Former Walmart is the largest single-story library in America, and other weird library facts

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Ever wonder what prisoners tend to check out of their libraries?

(WYTV) – Do you like your local library?

Thank philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The very wealthy industrialist from the late 19th century donated $55 million — that’s one-and-a-half billion in today’s money — to start 2,500 libraries across the world — 1,600 of them in America.

The world’s biggest library is the Library of Congress, which has 168 million items.

It pays to reproduce popular magazines in Braille, including Playboy.

The McAllen Public Library in McAllen, Texas is housed in a converted Walmart and may be the largest single-story library in the country — it has its own auditorium.

The Haskell Library and Opera House sits directly on the border between the United States and Canada. You can walk in from Stanstead, Quebec and walk out into Derby Line, Vermont.

What do inmates check out of their prison libraries? Lots of paranormal romance novels, young adult titles and the Left Behind series.

Library books can get dirty — everything from traces of cocaine, to the herpes virus to bed bugs have appeared on the pages.

At Marsh’s Library in Dublin, Ireland, visitors who wanted to read rare books in the 1800s were locked in cages until they were done reading.

A Yale University library once allowed stressed out students to borrow a therapy dog.

The highest fine ever paid for an overdue library book was $345.14 for the book Days and Deeds. A library patron checked it out in 1955 from the Kewanee Public Library in Illinois. In 2002, Emily Simms found a book of poetry her mother had taken from the Kewanee Public Library in Illinois in 1955 and apparently forgot all about it. Emily paid the overdue fine.

The Guinness World record for the most overdue library book is held by Robert Walpole, of England. Bob borrowed a book from the Sidney Sussex College in 1668. His descendants returned it in 1956 — 288 years later. There was no fine — the library said it was just happy to get it back.

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