As reported today by the New York Times, “according to a survey conducted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Czech Republic has the densest library network in the world: one library for every 1,971 Czech citizens (10 times as many as the United States).”

The newspaper stated that “for decades were mandatory for every community, from a big city down to a tiny village, to have one library”. The law was enacted in 1919, soon after Czechoslovakia emerged as an independent country.

Nowadays, they serve also as polling places for elections, as local meeting venues, as reading clubs and art exhibits.

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