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In the heart of the Windy City lies the Chicago Public Library, which consists of 81 locations, including a central library, two regional libraries and branches distributed throughout the city's 77 community areas.

The American Library Association reports that the library holds 5,721,334 volumes, making it the ninth largest public library in the United States by volumes held and the second largest public library system in the Midwest.

This year, the library is celebrating 150 years of service to the great city of Chicago. Since 1873, it’s moved to several locations varying from the City Hall to traveling buses and carts which provided multiple selections of books to be delivered.

In recent years, CPL has reached major milestones, becoming the largest public library system in the United States to eliminate late fees for borrowed items in 2019. CPL also forgave all existing fines and allowed more than 100,000 formerly blocked accounts to start anew. There are still due dates for borrowed items, and patrons are still required to return items or replace them to continue their borrowing privileges.

In addition to no overdue fines, the library’s property tax levy was raised by a fraction to increase library access on Sundays. All CPL branches now operate seven days a week and visitation has increased by 35%, according to library officials.

View a visual timeline of the library on CPL’S website.