Inside the Humanities & Social Science Library, the Main Reading Room is seventy-eight feet wide, 297 feet long and fifty-one-and-a-half feet high. According to the NYPL, “The size of the Rose Reading Room almost equals a football field. It is one of the largest rooms in the nation without a dome, interior columns or steel-reinforced walls to support the ceiling.”
The architectural firm Davis Brody Bond, LLP designed the restoration. The Main Reading Room was completely renovated and restored and re-opened as the Rose Main Reading Room in November of 1998.
Its formal name is the Deborah, Jonathan F. P., Samuel Priest, and Adam R. Rose Main Reading Room. This one-and-a-half-year-long project was paid for by Library Trustee Sandra Priest Rose and her husband, the real estate developer, owner, and manager-cum-philanthropist Frederick Phineas Rose, who died in 1999. F.P. Rose gave away approximately $100,000,000, mostly to institutions in New York City such as the NYPL, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and American Museum of Natural History, as well as Yale University.
They named the Rose Main Reading Room after their children. They also endowed the Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Chief Librarian of the General Research Division and paid for the renovation of the NYPL’s Yorkville and Aguilar branches.
Before the restoration, the Main Reading Room could accommodate 490 readers. After the restoration, the Rose Main Reading Room can accommodate 624 readers.
It has forty-two 22' x 4' tables, each seating up to sixteen readers. The tables are comprised of American white oak tabletops on marble bases. The tabletops each weigh over 600 pounds.
The New York Public Library (NYPL) states, “New murals were inspired by the original paintings. They give the impression of looking through the ceiling up to the sky. The ceiling is executed in plaster, with molded ornamentation, decorative painting, gold and copper leaf, recessed murals.”
The walls are of “Caen stone” (plaster, designed to resemble stone block), while the floors are two-inch-thick red quarry tile, imported from Wales, with marble borders. Pneumatic tubes deliver call slips from the Rose Main Reading Room to all eight levels of the stacks in the building.
In June of 2002, the Library's South Court building opened. This six-story glass structure that rises within the southern courtyard was the second above-ground addition since 1911 after the bungalow that formerly occupied that same southern courtyard.
The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) holds its annual Global Awards Gala at the New York Public Library. In 2011, the BCIU presented Sergio Marchionne, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer if Chrysler Group, LLC and Chief Executive Officer of FIAT S.p.A. the Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Leadership Award. 
The New York Public Library has appeared in several films. In Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), author Paul Varjak (George Peppard) takes Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) to The New York Public Library to show her a copy of his novel. In Ghost Busters (1984), Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) confront a ghost in the stacks, a moment evoked by Improv Everywhere pranksters in the Rose Main Reading Room in 2010.
The New York Public Library is featured prominently in The Day After Tomorrow (2004). The hero, Professor Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), had to rescue his son, Sam Hall (Jake Gyllenhaal), the girl the son liked, Laura Chapman (Emmy Rossum), and some other survivors who have taken shelter in The New York Public Library when a new ice age strikes the Northern Hemisphere, while some other survivors who initially sought shelter in The New York Public Library only to depart in the hopes of reaching warmer climes on foot end up freezing to death.
The New York Public Library appeared in the Futurama Season 3 episode “The Day the Earth Stood Stupid,” a parody of the classic science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). In the Futurama episode, the imbecilic hero from our era who was accidentally cryogenically frozen and revived in the 31st Century, Philip J. Fry, saves the world in a confrontation with an alien leader in The New York Public Library that is too ridiculous to describe here.
Founded at the White House Industrial Cooperation Council Conference convened by President Eisenhower on November 10, 1955, the BCIU facilitates public-private partnerships in global markets and provides commercial diplomacy training courses for the U.S. Foreign Service, the U.S. Commercial Service, and other federal agencies.