May 12, 2018

LJ Index 2012: Find Your Library

Whether or not your library has been given a star rating, you can benefit from finding peers in your expenditure category and comparing stats. For the scores for all 7,570 libraries included in this round of the LJ Index, download this document to see the libraries rated, their ratings, and the data from which the ratings were derived:

spreadsheet 128x128 Find a LibraryAll Libraries Rated in the LJ Index 2012

If you cannot find your library, please review the criteria for inclusion in the LJ Index, or check the document below, which lists excluded libraries and the reasons for their exclusion:

spreadsheet 128x128 Find a LibraryLibraries excluded from the LJ Index 2012

If your library subscribes to Bibliostat Connect, you can search all of the included library data there.

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

Ray Lyons ( 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
Keith Curry Lance ( 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

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  1. Steve Benson says:

    The download of the zip file of all rated libraries seems incomplete – at the least, missing instructions on how to display the list?

  2. Josh Hadro Josh Hadro says:

    It seems there is a problem in the way Internet Explorer 8 handles the XLSX files we had uploaded. I’ve replaced those with versions saved as XLS, which seems to take care of the IE 8 issue.
    If you have any further issues downloading, please let me know at

    Thanks —

    Josh Hadro, executive editor, LJ

  3. Jenny Tripp says:

    How does a library go about putting itself into this competition, please?

    • Hello Jenny –

      Annually, the LJ Index of Public Library Service rates all US public libraries that meet four simple qualifications. These appear in the LJ Index FAQ page item #5 ( and are listed here:

      To receive an LJ Index rating a library must satisfy these criteria:

      Meet the IMLS definition of a public library
      Have a service area with at least 1000 population
      Have total operating expenditures of at least $10,000
      Report the four service output statistics listed in FAQ item # 4

      In this manner libraries are automatically entered into the competition–there are no extra steps they need to take in order to be included.

      Please note that to be included in any given edition of the LJ Index, the library must have reported its annual statistics, usually via the state library authority, to the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) for the year corresponding with that LJ Index edition. The upcoming 2013 LJ Index will be based on 2011 IMLS data; the 2012 LJ Index was based on the IMLS data for 2010, and so on. Each annual article announcing the LJ Index Star Libraries states which IMLS data the ratings were based on. (The timing of the LJ Index ratings depends on the issuance of the data from IMLS. The 2011 data were released in June, 2013.)

      The four service output statistics mentioned above as appearing in FAQ item #4 are:

      visits per capita
      circulation per capita
      total program attendance per capita
      public Internet computer users per capita.

      Let us know if this answers your question. Also, the LJ Index FAQs explain other important aspects of this rating system.

      Thanks for your interest, Jenny.

      Ray L.

    • Hello again Jenny –

      I should have also mentioned that, on the page above (LJ Index Find Your Library) is a spreadsheet entitled “Libraries EXCLUDED from LJ Index 2012”. This lists all libraries who (a) reported some data to IMLS but (b) did not specifically meet the 4 criteria listed above. If you download the spreadsheet note that the column “Reason Not Included” explains which of the 4 criteria the library failed to meet. (Libraries could fail to me 2 or more criteria, but were disqualified based on the first criterion they failed at.)

      If a library reporting *no data at all* to IMLS that year, they don’t appear in this spreadsheet.