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Oldest American Library

In Franklin, Massachusetts, one of the country's earliest public libraries established in 1790, when locals distributed volumes provided by Benjamin Franklin. In 1731, the Founding Father established the Library Company in Philadelphia, but it demanded a subscription fee of 40 shillings.1)

Andrew Carnegie

Between 1886 and 1919, the rich manufacturer gave $55 million (about $1.6 billion in today's currencies) to open an astounding 2509 libraries worldwide, including 1679 in the United States.2)

Top Floor

Carnegie supported multiple libraries in New York City, and the buildings were frequently designed with flats on the top level. The goal was to provide living accommodations for the library's caretakers so that they could continue shoveling coal into furnaces at all hours of the day and night.3)

Librarian Hand

The technique was common in the late 1800s, when library pioneer Melvil Dewey (of the Dewey Decimal System fame) and other early collection managers thought that readable handwriting was required for card catalogs. As typewriters became more prevalent, the practice vanished.4)

Biggest Library

The Library of Congress (LOC) is the world's largest library in terms of catalog depth, with 168 million items. That achievement follows a disaster in 1814, when the then-14-year-old collection of 3000 books was destroyed after British forces burned down the Capitol building.5)

Playboy In Braille

The LOC is so committed to making information accessible to all that it pays to have popular journals reproduced in Braille. In 1985, an enraged senator from Ohio called Chalmers Wylie battled against the publication of a Braille version of Playboy. Following objections, it was reinstalled.6)

Library At Walmart Location

The McAllen Public Library in McAllen, Texas, is situated in a converted Walmart and may be the country's largest single-story library facility. The 123,000-square-foot facility has a computer lab, a cafe, and an auditorium with 180 seats.7)

US-Canada Border Library

The Haskell Free Library and Opera House is located right on the US-Canada border. You may walk from Stanstead, Quebec, to Derby Line, Vermont. You don't need a passport to cross the (actual) line that runs through the building, but you must return to your own country or face fines.8)

Bats For Protection

The Joanina Library at the University of Coimbra in Portugal is home to a number of bats, but no one is asking for an exterminator since the bats eat insects that may harm book pages. Staff cover tables overnight and clear up the guano in the morning.9)

Paranormal romance, young adult novels, and the Left Behind series are among the most popular genres in prison libraries.10)


The Bethlehem Area Public Library in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has a publishing arm that issued two volumes in 2018: Bob Cohen's Home At My Typewriter: Selected Poems and Matt Wolf's A Journey. The titles were designed and edited with the assistance of library employees.11)

Library Books Can Be Filthy

Everything from cocaine traces to the herpes virus to bed bugs has been discovered on sampling pages, but don't worry, there has never been a reported example of someone contracting anything from a library book.12)

Dirt Is Dangerous For The Book - Solution?

The only risk a filthy book poses is to the book itself, since dust can trap moisture and harm the pages. That's why the Boston Public Library has a machine called the Depulvera that works like a little car wash for books, blasting dirt off volumes via a conveyor system.13)

Late Fees

Larger cities' libraries may collect millions in unpaid penalties. The San Jose Public Library reported $6.8 million in unpaid fees in 2016, with 39% of members owing money. If a customer's charges surpass $10, certain establishments will submit the debt to collection agencies. Other libraries, such as the Queens Library in New York, will credit fines if users come in for “reading time.” Sitting at the library with a book gets you credit toward your debt.14)

Never Too Late To Return A Book

Eleanor Reed, a former student at Wakefield High School Library in Wakefield, Virginia, returned a copy of The Underside of the Leaf in 2015. It was borrowed in 1981 and ended up in the student's family collection by accident.15)

120 Years Late!

In 2016, the granddaughter of a man who had borrowed The Microscope and Its Revelations from Hereford Cathedral School in the United Kingdom returned the title 120 years later.16)

Visitors In Cages

Some libraries went to great measures to ensure that their works stayed on the shelf. Visitors seeking to examine rare books in the 1800s were imprisoned in cages at Marsh's Library in Dublin, Ireland, until they finished reading.17)

Karaoke Room

The Tikkurila Library in Vantaa, Finland, features a karaoke area where guests may perform hundreds of songs. Fortunately, the warbling isn't loud enough to be heard: the chamber is soundproof.18)

More Than Only Books

More than simply books are available at the New York Public Library. Members can borrow items such as neckties and briefcases to complete their outfit for a job interview.19)

Library Lions

If you're looking for ties, you'll come across Patience and Fortitude, the two lions flanking the main entrance of the New York Public Library. The statues were initially titled Leo Astor and Leo Lenox after the library's co-founders, John Astor and James Lenox, and were installed in 1911. They were later “anointed” Lady Astor and Lord Lenox before being given their current names in the 1930s.20)


In Alaska, there is a library with a taxidermy collection. Customers of the Alaska Resources Library and Information Services in Anchorage can borrow taxidermy objects such as animals, bones, and furs. Bear and wolf fur are popular because they are frequently used in Boy Scout promotional events; Harry Potter aficionados like snowy owl mounts. Borrowers are not permitted to take specimens from their glass containers.21)

Therapy Dog

The Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale University used to let visitors borrow General Montgomery, a border terrier mix and certified therapy dog, for 30 minutes. 22)


Many libraries provide free music that you may keep. Freegal is a service that allows customers to download songs from a collection of over 15 million songs.23)

Passport Services

In addition to conference spaces, book sales, and research aid, many libraries provide passport application services, which can help you avoid long lineups at the post office.24)


In the United States in 2020, there were roughly 163,810 librarians, 30,810 library technicians, and 69,650 library assistants.25)

Most Frequently Borrowed Books

The New York Public Library publishes an annual list of the most frequently borrowed books. That book in 2021 was Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half, a New York Times bestseller that Barack Obama named one of his favorite novels of the year in 2020.26)

Oldest Known Library

The world's earliest known library was established in the 7th century B.C. for the Assyrian monarch Ashurbanipal's “royal contemplation.” The site, located in Nineveh, modern-day Iraq, included a treasure trove of around 30,000 cuneiform tablets grouped by topic matter. The vast majority of its titles were historical papers, religious incantations, and scientific books, but it also included a number of works of literature, including the 4,000-year-old “Epic of Gilgamesh”.27)

Most Frequently Stolen Books

The Guinness Book of World Records and The Bible share the title for the most often stolen books from public libraries.28)

CIA Library

Interested in working at the Central Intelligence Agency? Working at the CIA's library may earn you up to six figures!29)

Library Of Smells

The Osmothèque is a scent library in Versailles, France. The Osmothèque, which opened in 1990, is a perfume repository with over 5000 smells, and many of which are no longer manufactured. The collection is an archive of perfume-making history, and numerous fragrance firms and parfumiers have voluntarily given samples of current and historical scents in order to preserve their formulations.30)

libraries.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/02 00:55 by eziothekilla34