The Queens Library, also known as the Queens Borough Public Library, is the public library for the Borough of Queens and one of three library systems serving New York City. It is one of the largest library systems in the World by circulation, having loaned 17.5 million items in the 2013 fiscal year. It was named “2009 Library of the Year” by Library Journal. According to its website, the library holds about 7.5 million items, of which 1.4 million are at its central library in Jamaica, Queens.
Dating back to the foundation of the first Queens library in Flushing in 1858, QL has become one of the largest public library systems in the United States, comprising some 62 branches throughout the borough. It has high annual circulation, and is one of the largest libraries in the country in terms of the size of its collection. QL serves Queens' population of almost 2.3 million, including one of the largest immigrant populations in the country. Consequently, a large percentage of QL's collections are in non-English languages, particularly Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Russian. QL is separate both from the New York Public Library, which covers Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island, and the Brooklyn Public Library, which only covers Brooklyn.
Queens Library has 62 locations, seven Adult Learning Centers, two Family Literacy Centers, and a Bookmobile.
- Central Library - Central Library was the first major branch of an urban library to place all public services on one floor.
- International Resource Center - The Flushing Library is home to the International resource Center (IRC). It contains books, magazines, Cds and DVDs that represent cultures from all over the world. Flushing library has collections in many languages, including Bengali, Chinese, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.
- Black Heritage Reference Center - The Langston Hughes Library is home to the Black Heritage Reference Center, which contains materials "written by, about, for, with and related to Black Culture." It is the largest collection of materials dedicated solely to Black culture in New York State.
- Archives at Queens Library - The Archives at Queens Library, formerly known as the Long Island Division, is a special collection in the Central Library building that focuses on the history of Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. It consists of books, publications, current and historical newspapers, family manuscripts and genealogical material, historical maps and atlases including Belcher Hyde and Sanborn Company maps, late 19th- and early 20th-century photographs, as well as other archival material.