Apart from the British Library, the New York Public Library puts pretty much any British public library to shame. I was very impressed. And in fact, most impressed by the way anybody could wander in off the street and immerse themselves in the books. I really liked that.
Unfortunately the main reading room was closed when I went (and it was my last day in the city), but the rest of the building was impressive too.
This is the newspaper reading room. Yes. I know.. Impressive.