The New York Public Library is one of the great knowledge institutions of the world. It is a memory bank of humankind—an irreplaceable repository of documents of human thought and action; an instrument of education and transmitter of culture and information and a prime example of democracy. The Library is accessible, open to everyone and exemplifies the deeply rooted American belief in the individual's right to know and be informed. Public libraries throughout the US are undergoing challenges to simultaneously sustain their traditional activities and concurrently develop new programs that are both related to the digital revolution and are expansions of their well-established practices.

Watch Ex Libris, a film by Frederick Wiseman, tonight at 10pm on WGBH 2.