February is National Library Lovers Month, a time to appreciate libraries for all the great things they provide. Through books, computers and community events, these institutions continue to play an important role in educating, creating opportunity and bringing people together.
Here are some fun facts for all you library lovers out there:
Early Libraries. America’s first lending library was established by Ben Franklin in Philadelphia in 1731. But you had to have a subscription to borrow books. It established the template for the first public library in the U.S., the Darby Free Library, which opened in 1743 in Darby, Pennsylvania.
Largest Library. The U.S. Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. It has more than 164 million items stored on 838 miles of bookshelves. The library, founded in 1800, adds about 12,000 items to its collection each day (yup, you read that right—per day).
How Many? There are 119, 487 libraries in the U.S., according to the American Library Association. That means there are more libraries than there are McDonald’s restaurants.
Still Relevant? Sixty-five percent of the U.S. population believes losing local libraries would hurt communities. In 2013 in the U.S., there were 4 million in-person visits to public libraries each day.
Helping Communities. Seventy-three percent of public libraries in the U.S. help patrons with job applications and interview skills. Seventy-seven percent offer online health resources, and 95 percent offer resources for children such as homework assistance and summer reading programs.
As a company that supports education, Infinite Energy knows how important libraries are. And we’re happy there’s a whole month that recognizes how much these institutions contribute to our world. If it’s been a while, consider stopping in to your local library this month for a visit.