12/10/20 — Ohio received national recognition this week for public library service and use. According to the 2020 Library Journal Index of Public Library Service (LJ Index), 31 of Ohio’s public libraries earned a star rating. The LJ Index annually measures libraries across the country and rates them on a three, four, or five-star scale based on physical circulation, circulation of electronic materials, library visits, program attendance, public internet computer use, and Wi-Fi sessions. The LJ Index gives an overall indication of how libraries stack up to their peers nationally.
The 2020 Star Libraries are found in 40 states across the country. The top six states, ranked by their numbers of Star Libraries, are
- New York, 34
- Ohio, 31
- Iowa, 18
- Illinois, 16
- Nebraska, 13
- Colorado, 11
“We are all looking for some good news right now and being showcased on a national level is a true honor for the Ohio library community,” said Michelle Francis, Executive Director of the Ohio Library Council. “Achieving this national recognition would not be possible without the commitment and creativity of Ohio library staff and the support of residents across our state. We also appreciate the strong support from Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly.”
The LJ Index rates U.S. public libraries based on per capita service statistics and groups libraries into classifications based on total expenditures. They are rated based on data recently released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). While the ratings are based on 2018 data, public libraries were never more tested than in 2020. Throughout the pandemic, Ohio’s public libraries have risen to the challenge and continue to adapt their services to meet the needs of students, parents, and entire communities.