Minnesota Ranks Well in Library Journal’s “Stars” Index

A new index ranking out this month shows that Minnesota boasts its fair share of “stars.” But we're not talking about the likes of Bob Dylan, Prince, or Garrison Keillor.

Each year, Library Journal (American librarianship’s premier trade journal) assesses the United States’ public library systems on their public service performance. It then honors stand-out achievement with its prestigious Star rankings. This year, Minnesota more than held its own nationally, with five libraries across the state earning this unique commendation.

5 Stars
Grand Marais Public Library (in $200-$399.9K category)
4 Stars
East Grand Forks Campbell Library (in $200K-$399.9K category)
3 Stars
Ely Public Library (in $200K-$399.9K category)
Hennepin County Library (in $30M+ category)
Ramsey County Library (in $10M-$29.9M category)

5-star-reputation-512x283.jpgLibrary Journal’s tiers system and algorithms are somewhat complex, but the premise is straightforward. Four basic and very vital “public service outputs” are considered: per capita library visits, circulation rates, program attendance, and Internet-enabled computer usage. While the publication is the first to admit that these quantitative statistics cannot account for quality or effectiveness of library services, the figures provide an excellent baseline reading of how well libraries serve their publics.

It is no coincidence that Minnesota’s five Star-ranked libraries each have robust Friends of the Library groups supporting them. According to ALA – and much as you might expect – a large and active Friends group correlates very strongly with strong library programming attendance.

Congratulations to our “friends” in East Grand ForksElyGrand MaraisHennepin County, and Ramsey County!

Click here for a full accounting of Library Journal’s 2013 rankings, or visit the FAQ page for more information on how the Index works. (And, in case you were wondering, Minnesota tied with Arizona, Maine, Missouri and Oregon for twelfth overall.)