Public libraries in the United States are funded by a combination of federal, state, and local government funds. The American Library Association (ALA) estimates that as of 2009, there were over 8,000 public libraries in the United States.
The first public library in America was the Boston Public Library, which was founded in 1852. The ALA reports that the number of public libraries in the United States has grown by over 50% since 1989, when there were 4,767 public libraries in the country. The public library system is also considered to be one of the most affordable forms of library service in the United States. In 2009, the average cost of a library card was $14.96.
Public libraries in the United States are open to the public free of charge. They offer a variety of services, including books, magazines, audiobooks, and computer access. Public libraries also offer programs and services for children and adults, including literacy programs, counseling services