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The Boston Public Library (BPL) is a municipal public library system, founded in 1848, it is also the Library for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and receives state funding.
It contains approximately 23 million items encompassing all formats including books, DVDs, CDs, maps, music scores, microfilm, manuscripts, prints and other visual materials, and electronic resources, making it the third-largest public library in the United States behind only the Library of Congress (with 160 million items) and the New York Public Library (with 53 million items), according to the American Library Association. In fiscal year 2014, the library held over 10,000 programs, all free to the public, and lent 3.7 million materials.