For the seventh year in a row, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library system has received the highest possible rating in the Library Journal’s 2015 Index of Public Library Service. The five-star rating is given to the top U.S. libraries each year.
Heights Libraries has earned five stars in seven out of the eight years that Library Journal has published the ratings, starting in 2008. Library Journal is a trade journal that reports news about the library world, emphasizing public libraries, and has a nation-wide circulation of 100,000.
Libraries are categorized by yearly expenditure and rated on four criteria: circulation, visits, program attendance, and Internet terminal use (public computers). Heights Libraries circulation came in at 31 per capita in our service area, meaning that roughly 31 items were circulated for every resident in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights service area. Visits per capita averaged 18.5 (down from 19.5 for 2014), program attendance averaged 1.3 (up from 1.1 in 2014), and public computer use held steady from 2014 at 5 per capita.
“We just passed a levy a year ago, but we never want to take our place in this community for granted, so we are absolutely delighted by the rating,” says Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “These numbers make it clear that our community continues to need our services; that’s one of the reasons we decided to upgrade and expand our University Heights branch next year. All of our buildings are heavily used by customers of all ages, and they deserve a library that will continue to give 5 star service.”
Heights Libraries wasn’t the only other Cuyahoga County area library to receive a 5-Star Award; other libraries to win are Cleveland Public, Cuyahoga County, and Lakewood.
The entire State of Ohio did well in general, compared to the rest of the nation: Ohio was second only to New York State in terms of the number of libraries that received star ratings, 28 vs. 39, respectively.
The entire report on America’s star libraries can be found at Library Journal’s website, lj.libraryjournal.com.