October is Canadian Library Month!
There are almost 3 times as many public libraries in Canada as there are McDonald’s restaurants.
Canadians visit public libraries more than 150 million times a year.
In fact, more people in Canada visit libraries than play sports!
A study showed that children with high reading skills tended to visit public libraries at an earlier age and more frequently than children with poor reading skills.
The biggest library in the world is the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. It has over 1000 kilometers of shelving and over 140 million items including 33 million books, 5 million maps and 6000 comics!
The British Library in London has over 62 million items including 14 million books.
The National Library of China in Beijing has over 22 million books.
The Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg has over 20 million books.
And the National Library of Canada in Ottawa has over 18 million books.
People have been keeping written records of ideas and information for thousands of years. Archeologists have discovered a collection of 30,000 clay tablets at an ancient site in modern Iraq. Historians know that the famous Alexandria Library in ancient Egypt had over 400,000 scrolls and that by 400 C.E., there were already 28 public libraries in the city of Rome! But it wasn’t until the 1800s that free public libraries became popular.
Visit your local library!