Library Journal came up with a new national rating of public libraries called LJ Index of Public Library Service, which highlights star libraries in the US. ( cover story “America’s Star Libraries,” LJ, 2/15/2009, p. 26-33).
The index…rates 7,115 public libraries according to four output measures that indicate public service—circulation per capita, visits per capita, program attendance per capita, and public Internet uses per capita—based on 2006 data collected by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and published in late 2008. The top libraries in each category, organized by ranges of operating expenditures, were then assigned five, four, or three Michelin guide-esque stars. A total of 256 libraries received star ratings.
The authors of the new rating system Ray Lyons and Keith Curry focused on four customer service metrics in contrast to the popular Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (HALPR) that works with 15 different statistical measures. ( Click here to see Top 100 libraries according to Hennen's American Public Library Ratings)
It is good to have two different rating systems to compare results, but no matter which one is used some libraries like Multnomah County Library, Hennepin County Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library will always be on top.