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What are the 50 Largest American Public Library Systems? Part III

The tenth-largest public library in terms of print holdings is the San Francisco Public Library. Two years ago, when I began this series, I ranked it in seventeenth place.

The statistics I had at hand showed collections of 3,000,000 books and other print materials, 14,758 electronic books, 97,359 audio materials, and 10,311 print subscriptions. More detailed statistics show collections of 3,024,678 volumes and other print materials, 14,758 eBooks, 97,359 audio materials, 118,461 videos, and 10,311 print subscriptions.

As of May 7, 2014, the San Francisco Public Library (S.F.P.L.) reported a collection of 5,860,577 volumes. It circulates 9,638,160 items per year (or at least items 9638160 times per year).

On “The Nation’s Largest Libraries: A Listing by Volumes Held” (ALA Library Fact Sheet Number 22), the American Library Association (A.L.A.) lists the S.F.P.L. as the ninth-largest public library (#35 overall) with 5,535,415 volumes. The S.F.P.L. has a Main Library and twenty-seven branches.

The eleventh-largest public library in terms of print holdings is the Akron-Summit County Public Library (A.S.C.P.L.), headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Originally, I ranked the A.S.C.P.L. in thirty-third place in a tie with the Wake County Public Libraries in Raleigh, North Carolina; the Memphis Public Library & Information Center; the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Library System; the San Diego County Library; the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon; the Santa Clara County Library in Los Gatos, California; and the Riverside County Library System.

The statistics I had on hand showed the A.S.C.P.L. had collections of 1,400,000 books, 2,777 electronic books, 176,000 audio materials, and 7,595 print subscriptions. More detailed statistics show collections of 1,436,798 volumes and other print materials, 2,777 eBooks, 191,147 videos, 176,000 audio materials, and 7,595 print subscriptions.

As of April 4, 2014, it reported a collection of 5,114,651 volumes. The A.S.C.P.L. has the Main Library and seventeen branch libraries.

The twelfth-largest public library in terms of print holdings is the Hennepin County Library. As of April 21, 2014, the Hennepin County Library (H.C.L.) reported a collection of 5,000,000 volumes. The A.L.A. lists the H.C.L. as the twelfth-largest public library (#42 overall) with 4,961,514 volumes.

It circulated 17,100,000 items (or rather items 17,100,000 times). The H.C.L. operates the Minneapolis Central Library, which opened in 2006, and forty branches. The Minneapolis Central Library alone holds 2,400,000 items, including books, DVDs, CDs, and government documents.

When I started this series in 2008, I ranked the Minneapolis Public Library in seventeenth place with has 2,900,000 books, 15,369 electronic books, 115,000 audio materials, and 4,153 print subscriptions. In 2008, the Minneapolis Public Library merged with the Hennepin County Library, the headquarters of which was the Ridgadale Library in Minnetonka, Minnesota. After the merger, the Rigdale Library remained the headquarters of the Hennepin County Library, even though the Central Library is much larger and Minneapolis is the county seat.

The thirteenth-largest public library in terms of print holdings is the San Diego Public Library. When I began this series in 2012, the S.D.P.L. had 4,800,000 books and other printed materials, 2,007 electronic books, 165,000 audio materials, and 4,012 print subscriptions.

The San Diego Public Library (S.D.P.L.) states that in FY2013, it had 3,210,229 books; 3,236 print subscriptions; 1,643,844 government documents; and 471,515 video and audio cassettes, compact discs, laser discs, DVDs, record albums, and CD-ROMs. It had 756 employees, 408 of whom were full-time workers.

The S.D.P.L. just opened a new Central Library, built at a cost of $184,900,000, on September 28, 2013. The new building is nine stories tall, but two stories are devoted to a charter school.

The old Central Library is three stories tall. The S.D.P.L. has thirty-five branches, and an adult literacy office called READ/San Diego. On “The Nation’s Largest Libraries: A Listing by Volumes Held” (ALA Library Fact Sheet Number 22), the American Library Association (A.L.A.) also lists the S.D.P.L. as the ninth-largest library (#34 overall) with 5,535,415 volumes.

As of March 24, 2014, the S.D.P.L. reported a collection of 4,240,906 volumes. The A.L.A. lists the S.D.P.L. as the ninth-largest library (#34 overall) with 5,535,415 volumes.

The fourteenth-largest public library in terms of print holdings is the Brooklyn Public Library. When I began this series in 2012, I ranked the Brooklyn Public Library (B.P.L.) in a tie with the Montgomery County Public Libraries for sixteenth place.

In 2012, the statistics I had on hand showed the B.P.L. had collections of 3,100,000 books, 2,384 electronic books, 52,111 audio materials, and 17,547 print subscriptions. More detailed statistics show collections of 3,109,467 volumes and other print materials, 2,384 eBooks, 52,111 audio materials, 202,089 videos, and 17,547 print subscriptions.

As of April 16, 2014, the B.P.L. reported a collection of 4,106,580 volumes. The A.L.A. lists the B.P.L. as the fourteenth-largest public library (#55 overall) with 4,233,304 volumes. The B.P.L. has a Central Library; a Business & Career Library; and fifty-eight branch libraries, eighteen of which are Carnegie Libraries.

The fifteenth-largest public library in terms of print holdings is the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Columbus, Ohio. Originally, I had it tied in thirtieth place with the San Jose Public Library and the Austin Public Library.

The statistics I had on hand showed collections of 1,700,000 books, 6,586 electronic books, 228,000 audio materials, and 4,002 print subscriptions. More detailed statistics show collections of 1,741,413 volumes and other print materials, 6,586 electronic books, 155,517 videos, 228,000 audio materials, and 4,002 print subscriptions.

As of June 2, 2014, it reported a collection of 4,000,000 volumes. Library Journal named the Columbus Metropolitan Library the Library of the Year in 2010.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library was one of ten libraries and museums to win the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Services from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Libraries Services. It has the Main Library and twenty branch libraries.

The sixteenth-largest public library in terms of print holdings is the Dallas Public Library (D.P.L.). When I started this series in 2012, it had 3,900,000 volumes and print materials, no electronic books, 120,000 audio materials, and 4,775 print subscriptions.

More detailed statistics show the D.P.L. as having 3,926,836 volumes and other print materials, no eBooks, 120,395 audio materials, 195,425 videos, and 4,775 print subscriptions. As of March 29, 2014 the D.P.L. reported a collection of 3,098,091 volumes. The A.L.A. lists the D.P.L. as the eleventh-largest public library with 4,972,494 volumes.

The seventeenth-largest public library in terms of print holdings is the Cleveland Public Library (C.P.L.). When I began this series in 2012, it had 3,700,000 books and other print materials, 11,647 electronic books, 168,000 audio materials, and 14,037 print subscriptions.

More detailed statistics show collections of 3,733,513 volumes and other print materials, 11,647 eBooks, 168,250 audio materials, 180,685 videos, and 14,037 print subscriptions. As of May 15, 2014, it reported a collection of 4,481,746 volumes. The A.L.A. lists the C.P.L. as the thirteenth-largest public library with 4,273,202 volumes.

The eighteenth-largest in terms of print holdings is the Miami-Dade Public Library System. When I began this series in 2012, I ranked it in a tie for fifteenth place with the Hawaii State Public Library System.

Back then, the statistics I had on hand show collections of 3,400,000 books, 2,622 electronic books, 84,200 audio materials, and 4,015 print subscriptions. More detailed statistics show the Miami-Dade Public Library System has collections of 3,380,855 volumes and other print materials, 2,622 eBooks, 84,200 audio materials, 150,470 videos, and 4,015 print subscriptions.

As of May 19, 2014, the Miami-Dade Public Library reported a collection of 4,199,940 volumes. The A.L.A. lists the Miami-Dade Public Library System as the seventeen-largest public library (#73 overall) with a collection of 3,674,651 volumes.