New Haven Free Public Library

New Haven Free Public Library

New Haven Free Public Library
3.5
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
What people are saying
A Total Disgrace
1.0 of 5 bubblesMar 2024
So I am going to be brutally honest to EVERYONE on this topic. Some people write reviews of this library as an excuse to trash homeless people being there, being on the green, and being in New Haven in general. These people are snobs who have privileged lives, are shallow, and only care about themselves. Unfortunately, there are a lot of homeless people in New Haven. Unfortunately, New Haven is governed so badly and corruptly, regardless of who is mayor, and Yale is doing such a good job of destroying the city, that one of the symptoms of this is a rather large homeless population that has nowhere to go, and no legitimate services to help them get off the streets and improve their situations. I was born in this city, and I have been homeless before. I'm also not a kid. I'm 52 and went to a top 50 university. So save your ignorant and arrogant snide comments. Homelessness is a symptom, not a cause, of major societal problems in this country that everyone chooses to ignore out of arrogance and laziness. However, there is a large number of homeless, I will fully admit, who have zero business being allowed into this disaster of a library. I can also tell you there are a TON of people, who are not homeless, who should never be allowed into this library. Many of the non-homeless local people who come to this library are utterly classless, rude, and behave in the most infantile and vile of manners. It's a New Haven problem. Not a homeless one. There are plenty of homeless people that use this library in a quiet and respectable manner and don't cause trouble. But of course, there are many homeless that make this place endlessly tedious. This library is an utter joke. The staff are either rude, power-tripping snobs who are way too old to be there, or young people who haven't a clue how to handle a place like this. These are some of the most overpaid, underworked wastes of money in the entire city, including their "security" who literally get paid for doing absolutely nothing and have no qualifications for the job at all. Before you go pointing your privileged fingers at the homeless as the sole reason for the disaster that is this library, keep in mind that New Haven is going right down the toilet overall, and the city and state leadership is corrupt, money-grubbing, and don't care. You may want to be angry and frustrated at them rather than people wo are frankly victims of corporate greed and societal selfishness. There are plenty of people and entities to blame for the horrible state of this library. The rest of this is a review I wrote somewhere else, and was written at a time of enormous frustration with this place. NO STARS. NONE. This place is an absolute disgrace. DISGRACE. The staff are being asked to do a lot more than being librarians, and it's absurdly unrealistic. That's the only thing I will say in their defense other than some of them are genuinely nice. But that's it. This is one of the most overpaid and underworked / lazy group of people I have ever seen. This library literally needs no reason to be closed. 'Somebody sneezed. Let's close for a day. It's national Be Nice To Your Waitress day. Let's close.' It's amazing. This library keeps banker hours more than bankers. All the 5 star reviews here are either written by idiots, or more likely by people who have been asked to write them, perhaps even staff. The staff are completely impotent to deal with the total chaos that goes on in there every day. They are not trained to deal with it, and they don't want to enforce any laws or rules. They have three, USELESS, "security" guards who get paid for hanging out, doing absolutely nothing, and often behave as badly and stupidly as the thugs that infest this library. Every day there are things going on that require the police, not morons wearing security guard shirts. Drug deals, dope fiends, fights, screaming, defecating, peeing all over the place. People showering in the bathroom. Nut cases being allowed to roam all over the place creating disturbances and freaking people out. Scumbag, downtown thugs stomping around scaring everyone. I brought my 3 year old son up to the children's floor. It's set up very nicely, and has a lot of things for children that age. But it doesn't matter. They allow 17 and 18 year old kids to hang out on a floor for small children and be foul-mouthed, fight, run around, and intimidate people, and scare small children. My child was terrified. Even worse, was the librarian was some young lady whose only response was to scream and shout at these scumbags to leave. The response was laughter and not taking her seriously at all by the thugs scaring my son. The librarian's behavior was just as bad, and completely impotent, and did nothing. The "security" came up and just did the equivalent of saying 'now now', and that was it. There's one female security guard that spends her entire day doing puzzles on the big touch screen in the library media room. That's all she does. This library needs police, not security guards. There's a HUGE number of people who need to be identified and told never to come back or they'll be arrested. The security guards need to be fired. ALL OF THEM. Police need to be assigned here. You have high school and middle school kids who run around screaming at the top of their lungs, foul language, and smoking pot right outside the front and side door, and threaten people. The bottom of the library smells like a Jamaican festival. The city should be ashamed of themselves. Frankly, a lot of the staff need to go to. They're not trained properly, or just can't handle it, or are TOO DAMN OLD. This place is a total disaster and NOT SAFE. It's a vulgar place and dangerous. I will NEVER bring my child here again. Who wants to bring their 3 year old to a library to be scared out of their mind by high school scumbags that the library does nothing about???

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles21 reviews
Excellent
6
Very good
8
Average
4
Poor
1
Terrible
2

Bernard M
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
So I am going to be brutally honest to EVERYONE on this topic. Some people write reviews of this library as an excuse to trash homeless people being there, being on the green, and being in New Haven in general. These people are snobs who have privileged lives, are shallow, and only care about themselves.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of homeless people in New Haven. Unfortunately, New Haven is governed so badly and corruptly, regardless of who is mayor, and Yale is doing such a good job of destroying the city, that one of the symptoms of this is a rather large homeless population that has nowhere to go, and no legitimate services to help them get off the streets and improve their situations.
I was born in this city, and I have been homeless before. I'm also not a kid. I'm 52 and went to a top 50 university. So save your ignorant and arrogant snide comments. Homelessness is a symptom, not a cause, of major societal problems in this country that everyone chooses to ignore out of arrogance and laziness. However, there is a large number of homeless, I will fully admit, who have zero business being allowed into this disaster of a library. I can also tell you there are a TON of people, who are not homeless, who should never be allowed into this library. Many of the non-homeless local people who come to this library are utterly classless, rude, and behave in the most infantile and vile of manners. It's a New Haven problem. Not a homeless one. There are plenty of homeless people that use this library in a quiet and respectable manner and don't cause trouble. But of course, there are many homeless that make this place endlessly tedious.
This library is an utter joke. The staff are either rude, power-tripping snobs who are way too old to be there, or young people who haven't a clue how to handle a place like this. These are some of the most overpaid, underworked wastes of money in the entire city, including their "security" who literally get paid for doing absolutely nothing and have no qualifications for the job at all. Before you go pointing your privileged fingers at the homeless as the sole reason for the disaster that is this library, keep in mind that New Haven is going right down the toilet overall, and the city and state leadership is corrupt, money-grubbing, and don't care. You may want to be angry and frustrated at them rather than people wo are frankly victims of corporate greed and societal selfishness. There are plenty of people and entities to blame for the horrible state of this library. The rest of this is a review I wrote somewhere else, and was written at a time of enormous frustration with this place.
NO STARS. NONE. This place is an absolute disgrace. DISGRACE. The staff are being asked to do a lot more than being librarians, and it's absurdly unrealistic. That's the only thing I will say in their defense other than some of them are genuinely nice. But that's it.
This is one of the most overpaid and underworked / lazy group of people I have ever seen. This library literally needs no reason to be closed. 'Somebody sneezed. Let's close for a day. It's national Be Nice To Your Waitress day. Let's close.' It's amazing. This library keeps banker hours more than bankers. All the 5 star reviews here are either written by idiots, or more likely by people who have been asked to write them, perhaps even staff.
The staff are completely impotent to deal with the total chaos that goes on in there every day. They are not trained to deal with it, and they don't want to enforce any laws or rules. They have three, USELESS, "security" guards who get paid for hanging out, doing absolutely nothing, and often behave as badly and stupidly as the thugs that infest this library. Every day there are things going on that require the police, not morons wearing security guard shirts. Drug deals, dope fiends, fights, screaming, defecating, peeing all over the place. People showering in the bathroom. Nut cases being allowed to roam all over the place creating disturbances and freaking people out. Scumbag, downtown thugs stomping around scaring everyone.
I brought my 3 year old son up to the children's floor. It's set up very nicely, and has a lot of things for children that age. But it doesn't matter. They allow 17 and 18 year old kids to hang out on a floor for small children and be foul-mouthed, fight, run around, and intimidate people, and scare small children. My child was terrified. Even worse, was the librarian was some young lady whose only response was to scream and shout at these scumbags to leave. The response was laughter and not taking her seriously at all by the thugs scaring my son. The librarian's behavior was just as bad, and completely impotent, and did nothing. The "security" came up and just did the equivalent of saying 'now now', and that was it.
There's one female security guard that spends her entire day doing puzzles on the big touch screen in the library media room. That's all she does. This library needs police, not security guards. There's a HUGE number of people who need to be identified and told never to come back or they'll be arrested. The security guards need to be fired. ALL OF THEM. Police need to be assigned here. You have high school and middle school kids who run around screaming at the top of their lungs, foul language, and smoking pot right outside the front and side door, and threaten people. The bottom of the library smells like a Jamaican festival. The city should be ashamed of themselves. Frankly, a lot of the staff need to go to. They're not trained properly, or just can't handle it, or are TOO DAMN OLD. This place is a total disaster and NOT SAFE. It's a vulgar place and dangerous. I will NEVER bring my child here again. Who wants to bring their 3 year old to a library to be scared out of their mind by high school scumbags that the library does nothing about???
Written 16 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Walt B
30 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Solo
if you arent mentioned in the title i suggess you check your watch, phone and wallet and get the heck out, walkto one of the nearby banks, get your bearings, and find a destination within a 4 min walk. perhaps the audubon arts district, it has few places of mild interest usually curratrdby wealthy housewifes from the shoreline, go up to BEINECKIE LIBRARY, THEN TO THE YALE STRELING LIBRARY, THEN TO THE YALE ART GALLERY (not the brittish) then get some drinks.
oh and avoid the mens room, every booth has an occupant with either a wide stance or is cooking from a spoon
Written 11 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

imkdun
New Haven, CT20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Friends
Helpful and knowledge staff. Lots of different programs and offerings. Beautiful building in the heart of downtown New Haven. Parking is a problem.
Written 22 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BusterBusBus
Orlando, FL1,061 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Friends
This library is located near the town green. The staff are very friendly and helped me find the books I needed. Some of the books I wanted were not at this location but at another one and they offered to have them transfered but I couldn't wait. I thought that was very kind of them to offer that to me. The rest rooms were very clean. The place overall was great. Lots of books and lots to do.
Written 26 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SDF777
Inverness, FL29 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Business
This historic library is a stately classical building located in front of one of the original planed squares in New Haven. The outside doesn't reveal the modern and efficient library lurking on the inside. The staff are friendly and helpful, no matter what you look like and It's free, quiet and safe. The most amazing part of my visit was the light-filled rotunda (with a luminous grill-work skylight in the center) when you walk in through the door and the two beautiful murals above the doorways on either ends of the rotunda. if you've been sightseeing all day, its too hot or too cold and you need a peaceful place to kick back, get online or read a book, this is the free, public place to go.
Written 24 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jaseaton
Silver Spring, MD2,487 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Couples
Back in my student days, the New Haven Library was a sad-sack, gritty place. In the years since, it has been utterly transformed, becoming one of the most exhilarating public spaces I've ever had the pleasure of entering. It is gorgeous and uplifting. But its hours of operation are few and far between, so be sure to check before you attempt a visit.
Written 26 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

patywolf
usa46 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Solo
Hang out for the homeless often seen drinking on the steps in front of this lovely building . Plus using computers inside. Right across street from New Haven Green which also is day time home to homeless. My last trip by this place showed me a grubby bearded man offering a young teenage girl a drink from his bottle. Where were the police? I don't know, would I let a child go there to do research never. New Haven needs a police presence walking a down town center city beat. New Haven Has some lovely buildings such as this one and the court house next to it but it needs a police presence to enforce the laws. t
Written 4 June 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Art P
New Haven, CT3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Family
I go at least once a week for light reading, but also occasionally spot good serious books. Also audio CDs and DVDs. Many interesting apeakers, movies, forums and other programs. Computer room is always full.
Written 14 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Patricia29
Hamden, CT19 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2012
A handsome building with lots of character, serving an array of library services and community events to the New Haven area. You'll have to find a parking spot on the street
Written 20 December 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Terry H
New Haven, CT4 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012
The librarians vary a lot in their helpfulness.Some are glad to help one and others seem too reserved.
Written 10 November 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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New Haven Free Public Library - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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