Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Shaker Library has been designated as a star library by the new Library Journal Index 2008 and we received the highest 5-star rating! In our peer group (libraries with budgets of $5 to $10 million), we were ranked second only to the outstanding Upper Arlington Public Library in suburban Columbus, and were fourth among all libraries our size and larger in the nation. Read more about this honor and about the new LJ Index at www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6639152
How did these rankings evolve and why did we do so well? They were partly a response to the much-debated ratings by public librarian, Thomas Hennen, who releases Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings (The HAPLR Index). Critics of the HAPLR Index claim that it tends to favor well-funded libraries and does not take into consideration output or service. The LJ Index attempts to measure “public library output only,” using four per capita indicators: visits, circulation, program attendance, and public Internet computer use.
Shaker Library has done well in the Hennen ratings over the years, but we were pleased to see that we were one of the best in the country in a statistical analysis publicized by the Gannett News Service in 2008. Based upon per capita circulation for 2006, we were 12th in the nation among all public libraries. The LJ Index also used statistics from 2006, the most current year available, so it is, in a sense, an extension of the Gannett research.
In the end, I believe the reason Shaker Library did so well in this new rating system is because we have a dedicated Board of Trustees, an enterprising Friends of the Library, and a hard-working staff with a customer-service focus. In addition, we are fortunate to serve a community that supports, funds, and uses its library. These are the “star” qualities that have served to earn us a 5-star rating.
In January, we delivered 90 caps for kids to the Cleveland School District, created by staff and library Knit Night participants, and our Food for Fines amnesty week (February 8 – 14) was a huge success. More than 60 boxes of food were collected for the Shaker Heights Community Hunger Center.
Our March program highlights include a visit from Buckeye Therapaws on March 21 when children will have the opportunity to read to man’s best friend. Lake Erie boaters and others will be intrigued to meet Georgann and Mike Wachter on March 18 and hear their presentation on Lake Erie shipwrecks. Poets Michael Salinger and Sara Holbrook will share their work on March 24 at Woods Branch, and local artists will celebrate their accomplishments at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 29 at the 10th Annual Barbara Luton Art Show, juried this year by Mary E. Stone.
As you can see, we are not content to rest on our 5-star laurels, and pledge to continue to work hard to serve the community and to earn the trust they have placed in us.
Luren E. Dickinson