October 19, 2014

America’s Star Libraries, 2013: Top-Rated Libraries

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ljx131101webStarLandingRuleB America’s Star Libraries, 2013: Top Rated LibrariesThe constellation of Star Libraries changes dramatically from year to year. As it does every year, the 2013 Star Libraries illustrates that each annual round introduces a substantial set of new Star Libraries, sees the fortunes of continuing Star Libraries change—as libraries change peer groups and gain and lose stars—and, indeed, sees many of the previous year’s honorees lose their Star Library status altogether. The explanations for these changes are varied and complex. Whether a public library gains or loses Star Library status or sees that status change more subtly is determined as much by the fortunes of other libraries in a library’s spending peer group as by the per capita service output of its own institution.

In this year’s article, we will highlight the new Star Libraries that were not on the 2012 list, Star Libraries that maintained their star status despite changing spending peer groups, Star Libraries that gained or lost stars from 2012 to 2013, and libraries that lost Star Library status in 2013. The 2012 Star Library ratings were based on 2010 data, while the 2013 ratings are based on 2011 data. This data is collected from local libraries annually by state library agencies and compiled nationally by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

As it is every year, the LJ Index of Public Library Service and its Star Library ratings are sponsored by Baker & Taylor’s (B&T) Bibliostat products. Bibliostat Collect is used by many state library agencies to collect public library statistics, while Bibliostat Connect enables library administrators and others to analyze those statistics comparatively from a local perspective.

» Next page: “The Star Libraries”

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Keith Curry Lance & Ray Lyons About Keith Curry Lance & Ray Lyons

Keith Curry Lance (keithlance@comcast.net) is an independent consultant based in suburban Denver. He also consults with the Colorado-based RSL Research Group. In both capacities, he conducts research on libraries of all types for state library agencies, state library associations, and other library-related organizations. For more information, visit http://www.KeithCurryLance.com.
Ray Lyons (raylyons@gmail.com) is an independent consultant and statistical programmer in Cleveland. His articles on library statistics and assessment have also appeared in Public Library Quarterly, Public Libraries, and Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. He blogs on library statistics and assessment at libperformance.com.

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