelving), the Central Library located in Lafayette Square is in the heart of downtown Buffalo and is headquarters of the Buffalo &  Erie County Public Library System.

Completed in 1964, this facility houses approximately 2 million volumes, special exhibition rooms for rare and valuable materials like the Mark Twain Room, Collections Gallery and Rare Book Room, a computer training lab, Launch Pad - MakerSpace, plus a host of centralized administrative and support operations for the entire 37-outlet Library System. 

Central Library has a  324-seat auditorium with a Steinway grand piano as well as two meeting rooms which may be reserved for events by outside not for profits organizations and businesses.  Author visits, children's programming, book clubs, speaker events, chess programs, movies and more are regular happenings at the Central Library. For more information visit our calendar page.

Black and white copies from a copy machine are available for 15 cents each. Color copies are available for 50 cents each. Public access computers are available. Printing from public access computers is available for 10 cents per black and white page and 25 cents per color page.

The Library has a fax machine located near Borrower Services by the Washington St. entrance.  Faxing is $1.75 for the first page and a $1 for each additional page. 

"What can I do at a Public Access Computer?"

Wireless access is also available throughout the Library on all floors.

Now on Display at the Central Library
Meeting Rooms at the Central Library
Special Collections: Grosvenor Room (Genealogy, Music, Rare Books)
Mark Twain Room

Central (downtown Buffalo)

Welcome back to the Library!

Great News!
The downtown Central Library is now
open to the public!

For the safety of our staff and patrons, everyone must wear a face covering and social distancing measures will be followed.

Open Hours:

Monday - Friday   10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Saturday               10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Take a tour of the downtown Central Library here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdHiSr_2EHs&feature=youtu.be.

B&ECPL Reopening and Safety Plan for Libraries located in the City of Buffalo – COVID-19

Reopen Plan
Safety Plan  
Handling Materials during COVID-19  
Protective Measures to Reduce Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 

Pre-entry Health Questionnaire  (Questionnaire is for Library employees, vendors and in-house tenants.) 

Online virtual programs  - all free!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all library programming is taking place online. 


B&ECPL Reopening and Safety Plan for Libraries located in the City of Buffalo – COVID-19
Reopen Plan
Safety Plan  
Handling Materials during COVID-19
Protective Measures to Reduce Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 
Pre-entry Health Questionnaire  (Questionnaire is for Library employees, vendors and in-house tenants.) 

    Hosting or participating in a Zoom meeting during these challenging times?

    Here are a handful of Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Zoom backgrounds you can download for your own use.

    Enjoy and stay well! 








    Downtown Buffalo's Central Library at Night


    Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Background Logo


    Looking out from the downtown Buffalo Central Library



    A red, white and blue evening view from the downtown Central Library


    Glass ceiling @ Buffalo's Frank E. Merriweather, Jr., Branch Library

    Zoom Buffalo Library circa 1915


    IMAGINE Buffalo Logo

    IMAGINE Buffalo - lifelong learning.

    Imagining Buffalo Niagara in the 21st Century - A lecture/discussion series held every Tuesday in the downtown Central Library.  Discussions are hosted by program founder Dennis Galucki. They are free and open to the public in the library's Ring of Knowledge on the main floor between September and May. Call the Library for details about the schedule of speakers which is subject to change. 716-858-8900.

    Click here to select from the audio archives.
    Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Art, Architecture, History and Nature (C-SAAHN) in conjunction with the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library.



    BPS Student artshow 2020

    We are delighted to share with you artwork from Buffalo Public School students. This year’s "Celebrate Art" is virtual.  Annually, downtown Central Library has hosted a fantastic display featuring artwork from PreK- 12th grade BPS students; however the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented that from happening.  Thank you to all who made this possible. Click here: https://youtu.be/3Opeg6E1M_4 .

    Buffalo Branches Board Info

    Library System Information on the Board of Trustees

    The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System Board of Trustees is the governing body for the downtown Central Library, and the eight branch libraries located in the city of Buffalo. These include: Crane, Dudley, East Clinton,  Frank E. Merriweather, Jr., North Park, Elaine M. Panty Branch Library, Isaías González-Soto Branch Library, and the Leroy R. Coles, Jr. Branch Library.

    All System Board of Trustee meetings and committee meetings are open to the public

    To see monthly board meeting schedules, agendas and minutes, click here.