Paducah, KY – Public libraries are gaining popularity amid economic turmoil because they offer free entertainment. Library systems in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties in Eastern Kentucky are among the Commonwealth's busiest, according to data from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. The systems circulated more than 4.3-million items and reported more than 241,000 registered borrowers during the last fiscal year. Smaller systems, like McCracken County, also see high circulation numbers. Technology Director Jay Hite says from January to December this year the system lent more than 1.3 million items, as many as some systems in larger cities. Hite says circulation numbers are down slightly from last year, but attributes that to a change in lending rules brought about by the high gas prices. He says public libraries are still the best deal in town.