According to a recent article in the New York Times , the city’s libraries have more users than all of the major professional sports, performing arts, museums, gardens and zoos — combined! The city’s libraries had 37 million visitors in the last fiscal year, said Angela Montefinise, a spokeswoman for the New York Public Library, which runs branches and research centers in Manhattan and the Bronx and on Staten Island.

The article’s author, Jim Dwyer, also commented on the quality of the libraries’ offerings, noting that, “No one who has set foot in the libraries — crowded at all hours with adults learning languages, using computers, borrowing books, hunting for jobs, and schoolchildren researching projects or discovering stories — can mistake them for anything other than power plants of intellect and opportunity. They are distributed without regard to wealth.”