Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library is a pioneer of public library service in America. It was the first large, free municipal library in the United States; the first public library to lend books; the first to have a branch library; and the first to have a dedicated children's room.
The Boston Public Library of today is a robust system that includes the Central Library in Copley Square, 26 neighborhood branches, the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center, the Kirstein Business and Innovation Center, and an archival center, offering public access to world-class special collections of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and prints, along with rich digital content and online services.
The Boston Public Library serves nearly 6 million visitors per year and millions more online. All of its programs and exhibitions are free to all and open to the public.