MoMA and the Yale Club Library

It was pointed out to me recently that I haven’t taken advantage of this blog as a way to promote one of the major pilot programs that has characterized my first year at the Yale Club Library: our Museum of Modern Art Corporate Membership. To be fair, I can hardly take any credit for this initiative. My intrepid Library Committee Members were conceptualizing the program as a member benefit long before I joined them.

The Yale Club Library is overseen by a committee of twelve (or so) members. They guide library activities and programming. Their decision to purchase a Museum corporate membership grew out of the current committee’s desire to reach a broader range of membership, and to expand our library’s mission to support the intellectual curiosity of our members. Given the Yale Club’s proximity to the Museum of Modern Art, adding access to the museum as a member benefit seemed an ideal fit.

In January, the Library Committee agreed to purchase a corporate membership that gave us a few single-use passes and two reusable corporate cards that allow entry to the Museum for up to five adults and offer benefits like discounts at the bookstore and cafes. The MoMA staff had not worked with a private club in its Corporate Membership program before, but they were kind, helpful, and accommodating at every step.

Image of corporate card.

One of our well-loved corporate cards.

We set up access to the cards much like public libraries arrange access to high-demand DVDs: The cards were cataloged like regular library items and can be checked out from the library staff for a period of 24 hours. If a member needs a card for longer, they can arrange a weekend checkout; I check the card out for them on Friday before I leave and it is due back to the Library Book Return by 10AM on Monday.

The response to the program has been tremendous. During the wildly popular Matisse Cut-Outs exhibit earlier this year, I couldn’t make reservations fast enough. I have one member who checks out the card every month for the 20% off corporate shopping day in the MoMA bookstore. I have another out-of-town member who has made reservations for his family visit to the city over Thanksgiving.

Reservations have been a little bit slower over the past month or so, but they shouldn’t be. Jacob Lawrence exhibit, One-Way Ticket, is deeply moving. The Glorious Technicolor Series has lived up to its name.

So, if you are a Yale Club member, contact me or our Library Assistant, Debbie, for a reservation. Or, stop by the library during my hours to see if we have a card available. If you are not a member, you can join us, or the MoMA (I am a member!) at any time.

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