While our top 10 list honors overall excellence, these city and county public libraries have earned bragging rights as standouts in specific areas:
Best for Browsing: The Dallas Public Library has the largest number of volumes in open stacks (you can browse the bookshelves). Other good places to browse are the Birmingham Public Library, the Clayton Library and the Mid-Continent Public Library.
Best Regional Collections: The Boston Public Library, the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library, the St. Louis (Mo.) Public Library and the Seattle Public Library all have large collections focusing on their own areas of the country.
Best Small-Town Library: The Indian River County Main Library in Vero Beach, Florida, has an impressive genealogy collection of more than 15,000 books, 10,000- plus microfilms, more than 35,000 microfiches and all US federal census records from 1790 to 1880.