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National Library Publication Rates IMCPL a 4-Star Library

March 17, 2009

A new national public library rating system has designated the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library a 4-star library for performance among large urban libraries.

The Library Journal Index of Public Library Service, sponsored by Baker & Taylor's Bibliostat Connectweb-based statistical analysis software, rated public libraries on four per-capita service indicators: library visits by patrons, circulation of materials, program attendance, and public Internet computer usage. Libraries were evaluated relative to others in their peer group based on total yearly operating expenditures.

Among the 15 urban libraries whose operating expenditures total $30 million or more, five achieved scores that earned them a 5-star rating: Multnomah County Library (Portland, Oregon), Columbus Metropolitan Library (Columbus, Ohio), Hennepin County Public Library (Minnetonka, Minnesota), Cleveland Public Library (Cleveland, Ohio), and the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (Charlotte, North Carolina).

IMCPL's index score placed it atop the listing of 4-star libraries that included the San Jose Public Library (San Jose, California), Consolidated Library District #3 (Independence, Missouri), Montgomery County Public Libraries (Rockville, Maryland), and Baltimore County Public Library (Baltimore, Maryland).

The five public libraries that received 3-star status included the Queens Borough Public Library (Jamaica, New York), Las Vegas-Clark County Library District (Las Vegas, Nevada), Broward County Libraries Division (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida), Boston Public Library (Boston, Massachusetts), and Atlanta Fulton Public Library System (Atlanta, Georgia).

In 2008, IMCPL set new service records in the number of patron visits (5.6 million), the number of items circulated (15.9 million), and patron hours logged on public computers (1.1 million). In addition, the Library presented 12,483 programs for adults and children which were attended by 333,576 individuals.

"We're proud to be viewed among the best libraries in the nation," said Laura Bramble, IMCPL CEO. "However, as we embark on a new five-year strategic plan, we will be looking at even more ways to improve library service to the community," she added.

This recent index by Library Journal, a leading industry publication, differs from past national surveys by measuring performance outcomes rather than such inputs as expenditures, collection size and staffing.

More information on the Library Journal index can be found at http://www.libraryjournal.com.