The Boston Public Library (est.1848) is a municipal public library system in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It was the second publicly supported municipal library in the United States, the oldest being the Peterborough, New Hampshire Town Library. The Boston Public Library is also the Library for the Commonwealth (formerly library of last recourse) of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; all adult residents of the commonwealth are entitled to borrowing and research privileges, and the library receives state funding. The Boston Public Library contains 8.9 million books and A/V (approximately 24 million items encompassing all formats). making it the second-largest public public library in the United States behind only the Library of Congress (with nearly 35 million items), according to the American Library Association. In fiscal year 2009, the city of Boston spent 1% ($23,253,996) of its budget on the library – some $36 per person.
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