queenslibrary.jpgThe libraries of the borough of Queens were announced as being the most utilized in the entire country. The Public Library Statistical Report just announced that Queens public libraries loaned 20.2 million items to residents in 2006, and the borough's on track to retain the top spot after loaning 21 million items in 2007. According to the 2000 federal census, Queens had 2.2 million residents, so that means the average person in the borough is borrowing approximately nine items a year.

Newsday reports on the independent Queens Library organization, which is separate from New York's other public library systems:

The Queens Library––which is separate from the New York Public Library––operates a central facility, 61 community branches, seven adult learning centers and two family literacy centers. It has more than 6.6 million books, videos and other items on loan.

6.6 million items available for loan and an annual loan volume of more than 20 million? Those are no dusty stacks! The library's director, Thomas Galante, credited the high circulation numbers to his librarians' training, organization, and community presence . Appropriately for the most ethnically diverse borough in the city, Queens libraries offer popular titles in 30 different languages. Branches also offer programs for those interested in English literacy and living in America.

(NYC - Queens - Flushing: Queens Library, by wallyg at flickr)