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Boston Public Library Performance

The Boston Public Library system is home to the nation's oldest free municipal library. With its 27 branches, the system is also one of the largest among those found in big U.S. cities.

Library visits nationwide have doubled in the past 12 years.

But an early draft of a study of the Boston public library system shows lackluster use and circulation numbers here, compared to other systems in the country.

Library officials in Boston say those numbers do not show the whole picture. They say Boston libraries offer a vast array of services, and that the system can no longer be judged on book circulation alone.

Click the listen link above to hear Shannon Mullen's report on the controversy.

This program aired on March 27, 2006. The audio for this program is not available.

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