IMCPL Receives "America's Star Library" Designation
October 8, 2010
For the second consecutive year, the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library has been rated among the nation's top urban public libraries, according to the recent Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. IMCPL's 4-star "America's Star Library" status places it in the top 10 of the nation's largest library systems with expenditures of at least $30 million annually.
Based on 2008 data compiled by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the index examined various per capita performance measures, including patron visits, circulation, program attendance and computer use. IMCPL's 2008 performance was surpassed in 2009 with record-breaking usage in all areas: a circulation of 17.1 million items (8.1% increase over 2008), over 5.9 million patron visits (5.7% increase), and 1.2 million computer session hours (19.7% increase). Over 312,000 individuals attended free Library programs designed to assist them in achieving their lifelong learning goals, ranging from computer and job assistance workshops to author visits, craft programs, and youth literacy programs.
Reflecting the importance of free computer access in today's economy, more individuals are visiting the library to conduct job searches, receive help in resume creation, and file unemployment claims. Through the 3rd quarter of 2010, IMCPL saw a 13% increase in computer usage compared to the similar record period in 2009.
"We're obviously proud to be recognized among the elite libraries in the country," stated Laura Bramble, the Library's CEO. "It demonstrates that we are effectively fulfilling our role in meeting the critical needs of our patrons, helping them navigate through the economic challenges of today while supporting the educational and economic development of our community."
Of the 45 urban libraries in the "large" expenditure category, IMCPL placed just behind library systems in Cuyahoga County, OH; Columbus, OH; Seattle, WA; Denver, CO; and Cleveland, OH; and placed ahead of those in Cincinnati, OH; Salt Lake County, UT; Ocean County, NJ; and San Francisco, CA.
The index by Library Journal, the oldest and most respected publication covering the library industry, focuses on actual performance measures rather than inputs such as expenditures, collection size and staffing.
More information on the index can be found at www.libraryjournal.com