The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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October 2010

What’s New · Cincinnati’s Public Library Named One of America’s Stars

The Eilert family of Loveland checks out all sorts of books, DVDs, and CDs on a regular basis at the Symmes Township Branch The Eilert family of Loveland checks out all sorts of books, DVDs,
and CDs on a regular basis at the Symmes Township Branch

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County was recently designated a Star Library by Library Journal’s Index of Public Library Service (LJ’s Index). Library Journal is the field’s leading professional publication. LJ’s Index, sponsored by Baker & Taylor’s Bibliostat, recognizes libraries based on the levels of service they provide.

America’s Star Libraries for 2010 were selected after rating 7,407 public libraries. Star library status was awarded to just 258 libraries. The October 2010 ratings are based on Institute of Museum and Library Services public library data for 2008. Scores are determined by rating four per capita service output statistics: library visits, circulation, program attendance, and public library computer use.

Library Journal reported that the statistics it compiles to show stakeholders what libraries deliver to their communities have always mattered, but they may now be more important than ever. In the face of the ongoing and broad funding cuts libraries are seeing nationwide, it is vital to illustrate the accomplishments of libraries.

7th in Hennen Ranking

Mariah-Ann Crawley, a 4th grader, received an A+ on a science project after using resources from the Children’s Learning Center Mariah-Ann Crawley, a 4th grader, received an A+ on a science project
after using resources from the Children’s Learning Center

Earlier this year, the Library ranked 7th among libraries serving populations of 500,000 or more in Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings, Cincinnati’s highest rating ever. Hennen’s top ranked public libraries are considered the best in the nation.

10th in Collection Size

The American Library Association also ranked Cincinnati’s public library in the top 10 for collection size, 1 of only 3 public libraries to make the top 10. Ranking 10th with a collection of 9.2 million items, our Library is in the prestigious company of the Library of Congress, Harvard University, and New York Public Library.

10th in Circulation

Finally, a review of the number of items checked out from public libraries in 2009 again placed our Library in the top 10. With more than 16 million items borrowed, Cincinnati’s public library ranked 10th in the nation. Of those 10, many serve areas much larger including Queens & Brooklyn and King County (Seattle, WA).

Only Library Top in 4 Rankings

Preschoolers using the Early Literacy Station at the College Hill Branch Preschoolers using the Early Literacy Station at the College Hill Branch

It’s important to note that with this recognition Cincinnati’s library has earned the distinction of being the only library in the country to be ranked in the top 10 on all library ratings: Hennen, Star, busiest, and largest collection.

“We are delighted to know that our residents are being served by an outstanding Library system that offers a large, in-depth collection heavily used on a daily basis. Further, these data show that our community visits the Library regularly to not only check out books, but also to attend programs and use our computers,” said Kim Fender, The Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
“However, while we always love to be among the best, biggest and busiest in the nation, we must also remember the need for public libraries. It’s not just about how busy we are, but the vital services we offer that help to make our community a better place in which to live.”