Free libraries maintained by the people are cradles of democracy, and their spread can never fail to extend and strengthen the democratic idea, the equality of the citizen and the royalty of man. They are emphatically fruits of the true American ideal.
- Andrew Carnegie at the 1903 dedication of the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C.
Public libraries in Ohio date back to the 1830's with Porter Public Library being founded in 1884. Today, Ohioans make more than 82 million library visits in a year, 9 million citizens are library card holders and over one million attended summer reading activities.