Fort Wayne and Allen County residents have been served by the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) and its 14 branches since its founding in 1895 as the Fort Wayne Public Library. The entire library system began an $84.1 million overhaul of its branches in 2002, finishing work by 2007. The centerpiece, the Main Library Branch, now covers 367,000 square feet (34,100 m2), featuring an art gallery, underground parking garage, bookstore, café, and community auditorium. According to 2009 data, over 7.4 million materials were borrowed by patrons, and over 3 million visits were made throughout the library system. The Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department, located in the Main Library Branch, is the largest public genealogy department in the United States, home to more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche.
In 1997, Places Rated Almanac recognized Fort Wayne as having the highest reading quotient of any place in North America, due in part to the city's quality library system.
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Famous quotes containing the word libraries:
“To me, nothing can be more important than giving children books, Its better to be giving books to children than drug treatment to them when theyre 15 years old. Did it ever occur to anyone that if you put nice libraries in public schools you wouldnt have to put them in prisons?”
—Fran Lebowitz (20th century)
“riding flatcars to Fresno,
Across the whole country
Steep towns, flat towns, even New York,
And oceans and Europe & libraries & galleries
And the factories they make rubbers in”
—Gary Snyder (b. 1930)