Three area libraries win top rankings
Thursday, November 02, 2000
By TOM BRECKENRIDGE
PLAIN DEALER REPORTER
Nancy Fisher has always thought the library she runs does a top job
of serving a diverse and information-hungry crowd. Now Wickliffe Public
Library has the national ranking to prove it.
Wickliffe library joined Twinsburg and Cleveland Heights-University
Heights libraries in finishing among the Top 10 for libraries of their
size in the country, according to rankings publicized yesterday in
American Libraries magazine.
Ohio libraries also rank higher than any other stateís, according
to rankings devised by Thomas Hennen. He is a Wisconsin librarian who
annually crunches statistics on circulation, staffing, reference service
and funding from 9,000 libraries, creating Hennenís American Public
Wickliffe finished third among 1,399 libraries serving populations
between 10,000 and 25,000. The library is located between elementary and
middle schools and counts students among its steady flow of devoted
"Everyone thought we should have been ranked up there all
along," said Fisher, the libraryís director.
Twinsburg finished ninth in the same population category, the third
straight year of lofty rankings for a library serving one of the
fastest-growing areas in Ohio. A big reason for its popularity: The
library sets aside 25 percent of its $1.7 million budget to buy new
materials, Director Karen Tschudy said.
Cleveland Heights-University Heights, which circulates 1.5 million
items yearly, ranked seventh among 447 libraries serving between 50,000
and 100,000 people.
Director Stephen Wood said the ranking shows his staff "that
their work in selecting materials and finding information is really
Ohio libraries excel thanks to generous funding, Hennen said. While
most libraries nationwide depend on local support through property
taxes, Ohio sets aside a chunk of the state income tax for its
libraries. The money typically covers a half or more of Ohio
librariesí budgets, Hennen said.
Overall, Ohioans are a comparatively bookish lot. They visit their
libraries more often and check out more items per visit than most U.S.
residents, Hennen reported.
Phone: (216) 999-4695
©2000 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.