March 17, 2018

Every Star Library Ever Named

Beginning with this edition, we are posting a detailed spreadsheet (link below) listing all Star Library awards beginning with the inaugural edition of the LJ Index in February 2009. We have rated U.S. public libraries annually since then, and twice in that initial year due to scheduling of the release of the 2006 data. (That year the responsibility for releasing the Public Libraries in the United States Survey had transferred from the National Center for Educational Statistics to the Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS).

The spreadsheet contains 2 worksheets, labeled AllStars and AllStars_Working Copy. The 2nd worksheet is intended for you to use to reformat, rearrange, sort, etc. as needed. See below for information about using the working copy sheet.

Both the AllStars and the AllStars_Working Copy worksheets list all libraries that earned any number of Star awards in any LJI edition. The sheets include each library’s LJ index score, star count, 8-year summary statistics, and per capita measures for all LJI editions. Thus, the sheets are quite wide.

The sheets are divided into 3 sections with headings (in red) described here:

Libraries Expenditure category*, Library name, city, state
LJI Ratings Data LJI stars awarded each edition, LJI ratings score each edition, total and average stars awarded to date
LJI Statistical Measures One section for each LJI per capita measure (circulation, visits, program attendance, & public Internet computer uses); library measures for each LJI edition

The AllStars worksheet is sorted in order by Expenditure Category and Total Stars Awarded, both in descending order. Thus, the most frequent winners are listed first within each Expenditure Category. Further down the list, within in each category, you’ll see libraries that earned stars less frequently. In the Star count and score columns, pale yellow coloring indicates those editions when libraries earned Star awards. And pale gray coloring indicates editions when libraries were not rated, i.e., libraries not appearing in the LJ Index that edition usually due to data not submitted for the designated IMLS year.

The AllStars WorkingCopy worksheet is for your use. Feel free to manipulate, reformat, sort, or rearrange as needed. You can re-store this working copy to its original rendition by copying the entire AllStars worksheet and pasting it in the AllStarsWorkingCopy worksheet, or any blank worksheet. See note below for sorting by expenditure category.

* To the right of the Expenditure Category column is an Expenditure Category Sort Key. This is a set of alphabetic codes, one for each category, which can be used as a sort field to sort all of the rows in the spreadsheet data portion by Expenditure Category. The text description for the categories won’t work as a sorting key. As posted here, the spreadsheet is sorted by this Expenditure Category Sort Key in descending order and then by Total Stars Awarded.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The spreadsheet is an MS Excel file, so you’ll need a program capable of opening these to view this file. Also, since web browsers are notoriously bad at handling Excel files directly, you should right-click and save the file to your computer’s hard drive before opening it. We’ve included both an XLSX (for those with a newer version of Excel) and an XLS (for those with an older version of Excel), as well as a ZIP file with both versions, for your convenience.

spreadsheet 128x128 Find a Library
» Download XLSX Version (for those with a newer version of Excel)
» Download XLS Version (for those with an older version of Excel)
» Download ZIP File (includes both versions)

» Next page: “LJ Index FAQ”

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

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
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

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