A library card from the Minneapolis Public Library (1905).Photo: Hennepin County Library

By the Numbers: Library Cards

September 1, 2017

1988 The year then–Secretary of Education William Bennett issued the challenge: “Let’s have a national campaign. Every child should obtain a library card—and use it.” The following year, the American Library Association declared September as Library Card Sign-Up Month. 500 Number of children who attended the October 14, 1988, kickoff event on the National Mall … Continue reading By the Numbers: Library Cards



Choose Privacy Week is May 1–7, 2017.Illustration: Valery Brozhinsky/Adobe Stock

By the Numbers: Privacy

May 1, 2017

1–7 Dates in May that Choose Privacy Week is annually observed. 1939 Year that the American Library Association adopted its Bill of Rights, which affirms a commitment to privacy in its first iteration. 48 Number of US states (plus the District of Columbia) that protect the confidentiality of library users’ records by law. The remaining … Continue reading By the Numbers: Privacy



Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth home

By the Numbers: Atlanta

January 3, 2017

4 Number of names the city went through—Terminus, Thrasherville, Marthasville, Atlantica-Pacifica—before being incorporated as Atlanta in 1847. 1905 Year that the Southern Library School, later renamed the Carnegie Library School of Atlanta, opened. Considered the first library school in the South, it was located at Emory University from 1930 until its closing in 1988. 1959 … Continue reading By the Numbers: Atlanta


Lyndon B. Johnson. Photo: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum

By the Numbers: Presidential Libraries

November 1, 2016

1939 Year the Presidential Library System began. Franklin D. Roosevelt donated his presidential and personal documents to the federal government. 643 Number of hours of recorded telephone conversations the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum has collected. The conversation topics range from the assassination of JFK to dealing with the USSR. 45 Number of meetings … Continue reading By the Numbers: Presidential Libraries


Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington in Seattle

By the Numbers: Library Architecture and Design

September 1, 2016

18 Number of terra-cotta figures—academic heroes such as Plato, Benjamin Franklin, and Galileo—guarding the façade of the Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington in Seattle. 123,000 Square footage of the McAllen (Tex.) Public Library, built in a former Walmart store and the largest single-floor library in the US. 1895 Year that Boston Public Library … Continue reading By the Numbers: Library Architecture and Design



New-England Courant

By the Numbers: Boston

January 7, 2016

23 million Number of items contained within the Boston Public Library (BPL) system. BPL is ranked second only to the Library of Congress in collection size. 3 Rank of Harvard University, another Boston-area institution, on the same list of the nation’s largest libraries by volumes held. 1721 Year that the New-England Courant, considered the first independent … Continue reading By the Numbers: Boston


32: Number of countries represented in the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape, which includes readings in Aymara, Catalan, Dutch, English, French, Nahuatl, Portuguese, Spanish, and Zapotec.

By the Numbers:
Hispanic Heritage Month

October 12, 2015

1968 Year that Congress passed a joint resolution, under President Lyndon B. Johnson, establishing Hispanic Heritage Week. 20 Years later, under President Ronald Reagan, that Congress passed an act to extend the observation to Hispanic Heritage Month—starting September 15 and ending on October 15. 1943 Year to which the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape … Continue reading By the Numbers:
Hispanic Heritage Month