Heights Libraries earns top rating from Library Journal

For the fifth consecutive year, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library system has received a five-star rating in the Library Journal's 2013 Index of Public Library Service. The five-star rating is the highest possible rating, given to the top U.S. libraries each year.

Library Journal, a publication with a national circulation of 100,000, reports library-related news with an emphasis on public libraries. It began publishing its index in 2008, and Heights Libraries has earned a five-star rating each year since 2009.

The index categorizes libraries by yearly expenditure and rates them on four criteria: circulation, visits, program attendance and Internet terminal use (public computers). Heights Libraries circulation was 31.5 per capita in its service area, meaning that 31.5 items circulated for every resident in Cleveland Heights and University Heights. Visits per capita averaged 18.8, program attendance averaged 0.6 per capita and public computer use was 5.2 per capita.

“This shows what we’ve known all along: people in our community are using the library regularly,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director. “For many customers we’ve become that ‘third place,’ the place besides work and home where they like to be. We are always busy, and I don’t see that trend reversing anytime soon.”

Levin continued, “Our community depends on us more than ever for everything from free entertainment with books and DVDs and fun programs, to more crucial things like access to the Internet, employment and business resources, free computer classes, and facilities for important community events like the political debates sponsored by the area League of Women Voters.”

Library systems that receive three or more stars in the index are designated as “star” libraries. Other Cuyahoga County libraries to receive this designation include Cleveland Public (four stars), Cuyahoga County (five stars) and Lakewood (four stars).

Thirty-two Ohio libraries were named “star” libraries, second only to New York’s 37. “One reason for this superb showing in our state is the continued support for libraries from the state of Ohio,” said Levin.

The entire report on star libraries can be found at Library Journal’s website, lj.libraryjournal.com.

Sheryl Banks

Sheryl Banks is the marketing and community relations manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 11:41 AM, 12.02.2013