GREENSBORO — The New York Public Library kicked off its 125th anniversary celebration in mid-January by publishing a list of the 10 books checked out most often since the library was founded in 1895.

So we at the News & Record wondered: What items have been checked out most often from the Greensboro Public Library?

At our request, the Greensboro library pulled together a top 10 list of books and DVDs borrowed since 2004, the advent of its current computerized catalog system.

Like the New York library's list, the Greensboro library's top 10 is heavy on children's and young adult titles. That's no surprise, said Tommy Joseph, technology manager for the Greensboro Public Library.

Popular adult books will fly off the library shelves for a short time right after they're published, he said. But children's titles are shorter, which means they're brought back and borrowed again more quickly, and the ones that achieve classic status — like the Dr. Seuss books that dominate the Greensboro list — are checked out again and again for years.

"There are very few adult fiction books that hold people's attentions over the decades," Joseph said.

The Greensboro Public Library also put together a top 10 list of books borrowed over the past 18 months. That list is populated largely by current novels, films and memoirs intended for adults.

"Libraries are places for people of all ages," Joseph said. "There's stuff for everybody. It's lifelong learning."

Here are the 10 items checked out from the Greensboro Public Library most often since 2004, followed by the library's 10 most popular recent items.

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Greensboro's recent Top 10

Here's a more recent list of Greensboro Public Library favorites. These DVDs and books were the most checked out from July 2018 (the start of the city's 2018-19 fiscal year) to December 2019:

1. "Black Panther," directed by Ryan Coogler.

This live-action superhero film, based on Marvel Comics' "Black Panther," tells the story of T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), who returns home to lead the threatened, fictional African nation of Wakanda. The 2018 film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, and won three.

2. "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens.

This 2018 best-seller — set in North Carolina — tells the intertwined stories of a girl growing up in a coastal swamp and a hometown hero found dead. The New York Times reported recently that this book had sold more copies in 2019 than any other adult fiction or nonfiction work.

3. "Avengers: Infinity War," directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo.

In this film drawn from the Marvel Comics universe, The Avengers (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and more) must stop archvillan Thanos (Josh Brolin) from acquiring all six Infinity Stones. This film was the highest-grossing film of 2018 and one of the biggest box-office smashes of all time.

4. "The Reckoning" by John Grisham.

This 2018 bestseller focuses on a 1946 murder trial that takes place in the fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi, where John Grisham has set five previous novels.

5. "Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah.

In his memoir, the host of cable TV's "The Daily Show" tells about growing up in apartheid South Africa. "Born A Crime" was the Greensboro library's pick for its One City, One Book program in 2019.

6. "Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas" by Dav Pilkey.

The creator of the wildly popular "Captain Underpants" books for children in 2018 published the fifth book in his "Dog Man" series.

7. "Long Road to Mercy" by David Baldacci.

The popular and prolific thriller writer introduces a new character. Atlee Pine is an FBI agent — and Baldacci's first solo female protagonist — sent to investigate a crime in the Grand Canyon.

8. "The Great Alone" by Kristin Hannah.

This 2018 novel — the 23rd book by a former lawyer-turned-writer — tells the story of a 13-year-old girl whose mother and former POW father move to a remote part of Alaska in hopes of making a better life.

9. "Frozen," directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee.

Seven years after this movie came out, people still want to watch the adventures of Anna, Elsa and Olaf and hear the song "Let It Go."

10. "Educated: A Memoir" by Tara Westover.

Tara Westover writes about her life's journey from isolated Idaho, where she never attended school, to England's Cambridge University. This 2018 memoir has spent nearly two years on the New York Times bestseller list.

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New York's Top 10

1. "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats

2. "The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss

3. "1984" by George Orwell

4. "Where The Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak

5. "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

6. "Charlotte’s Web" by E.B. White

7. "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury

8. "How To Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie

9. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" by J.K. Rowling

10. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle

Honorable mention: "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown

Read more about the New York Public Library's top 10 list here and here.

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A note of thanks

Thanks to Tommy Joseph for compiling the two Greensboro lists and to Carole Brown, a children's librarian at the Central Library downtown, for helping to track down the books and DVDs pictured above.

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Want a library card? 

To get a library card, visit Central Library or any of the city's seven library branches. Adults must show a photo ID with a current address or a photo ID and another document — such as a bank check or a piece of mail — with a current address. A parent or guardian must sign for a library card for children 17 and younger. Library cards are free and available to residents of Greensboro, Guilford County and surrounding counties.

For more information about the Greensboro Public Library and its services, visit

Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.​

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