The Champaign Public Library continued to shine on Library Journal’s latest list of America’s “star libraries.”
In the 2013 ratings, released earlier in November, Champaign was among 263 public libraries to earn “star library” status, placing it among the top 3.5% of public libraries nationwide. Champaign’s library has won this prestigious designation all six years since the program launched in 2008, earning a 4-star rating for the last three years.
The rating system, called the LJ Index of Public Library Service, recognizes public libraries that lead in efficiency and service. Scores this year were based on fiscal year 2011 per-capita numbers, including items checked out, library visits, program attendance and public Internet use.
Library Director Marsha Grove noted that the library held its position among the nation’s best despite budget difficulties. “By 2011, we were already responding to flattened revenues by reducing staffing and cutting the budget wherever we could. With those kinds of cuts, it’s more and more challenging to maintain a high level of service.”
More than 7,500 libraries under consideration were divided into nine budget categories. The highest-scoring libraries in each category were awarded a 3- to 5-star rating. The State of Illinois had 20 star libraries, only 5 of which were downstate.
Library Journal is an industry-leading trade publication for librarians, founded in 1876 by Melvil Dewey, inventor of the Dewey decimal system.