Multnomah Co. with 2nd largest library circulation in US

FILE - Multnomah County Library Director Vailey Oehlke in the Central Library. Undated photo. (Christopher Onstott/Portland Tribune)
FILE - Multnomah County Library Director Vailey Oehlke in the Central Library. Undated photo. (Christopher Onstott/Portland Tribune)

(KOIN) – The Multnomah County Library system has the second largest circulation in the U.S., according to a new report released this week.

The Public Library Association found that the 24.8 million items were checked out from the Multnomah County Library in the 2012 fiscal year, second only to New York City. For the 11th year in a row, the county also had the largest circulation for any city with fewer than one million residents.

The 24.8 million items broke down to 33.3 items per county resident, the library district said in a news release.

Last November, voters approved a permanent library district, giving the system its first ever dedicated funding stream. Prior to this, it had relied on a series of short-term levies to keep afloat. Under the levy, property owners are charged $1.24 for every $1,000 in assessed property value.

The Multnomah County Library was founded in 1864, making it is the oldest public library west of the Mississippi River. It’s central library and 18 neighborhood libraries house a collection of two million items, and serve one-fifth of the state’s population.

The Portland Tribune contributed to this report.

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