Montag, 14. Mai 2018

The 12 Most Popular Libraries in the World / Emily Temple in: Lit Hub Daily May 10, 2018

I don’t know about you, but I’m obsessed with my local library. I mean, if you think about it, the idea of a public library—where anyone in the community is trusted to borrow books, often for long stretches of time, for free, ad infinitum—is fairly magical. Where else do you get something for nothing? Which is not even to mention the many programs, study space, use of computers, and other perks that most public libraries offer. Basically, what I’m saying is: libraries should be even more popular than they are—but some of them are pretty popular already.
Despite the definitive headline, the below list is admittedly inexact—as, I suppose, all lists tracking the movements of large numbers of people in and out of foreign and domestic institutions must be. Not all of the libraries I researched had up-to-date public information about the number of visitors, or any information at all (so these I had to exclude), and there were a few cases where I found competing figures, or press releases in foreign languages. Plus, I admit that I did not research every single library in the world, but only the ones that seemed likely to rank. Now, with all those caveats in place, please enjoy the below popularity contest, and if you’re so moved, nominate your own favorites in the comment section.

New York Public Library, New York, NY, USA: 18 million visitors per year

In their annual report, the New York Public Library reported that they had hosted 18 million visitors and circulated 23 million items over their 92 locations in 2016. (92! That is impressive enough on its own.) Recent individual building or branch numbers were slightly more difficult to come by, but according to a NYPL press release, in 2012, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (what you probably think of as the Main Branch) received 2.3 million visitors, and the Mid-Manhattan branch, which is now closed for renovations, received 1.4 million (though a more recent estimate puts it at 1.7 million, so you may want to mentally adjust both numbers accordingly.) ... [mehr]

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