May 12, 2018

America’s Star Libraries, 2011: Top-Rated Libraries

The New Stars Are Here! Library Journal’s fourth national rating of public libraries, the LJ Index of Public library Service 2011, identifies 262 Star libraries. Created by Keith Curry Lance and Ray Lyons and based on 2009 data from the IMLS, it rates 7,513 public libraries. The top libraries in each group get five, four, […]

The Star Libraries

Welcome to the latest update on America’s Star Libraries and the data that earn them that distinction. The LJ Index of Public Library Service 2011, sponsored by Baker & Taylor’s Bibliostat, is based on 2009 data released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in July 2011.

All the Stars, State by State

Click a state above, or use the drop-down below to jump to the Star libraries in that state. Star libraries are listed alphabetically by state abbreviation, then ranked by stars and score.  Please note that expenditure category peer comparisons are the critical ones; for the Star Libraries by expenditure category please go to The Star […]

The Recession's Effects

As with last year’s edition of the Star Library ratings and the LJ Index, this year’s edition was affected dramatically by the continued tightening of public sector budgets as the Great Recession officially wound down but hard times remained. This data file reflects service reported for FY09 (most often, Calendar 2009, July 2008–June 2009, or October 2008–September 2009). According to the National Bureau of Economic Research—the official arbiter of the beginning and end of a recession—the Great Recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.

Trends in the LJ Index

During the few years that the Star Library ratings and LJ Index scores have existed, the changes in the public library landscape have been nothing short of seismic. Five years ago, only some libraries had embraced, and many were just taking notice of, certain emerging trends. Today, those trends are rapidly shaping commonplace expectations.

Find a 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 7,513 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 […]

Star Data by Peer Group

Jump to an Expenditure Range: $30,000,000 + $10,000,000 – $29,999,999 $5,000,000 – $9,999,999 $1,000,000 – $4,999,999 $400,000 – $999,999 $200,000 – $399,999 $100,000 – $199,999 $50,000 – $99,999 $10,000 – $49,999 Data in these tables are sorted initially by number of stars and score. All of the tables are resortable. For example, to sort within […]

Beyond the Stars | Editorial

The latest round of America’s star Libraries is here, and a record-setting 262 libraries earned three-, four-, or five-star distinction. When we launched the LJ Index of Public Library Service in 2009 (LJ 2/15/09) using the latest available Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) data (from 2006), we hoped to bring more clarity, and continuity, to four significant output measures among libraries grouped by expenditure: per capita circulation, visits, program attendance, and public Internet terminal use.

The Stars: Expenditure Category $30,000,000+

See Star Highlight below:  CHARLOTTE MECKLENBURG LIBRARY, NC Per Capita Library State Visits Circulation Program Attendance Public Internet Terminal Uses Score Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma OH 13.4 33.4 0.6 3.4 1808 Seattle Public Library WA 12.1 19.8 0.3 2.9 1223 Columbus Metropolitan Library OH 9.7 19.6 0.5 2.6 1189 Cleveland Public Library OH 9.3 […]

The Stars: Expenditure Category $10,000,000 – $29,999,999

See Star Highlight below:  HOWARD COUNTY LIBRARY, COLUMBIA, MD Per Capita Library State Visits Circulation Program Attendance Public Internet Terminal Uses Score Naperville Public Library IL 11.4 32.3 0.6 6.2 1605 Middle Country Public Library, Centereach NY 8.8 19.3 1.1 4.8 1455 Santa Monica Public Library CA 15.8 17.3 0.8 3.3 1362 Ann Arbor District […]