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Celebrate National Library Week, April 8-14

boy reading book in a library

Minnesotans love their libraries for the useful information they make available, the public spaces they provide, and the potential they offer everyone to make sense of their world and improve their lives. Public libraries are open to all, and this inclusiveness is what makes our libraries so beloved, vital and important.

In honor of National Library Week, here are a few fun facts about our Minnesota libraries in 2016:

  • Total square footage for all public libraries is 4,034,905—more than twice the size of the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
  • There were 3,860,671 registered public library users. Seven out of 10 Minnesotans has a public library card.
  • Public libraries were open 743,577 hours, and welcomed more than 24 million visitors. That’s about
    4 million more visits than Disney World had!
  • Public libraries are offering more programming and attracting diverse audiences of all ages, sponsoring 69,389 library programs that 1.6 million people attended.
  • Public libraries hosted almost 70,000 community events and public meetings.
  • Communities support their library through volunteering, advocacy and financial assistance. 14,306 volunteers contributed 281,463 hours to public libraries.
  • Minnesota libraries own 22 million items for loan to customers. In addition, libraries have almost 26,000 magazine subscriptions and hundreds of online information databases—all available free to library users.
  • Librarians answered 3.57 million questions via in-person, phone or online chat.

Minnesota’s public libraries engage with their communities to deliver library services where needed and address social needs. Most public libraries provide services to students at schools, early childhood organizations and child-care centers; seniors at residential facilities; and individuals with disabilities in their homes. As partners, library staff members join community organizations to address homelessness, immigration, poverty, racial equity, public safety, economic development, public health, and environmental sustainability.

During National Library Week, April 8-14, Minnesota will join libraries nationwide to celebrate the many ways libraries lead their communities through transformative services, programs and expertise. We hope you join the celebration. Visit your local library today!

Statistics are from the 2016 Minnesota Public Library Report. The 2017 report will be available in fall 2018.