One look at the exterior of this branch and it's pretty clear that this library is special. The regal building with the red door, funded as one of many new libraries by a huge gift to the city from Andrew Carnegie, dates to 1906, and a recent renovation gives it a homey, understated elegance. The outpost has two original works by children's author-illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, who lived nearby: a black-and-white self-portrait drawing and a wood illustration of a storybook character that serves as the children's room's unofficial mascot. The nabe retains its literary bent with storytimes for several age groups that are so popular tickets are handed out, first-come, first-served, to avoid overbooking. Occasionally they are even held in the otherwise off-limits garden. A unique, quasi-secret bookshop in the basement called the Book Cellar—kids' books are among the many super cheap finds, and sales benefit NYPL children's programs—adds to the branch's retro flair. 1465 York Ave at 78th St (212-288-5049, nypl.org).