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Press Coverage of HAPLR

Partial quotes, not complete stories.

At the Columbus Metropolitan Library, accolades continue, business booms

Sunday, April 12, 2009 3:20 AM By

Tim Feran The Columbus Dispatch (OH)

Even while coping with cuts or freezes in funding, the Columbus Metropolitan Library has enjoyed a string of good news in the past two years.

In October, the system was rated the best in the nation, its third time at the top of Hennen's American Public Library Rating.

In February, the system earned a five-star rating -- the highest -- from the Library Journal's new ranking of American libraries.




Library Stacks Up against Others Once Again

Naperville Sun (IL)

By: Tim Waldorf twaldorf@scn1.com  
For the ninth time in eight years - yes, nine times, eight years - the Naperville Public Library is ranked No. 1.


"American Libraries," the official magazine of the American Library Association, issued its nationwide rankings for public libraries this week, and, for an unprecedented ninth consecutive time, the Naperville Public Library topped the lists of institutions serving communities with populations between 100,000 to 249,999.


Pikes Peak Library District among the top 10 in the nation

THE GAZETTE (Pikes Peak, CO)


Pikes Peak Library District ranks among the top 10 in the nation, according to the recently released Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.

The 2008 HAPLR ratings place PPLD ninth out of 79 library systems in the largest category: population areas of 500,000 and larger.

"It is an honor and a true achievement to attain top 10 status in 2008," said PPLD Executive Director Paula Miller. "It reflects a high level of excellence in everything we do."


Library system tops list again

Columbus named No. 1 for 3rd time; Cleveland No. 2
Saturday,  October 4, 2008 3:12 AM

Jim Woods for the Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)



Library is once again the nation's best

Amy Boerema Daily Herald Staff Writer. Daily Herald. Arlington Heights, Ill.: Nov 7, 2006. pg. 4

Naperville was named the best facility of its size - serving a population of between 100,000 and 249,999 - by Hennen's American Public Library Rating Index.

[Donna Dziedzic] wasted no time in scheduling a hair appointment. On Wednesday, she plans to buzz the back of her head, dye the hair dark and shave a "No. 1" into it.

The honor is even more special, Dziedzic said, because Naperville operates three full-service sites. Most towns operate one central facility with smaller branches.



The Sun. Baltimore, Md.: Mar 19, 2006. pg. 20.T

Library collections -- In addition to books, libraries lend audiocassettes, compact discs, toys and videotapes. Contact a library branch. The library announced that Hennen's American Public Library Ratings for 2005 ranked it first in the nation among public libraries in its category (population 250,000). The ranking appeared in the October issue of American Libraries. It is based on 15 measures, including visits, circulation, staffing, materials, reference service and funding levels, the Howard library said.



Fitch Rates Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, IN $25MM GOs 'AAA'

Business Wire. New York: Aug 14, 2006. pg. 1

Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'AAA' rating to the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, Indiana's (the library) $25 million general obligation bonds, series 2006, scheduled for competitive sale on Aug. 16 with H.J. Umbaugh and Associates serving as the library's financial adviser. The Rating Outlook is Stable. Proceeds will finance a portion of the library's central library expansion project. The bonds are general obligations, payable from ad valorem taxes levied on all taxable property within the library district. Fitch also affirms the 'AAA' rating on the library's $85.5 million of outstanding general obligation debt.

The library serves all of Marion County, except for the City of Beech Grove and the Town of Speedway, which have their own libraries. The library's circulation has grown at an average of 4.4% annually over the past decade. Despite the library's interim location, 2005 circulation grew 4.3% from the previous year with continued growth expected in 2006. The Hennen American Library Rating Index, which measures levels of circulation, materials, staffing, reference usage, service and expenditures per capita, recently rated the library sixth nationally among libraries serving a population of more than 500,000. Library board appointments reflect the library's close ties with area governments.



A library system that excels

The Blade. Toledo, Ohio: Nov 9, 2006. pg. A.10

Abstract (Summary)

IF ALL institutions in this area enjoyed the same national reputation as the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library system, Silicon Valley would have to worry about competing with Toledo. Once again the system has received outstanding national recognition. It's ranked eighth in the nation in cities of similar size by Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.


Way Public Library celebrates its ranking in nation's top tier

JOE VARDON. The Blade. Toledo, Ohio: Nov 24, 2006. pg. J.4

Way Library in Perrysburg has been ranked the nation's fourth-best library among similar-sized cities in the 2006 edition of [Thomas Hennen]'s American Public Library Ratings.

Way Library, which is now in the 10,000-24,999 population category, was ranked seventh nationally the first year Mr. Hennen's rankings were released.

Children's librarian Kathy Kahl works the desk at Way Library, recently honored by Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.


As leader exits, upgrade for library still on shelf

Megan Woolhouse. Boston Globe. Boston, Mass.: Dec 28, 2006. pg. 1

Marlborough's library falls in the lower middle ranking for quality among those of its size in Massachusetts, according to Hennen's Public Library Ratings for 2006. It scored 466 points out of a possible 1,000. That meant it scored better than 43 percent of libraries in Massachusetts serving populations of 25,000 to 50,000. Ratings are based on factors such as funding, number of users, materials, staffing, and hours.



THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH, Jeb Phillips. Columbus Dispatch. Columbus, Ohio: Oct 5, 2005. pg. 01.B

[Thomas J. Hennen Jr.] said some people continue to criticize him for his methodology because he uses 2-year-old statistics for current rankings and libraries have inconsistent ways of reporting how many people they serve. But, he said, he uses the statistics libraries themselves turn in to the Federal-State Cooperative System, and gathering the statistics always will lag behind the ratings.

Hennen's rankings came out yesterday in the latest issue of American Libraries magazine, which has published the tables since 1999. Hennen uses 15 criteria to judge the libraries, including funding, circulation, customer visits and expenditures, while allowing for the number of people the libraries serve. The Upper Arlington Public Library ranked second in its population category of 25,000-49,999; Bexley Public Library was third in the 10,000-25,000 category; and Westerville Public Library ranked fifth in its category of 50,000-99,999.



Maggie Beckwith Contributing writer. The Post - Standard. Syracuse, N.Y.: Nov 17, 2005. pg. 14

Abstract (Summary)
Elbridge Free Library ranks eighth in the nation among libraries its size and among the top libraries in the country, according to the seventh edition of Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.

Elbridge placed eighth among 1,609 other libraries in its size category, a library serving between 1,000 and 2,449 people. In all, more than 9,000 libraries were rated.



Maggie Beckwith Contributing writer. The Post - Standard. Syracuse, N.Y.: Nov 17, 2005. pg. 14

Elbridge Free Library ranks eighth in the nation among libraries its size and among the top libraries in the country, according to the seventh edition of Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.

Elbridge placed eighth among 1,609 other libraries in its size category, a library serving between 1,000 and 2,449 people. In all, more than 9,000 libraries were rated.



Hoosier libraries stack up again

South Bend Tribune. South Bend, Ind.: Oct 28, 2005. pg. 1

The Hennen ratings were begun by Thomas J. Hennen Jr., director of Waukesha County (Wis.) Federated Library System. Hennen has acknowledged that his rating system doesn't cover everything. Some libraries that don't score at the top of his scale might be very good in areas the Hennen ratings don't measure. One of those is the Mishawaka-Penn Public Library. It's rightfully very proud, for example, of its children's program -- something not considered by the Hennen scale.


Tualatin council poised to try library levy again; [Sunrise Edition]

CATHERINE RYAN. The Oregonian. Portland, Or.: Dec 8, 2005. pg. 12

To join a community discussion about Tualatin, go to www.oregonlive.com/forums/tualatin. Tualatin council poised

The timing of the Tualatin library levy isn't meant to beat the cooperative to the punch but to prevent confusion, [Paul Hennon] said. "It's not a competition. Think of them as siblings. They all need appropriate care and treatment."

The Tualatin library ranked as the 14th smallest per capita in Oregon last fiscal year. Despite size constraints, Hennen's American Public Library Ratings listed the Tualatin library this year as the best in Oregon serving populations between 10,000 and 24,999.


A library system that excels

The Blade. Toledo, Ohio: Nov 9, 2006. pg. A.10

IF ALL institutions in this area enjoyed the same national reputation as the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library system, Silicon Valley would have to worry about competing with Toledo. Once again the system has received outstanding national recognition. It's ranked eighth in the nation in cities of similar size by Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.


Way Public Library celebrates its ranking in nation's top tier

JOE VARDON. The Blade. Toledo, Ohio: Nov 24, 2006. pg. J.4

Abstract (Summary)
Way Library in Perrysburg has been ranked the nation's fourth-best library among similar-sized cities in the 2006 edition of [Thomas Hennen]'s American Public Library Ratings.

Way Library, which is now in the 10,000-24,999 population category, was ranked seventh nationally the first year Mr. Hennen's rankings were released.

Children's librarian Kathy Kahl works the desk at Way Library, recently honored by Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.

St. Charles County among top three of eight counties in progress comparison.

Source: St. Charles County Business Record, MO

Publication Date: 06-NOV-06

Byline: Kathleen T. Brady

Compared to eight similar fast-growing counties in the nation, St. Charles County is holding its own, according to figures released by the "Measuring Progress in St. Charles County" report released by Partners for Progress. St. Charles County ranks third among eight other counties when in comes to its economy, health care, education and lifestyle. St. Charles County has maintained a second or third overall ranking in the past three years the report has been published. The Measuring Progress report for 2006 is the third of its kind since PfP formed in 2001. The report was assembled by Development Dynamics. PfP publishes this report each year to highlight the strengths and weakness in the county and to assist the organization in budgeting beneficial projects each year. The report was broken down into four basic areas on which PfP traditionally focuses its attention: the economy, education, health and lifestyle. Each of those areas was broken down further to examine a set of criteria, which was then compared to the eight counties. The counties used for comparison in the report are: Dakota County, a suburb of Minneapolis; DeKalb...



Libraries in Ohio rank first: State captures top spot in nation for 7th year.

Source: Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, OH)

Publication Date: 17-NOV-06

Byline: Carol Biliczky

Nov. 17--While Ohio lags in many national rankings, the state once again rates first in libraries. In addition, 33 libraries, including several in theAkron-Canton area, are among the national top 10 in their population groups, based on the newly released survey by Wisconsin library director Thomas J. Hennen Jr. This is the seventh year for Hennen's rankings, the only nationwide ranking for libraries. It is also the seventh year that Ohio...


National rating system shows most local libraries stack up well

Posted: Dec. 25, 2004

A recent nationwide rating of libraries placed most of those in Washington and Ozaukee counties among the top 25% in their categories.

The latest Hennen's American Public Library Ratings, known as the HAPLR index, placed the Frank L. Weyenberg Library in Mequon in the 89th percentile, Cedarburg Public Library at 87%, W.J. Niederkorn Library in Port Washington at 84%, USS Liberty Memorial Public Library in Grafton at 81% and the Germantown Community Library at 80%.

This is the fourth edition of Hennen's American Public Library Ratings. The ratings are the brainchild of Thomas J. Hennen Jr., director of Waukesha County Federated Library System.

The index generates a score using 15 categories, including circulation, staffing, materials, reference service and funding. The size of the community is an important factor.

Each category is weighted to come up with a score of up to 1,000 points. The scores are then ranked among libraries in 10 population categories.



  • Libraries have something to cheer about
    Friday, October 08, 2004
    Donna Iacoboni, Plain Dealer Reporter

Shout "we are No. 1" next time you visit your local library. The librarians won't mind. They're proud.

The annual Hennen's American Public Library Ratings ranked 25 Ohio libraries among the top 100 in the United States. Eleven are in Northeast Ohio. The rankings evaluated more than 9,000 libraries in the 50 states.

Karen Tschudy, Twinsburg's library director, attributes the success to the library's location, near major roads in a growing community.

Judy Leuthaeuser, the Medina County library's administrator, said library employees, focused on customer service, have spurred the system's success.


  • Library scores high in review: Rancho Mirage facility 2nd best in California

By Janna Braun
The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA)
October 9th, 2004

The Rancho Mirage Public Library ranked second in the state out of the 179 public library jurisdictions in California in 2003, jumping up one notch from the previous year in a national survey. Rancho Mirage scored 842 points, just behind Santa Clara County Library with 886 points, in the Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings.

Rancho Mirage Library Director Tom Johnson said local library leaders are proud of the findings.

"For us, this is just one small way of measuring the services we provide," Johnson said. "It’s not the end-all, be-all, but it’s a source of great community pride."

  • WTNH TV News Channel 8's Erin Cox reports:
    Clinton-WTNH, Oct. 15, 2004 6:45 PM) _ The Henry Carter Hull Library has received a very special distinction. It's been named one of the Top Ten libraries of its size across the country, a designation readers say is long overdue.The Hennen scale rates libraries in 15 categories including circulation and hours of operation. Regular patrons here can't keep quiet about a library they love.

    "We use the playgroup program, the playroom of course and also all of the videos and books," says Tina Evans. Her son "hasn't sat still for story time yet but we'll get there," says Tina Evans.

    This library gets it done on a $600,000 budget. Compare that to the $2 million budget of the other Connecticut library on the list, Darien at #8. A library that is truly top shelf.

    Henry Carter Hull Library

    Darien Library


  • Public library ranks best in state: Lake Oswego's facility is ranked fifth in the nation, according to an annual survey of 9,000 libraries

    Friday, October 15, 2004

LAKE OSWEGO -- The city's public library is the best in the state, according to an annual survey by a Wisconsin library system official who rates libraries across the country. Lake Oswego Public Library is ranked at the top in Oregon, ahead of the Multnomah County Library. It ranked fifth in the nation, behind two libraries in New York and two in Ohio. Library manager Bill Baars said he was delighted by the ranking, which is equivalent to U.S. News & World Report's annual college ratings in the library world.

Library recognized

Thee Fort Wayne News-Sentinel reported on October 13, 2004:

The Allen County Public Library is ranked fifth in the nation for public libraries serving a population between 250,000 and 499,999. This is the fifth year the library has received recognition in Hennen’s American Public Library Rating Index II report. The rating is based on factors including circulation, staffing, materials, reference service and funding levels.


  • Lakewood Public Library, Ohio.  By Jen Gross, Staff Writer for the Sun Newspaper in Ohio had this to say in the article "Library wants to stay local" on May 13, 2004:

    Residents' support is not the only justification Lakewood Public Library has for remaining independent, however.

    For the past two years, the library has been recognized by Hennen's American Public Library Ratings survey as the top facility in the country for libraries serving between 50,000-100,000 people. The rankings are based on various factors, including circulation, staffing, materials, reference service and funding levels.

    "What would be interesting, because we are the No. 1 library, would be for our hours and programs to be rolled into the county model across the board," Warren said. "Then we could see much it would cost to deliver this level of service across the county."


  • Pleasonton Public Library, California.  On April 23, 2004 Dolores Fox Ciardelli of the Pleasonton Weekly, said:

    For every book the Pleasanton library acquires, it must throw one away. The library has no more room on its shelves.

    "If the library has ever had any complaints, they might be based on competition between different types of use," said Farnsworth. "Some come for a quiet place to read magazines. Others are teens working on study assignments. Our No. 1 complaint is noise."

    "We have identified 12 types of space that might be needed," said Library Commissioner Debbie Look, who helped Farnsworth with the presentation.

    Farnsworth also reported that Pleasanton scored just over 700 out of a possible 1,000 on Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR), a national ranking based on circulation, staffing, materials, reference service and funding levels.


  • Darien Public Library, Connecticut.

  • “We are pleased to be recognized again this year,” said Louise Berry, Director of the Darien Library. “Of course, numerical rankings can’t measure everything, especially the customer service that our patrons tell us is the most important part of the library, but they are a good indicator of what we’re doing right, and where we can improve.

    The Darien Library is ranked highest in Connecticut, and eighth in the nation for its population category, according to the HAPLR rankings developed by Thomas Hennen, Jr. and released in the October 2003 edition of American Libraries, a publication of the American Library Association.

  • Ames Library Ranks 'Best In Nation'

Rankings Based On Staff, Materials, Funding POSTED: 9:26 a.m. CST December 28, 2002 The Iowa Channel.com   KCCI, Channel 8

AMES, Iowa -- Five Iowa libraries are ranked among the best in the nation.

Libraries in Ames, North Liberty, Bettendorf, Cresco and Lynnville are in the top ten in their respective population categories nationwide.

 The rankings are reported in the 2002 Hennen American Public Library Ratings, which were released this fall and published in the October American Libraries magazine. 

North Liberty also gets honors for ranking No. 1 in its size category of 25,000 and being tops in Iowa. Bettendorf ranks second in Iowa.

 Iowa is ranked eleventh in the nation. Ohio ranks first.

 The Hennen report ranks libraries based on several factors including circulation, staffing, materials, reference service and funding levels. 


5 Iowa libraries rank among nation's best

By Janet Rorholm
The Cedar Rapids Gazette
Friday, December 27, 2002

Five Iowa libraries rank among the best in the nation.

The Ames, Bettendorf, Cresco, Lynnville and North Liberty public libraries rank in the top 10 in their respective population categories nationwide, according to the 2002 Hennen American Public Library Ratings that rates about 9,000 libraries nationwide. The report was released this fall and published in the October American Libraries magazine.

North Liberty also gets honors for ranking No. 1 in its size category of 25,000 and ranking No. 1 in the state with a 917 rating. Bettendorf ranks second and Conrad third, in Iowa.

For rest of story see: http://www.crgazette.com/go_article/0,1336,48340%252D1,00.html?cks=0

  • Tiny regional libraries honored for being packed with materials, staff

    - Benzie Shores, Northport librarians say funding levels, location contribute to ranking


    Travers City  (MI) Record-Eagle staff writer

     December 26, 2002

          TRAVERSE CITY - Two area libraries have been honored as the second- and third-best small libraries in Michigan by a national library ranking system.

          Hennen's American Public Library Ratings placed Benzie Shores District Library in Frankfort second and Leelanau Township Library in Northport third in the state for the amount of material, circulation and staff. The ratings system considers yearly expenditures per capita and percent of budget spent on materials.

          Both libraries were listed in the 1,000 service population category, although both have actual service populations slightly more than 2,000.

    For rest of story see: http://www.record-eagle.com/2002/dec/26libr.htm



  • Naperville library sits at top of national ranking for fourth year straight

    Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago’s Information Source By Susan Stevens Daily Herald Staff WriterPosted on September 28, 2002

    Naperville Libraries Director Donna Dziedzic rose at 5 a.m. Friday to log on to her home computer. Dziedzic couldn't wait to find out whether Naperville scored well in a national ranking of American libraries. The city had taken the top spot in its class for three years running.

    "From a statistical perspective, to be No. 1 four years in a row, it didn't seem possible," Dziedzic said.

    But when she checked the Web, she learned Naperville had done it again.

    For the fourth time, it ranked No. 1 in towns with populations between 100,000 and 250,000 in Hennen's American Public Library Rating Index, which was published in the October issue of American Libraries magazine.

     For the rest of the story: http://archives.dailyherald.com/


  • Denver library rated No. 1 again

    By Robert Sanchez, Rocky Mountain News  October 2, 2002

    In sports terms, it's called a "repeat."

    The Denver Public Library has been rated the No. 1 large library in the nation for the second time in a row, beating 76 other library systems serving residential populations exceeding 500,000.

    The ranking from Hennen's American Public Library Ratings also shows that Colorado has the seventh-best library systems in the country, according to the group's Web site. The best library systems belong to Ohio, according the group.

    "This certainly gives us affirmation about the work we think we've done here," Denver City Librarian Rick Ashton said Tuesday. "The best thing about this ranking is that it's based on actual numbers. It's not a popularity contest." 

    For the rest of the story see: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_1452970,00.html


  • Councilman's plan to cut city libraries is far from courageous

    Tacoma News Tribune  October 1, 2002 , Peter Callaghan; The News Tribune 

    Partial quotes- 

    "We have to embrace significant change in how we look at the libraries," Councilman Kevin Phelps said at a recent study session with members of the library board. "The current libraries, as we see them today, are somewhat of a dinosaur."

    Callahan replies with:

    And Tacomans use their libraries more than most. A recent statistical analysis of the nation's libraries by Thomas Hennen placed Tacoma in the 89th percentile in library visits per capita and the 87th percentile in circulation per capita.

    For the reset of the story: http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/TRIBnet/main/search.html


  • Libraries best in U.S.   - State system again No. 1 in annual ratings. N. Canton, Twinsburg tops in their class

    Budget cuts threaten to end Ohio's reign

    Posted on Fri, Oct. 04, 2002    Akron Beacon Journal By Stephen Dyer , Beacon Journal staff writer

    NORTH CANTON - Commitment and money have created in Ohio the finest public library system in the country.

    That fact again was confirmed by the annual Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.

    The fourth edition of HAPLR also named North Canton and Twinsburg as the top two libraries in the country in their classification (population 10,000-24,999). There are 20 Ohio libraries that made a Top 10 list -- among them Medina, Stow and Orrville.

    ``We're thrilled,'' said Linda Bayman, North Canton library's community relations and information manager. ``We're feeling good about it.''

    In 2000 -- the last time the ratings came out due to a delay in collecting data -- Twinsburg was No. 9 after being No. 1 in 1999.

    ``We've been in the top 10 ever since the ratings came out,'' said the Twinsburg library's director, Karen Tschudy. ``It's great.''

    For rest of story see: http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/archives/


  • Toledo, 2 NW Ohio libraries win kudos

    Toledo Blade.  October 3, 2002 BY ROBIN ERB , BLADE STAFF WRITER

    The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library once again has made it to the top of the list of the nation’s best book depositories, helping Ohio maintain its ranking as the nation’s healthiest state when it comes to libraries.

    That’s according to the latest update of Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings, an index compiled by a longtime Wisconsin librarian who gathers data from about 9,000 libraries.

    Still, Northwest Ohio’s largest library system dropped a spot - to eighth among the 90 libraries serving from 250,000 to 499,999 patrons - in part because it flip-flopped ranks with the Dayton and Montgomery Public Library.

    That may be because the rankings are based on data collected in the year 2000 - a year that the library system was undergoing major improvements and several branches, including downtown’s Main Library, were closed, said Director Clyde Scoles.

    For rest of story see: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/oversikt?Category=ARCHIVES



  • State libraries rank 9th in U.S. rating

    Brown Deer is tops in the Milwaukee area, according to survey

    By DAN BENSON Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


    Last Updated: Oct. 6, 2002

    Wisconsin's library system still rates as one of the best in the nation, but difficult years lie ahead for it and the vast majority of the nation's other cash-strapped systems, according to the author of an annual library ratings index.

    "About 40 states are facing massive budget shortfalls, just like us," Thomas J. Hennen said. He's author of Hennen's American Public Library Ratings index - the only national library rating system - and is director of the Waukesha County Federated Library System.

    Wisconsin is ranked ninth among the 50 states in the most recent index and has two libraries rated among the top 10 in their population categories.

    For rest of story see: http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/oct02/85756.asp?format=print



  • Survey says Poquoson has Va.'s 3rd-best library

    By Christopher Schnaars - POQUOSON Daily Press (VA)

    Published October 3, 2002

    POQUOSON -- A national survey of 9,000 libraries nationwide ranks the Poquoson Public Library as the third-best in Virginia.

    The survey - Hennen's American Public Library Ratings - was recently released. It was based on 2000 data and was the fourth time that Thomas Hennen Jr., a Wisconsin library director, had ranked libraries nationwide.

    Hennen uses data in 15 areas - including circulation, staffing and materials - to rank libraries.

    Poquoson Library Director Elizabeth Tai said the ranking was proof that library staff stuck by its motto: Being small is no reason for being less than excellent.

    She said, "This honor really speaks well of our community's commitment to the library."

    For rest of story see: http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/dailypress/index.html


  • Another honor in the books 

    Denver Post; Denver, Colo.; Oct 4, 2002; Dick Kreck;

    City librarian Rick Ashton is a rare bird - he answers his own phone. Of course he does. The budget's so tight he can't afford a secretary.

    Only joking. It hasn't gotten that bad yet.

    For the second consecutive year, our own DPL has been named the nation's best public library by Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.

    Covet that award, Rick. It may be the last one you see for a while. He says budget cuts, state and local, are squeezing the life out of the library.

    It's grim. 'We've already stood some very large cuts, almost $2.5 million in June from the state budget from Gov. Owens' line-item veto,' Ashton said. 'Various city cuts that have happened and are being worked on for next year involve cuts to the book budget. We're currently carrying 30 vacant positions, and our spending for things like postage, staff travel and training is really reduced.'

    For rest of story see: http://www.denverpost.com/


  • Nation's No. 1 small-town library is in South Whitley

      Post & Mail (IN)

    By ROBIN R. PLASTERER Staff Writer October 10, 2002

    The town of South Whitley is very proud of its library. That is evident upon entering the town where signs proclaim "Visit our library!"

    Now South Whitley has one more reason to be proud of the South Whitley-Cleveland Township Public Library - it has won a national award.


  • Redwood Library among the best

  • Redwood Gazette, October 17, 2002

    Staff at the Redwood Falls Public Library were informed late last week its operation is considered one of the best in the nation by "American Libraries" magazine, the definitive word on, well, American libraries.

    "We're honored to make the list," Librarian Jude Jensen said, explaining that the local operation moved up from eighth to a tie for second for communities between 5,000 and 10,000 in the two years since the last list was published. "There are a number of different factors that go into the ratings, like expenditures per capita and circulation numbers, staffing and the collection itself.

    "The city has been very supportive in what we do," she continued. "Community support has also been overwhelming, between donations through the Foundation and work with the Friends of the Library."

    The author of the study said in the extended note that not all criteria is considered because it simply is not available in all situations - factors like facility size, internet and computer availability will be added in the coming years - input factors that should help Redwood Falls.

    - Daryl Thul


  • County libraries rate 4th in 2002 national ranking 

Baltimore Sun October 17, 2002

TOWSON -- Baltimore County Public Library is fourth best among the nation's largest libraries, according to Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.

The 2002 ratings, which appeared this week in American Libraries magazine, are based on several factors, including volumes per capita, reference activity, expenditures per capita and circulation. Because Baltimore County has a population of more than 500,000, the library was judged against the 76 largest libraries in the nation.

Other Maryland libraries acknowledged for excellence by HAPLR include Montgomery County Public Library, rated ninth among the largest libraries, and Howard County Public Library, rated 10th among libraries serving 100,000 to 249,999.



  • Report is good read for 9 area libraries

Cleveland Plain Dealer 09/28/02

Tom Breckenridge
Plain Dealer Reporter

Area libraries are finding nationally ranked success by cutting through the computers and stacks of books to pursue this simple maxim: Give people what they want.

Lakewood and Stow-Munroe Falls libraries say catering to patrons' tastes is a big reason why they've achieved Top 10 rankings nationally for the populations they serve, according to a survey of 9,000 libraries. The two libraries are among nine in Northeast Ohio that achieved lofty rankings in Hennen's American Public Library Ratings, released yesterday by Wisconsin librarian Thomas Hennen. Hennen crunches data in 15 areas, including circulation, staffing and budgets, to create his national report card. Once again, Ohio ranked first among all states in library rankings, due mainly to the best funding in the nation. Ohio will send a $460 million chunk of the state income tax to its public libraries this year.

At Lakewood Public Library, the staff has refocused some of its $4.26 million budget on Generation X. After a first-ever drop in circulation in 1999, the library undertook a demographic study that revealed an underserved, younger audience. The library went to a bookstore-style layout where books are clustered by eye-catching subjects with "surprise and attitude," said Director Kenneth Warren. Subjects include "Girl Power," "Wild Ideas" and "Stuff for Hipsters." The library too is partnering with the school system to offer brown-bag book clubs and deliveries of books and magazines for students engaged in science fairs and other projects. The effort paid off - Lakewood ranked first among 523 libraries nationally serving populations of 50,000 to 99,999, in Hennen's ratings. Euclid Public Library and Cleveland Heights-University Heights library finished ninth and tenth, respectively, in the same category.

Stow-Munroe Falls library finished fifth among 877 libraries serving populations 25,000 to 49,999, its first Top 10 ranking. Director John Patane says his library circulated 751,000 items last year, the most ever, and is 5 percent ahead of that pace this year. "We've got what people want," Patane said. Books satisfying daily demands, such as cookbooks and career advancement books, are stocked in the most visible locations, Patane said.

In Medina County, new Director Mike Harris faces an exploding demand for his five-library system. Patrons borrowed more than 2 million items last year, compared to 1.2 million in 1990. He credits a summer reading program that reached 5,200 children and motivated readers for the library's popularity. About 50 people attended a book discussion Tuesday night on Tony Hillerman's book "Coyote Waits." Medina County District Library ranked third among 325 libraries serving populations of 100,000 to 249,999 people.

Local libraries achieving Top 10 rankings once again were Porter Public Library in Westlake, Twinsburg Public Library, Wickliffe Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library. Other area libraries in the national rankings were Cleveland, which was 20th among those serving a population of more than 500,000; and Akron-Summit County, 19th, population of 250,000 to 499,999.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: tbreckenridge@plaind.com, 216-999-4695

  • Jeanette Hurt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote on 4 February 2001,  Library rankings stir some debate

    People rate hospitals. People rank universities. People grade cities.

    Library rankings

    Photo/Michael Sears
    Thomas Hennen Jr., system director for the Waukesha County Federated Library System, works in his downtown Waukesha office. He publishes Hennen's American Public Library Rating Index, which rates libraries across the country.

    TOP 10

    1. Denver Public Library in Denver
    2. Columbus Metropolitan Library in Columbus, Ohio
    3. Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library in Indianapolis, Ind.
    4. Hennepin County Library, in Minnetonka, Minn.
    5. St. Louis County Library in St. Louis
    6. Fairfax County Public Library in Fairfax, Va.
    7. Gwinnett County Public Library System in Lawrenceville, Ga.
    8. Mid-Continent Consolidated Library District in Independence, Mo.
    9. Multnomah County Library in Portland, Ore.
    10. Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg Counties in Charlotte, N.C.

    So Thomas Hennen Jr. thought: Why not rank libraries?  

    But in issuing the first and only scorecard of its kind for 9,000 of the nation's libraries, Hennen, a Racine resident who is the administrator for the Waukesha County Federated Library System, shook up the staid library community. The ensuing controversy has yet to fade. "I knew I would get flak (for rating libraries), but I have a thick skin," Hennen said. "I thought it would help libraries, and in the long run, I think it will."  While national statistics about libraries have been collected by the government for years, Hennen is the only person who has taken the time to analyze and compare the data. Hennen published his first edition of Hennen's American Public Library Rating Index in the American Libraries journal in 1999.


  • The Associated Press State & Local Wire,  November 1, 2000, Wednesday, BC cycle,  State and Regional,  320 words,  Hays Public Library doubly honored,  HAYS, Kan.  "Officials of Hays Public Library were still enjoying their 12th straight ranking as the state's busiest library in cities of more than 10,000 people when they learned of another honor. A national index has ranked the library tops in service in its population category.  "We are pretty elated," said Melanie Miller, library director for the past 18 years.  She noted the "misperception that in the age of technology, libraries will cease to exist.  Libraries will continue the mission Jefferson set out for them and provide access to technology as well as print," she said.


  • The Associated Press State & Local Wire,  November 3, 2000, Friday, BC cycle,  State and Regional,  178 words,  Denver library gets top ranking,  DENVER.  "A national index ranks the Denver Public Library as tops in the nation for libraries in cities with a population of at least 500,000. The library earned a score of 890 out of a possible 1,000 to move up from last year's rank of No. 14 on Hennen's American Public Library Ratings Index."


  • "Naperville Has Top Library in Nation Again," reports Dan Rozek from the Chicago Sun-Times noted on October 25, 2000 that "Naperville's public library system scored a literary three-peat, notching its third straight rating as the best library in the country for its size."  See rest of story. 


  • Susan Greenwood at Naperville was pleased to report that Naperville's top ranking in HAPLR was covered on Chicago radio stations WMAQ and WBBM, as wells as on CLTV television stations on October 25, 2000.  


  • "Denver Ranked First in U.S" reads the Rocky Mountain News story.  "I don't think we'd get the crowds we'd get for a Broncos parade," Waters said. "But it should be celebrated that much."  [Denver] City librarian Rick Ashton agreed.  "We've been taking bids on brass bands," Ashton said with a laugh.  The ranking, by Hennen's American Public Library Ratings Index, was a dramatic jump from last year when Denver was ranked No. 14.  The article was by reporter Peggy Lowe in the November 3, 2000 issue of the Denver Rocky Mountain News, Page 4a. 


  • "Library is Ranked Number 7 in Magazine Survey;" [Lake Edition] reports Helene Van Sickle for the Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill.; Oct 30, 2000; pg. 3. "There are many fine libraries effectively serving their communities both in Chicagoland and throughout our country," said Fred Byergo, Cook Memorial Library head librarian. "It's an honor to be named among the best according to Mr. Hennen's criteria."  Cook Memorial Library is the only Lake County institution named and joins Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Naperville, Palatine, Schaumburg and Wheaton as Top 10Chicago-area libraries in their respective population categories.


  • "I thought I might hear champagne corks popping in the background when I called Cindy Murphy [of Gwinnett County Library] to say congratulations." reports Larry Wilkerson in "Library puts service over 'statistical' rank," in The Atlanta Journal- Constitution; Atlanta, Ga.; Nov 2, 2000. 


  • "High Point Library Ranks Fourth in State," reports Mark Binker, Staff Writer for the News & Record - Piedmont Triad of North Carolina reports on November 2, 2000 that High Point's public library is one of the five best in the state, according to a national survey to be published this month.  See the rest of the story. 

  • In his November 2, 2000 Cleveland Plain Dealer article, "Three area libraries win top rankings," reporter Tom Breckenridge notes that:  "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."  See rest of story

  • "Book marks: Fort Worth library scores high in rankings."  Jennifer Autrey, Star-Telegram Staff Writer asks in the Fort Worth Star Telegram for Friday November 3, 2000: "Do you have any acquaintances in Dallas who read? Perhaps it's time to invite them to cross the county line to eye all our books.  Fort Worth has a new reason to gently rib its neighbor in their long-running rivalry. A nationwide rating of America's public libraries released last week puts the Fort Worth Public Library system in the nation's top 25 percent and among the top for its population size."  

  • "Libraries ranked among nation's elite" By Laura Cadiz, Baltimore Sun, Nov 6, 2000.  "We're pleased that people from out of the area confirm what people here in the county feel - that we're giving good service," said Ronald S. Kozlowski, Anne Arundel's library administrator.  Maurice Travillian, assistant state superintendent for libraries, said that though some might be critical of the study, it's a "pretty good rough cut" of library rankings.

  • Baton Rouge libraries rank seventh in state.  By DERRICK NUNNALLY Baton Rouge LA Advocate 11/6/00.  What does it mean to be one of the best in one of the worst? Baton Rouge libraries may have the answer.  The parish library system placed seventh among libraries in Louisiana in a ranking of overall quality in a survey released this month in American Libraries magazine.

  • Midlands libraries stack up among the best By BERTRAM RANTIN Staff Writer for the Columbia South Carolina State reported on November 3, 2000  that: "Richland and Lexington county's public library systems have been tapped among the best in the state and nation. The Richland County Library system is rated fourth nationally among libraries serving populations from 250,000 to 499,999 and sixth among all urban facilities serving populations of 250,000 or higher by the Hennen's American Public Library Ratings. The ratings place Richland County's system in the top 4 percent nationwide among all categories. The Lexington County system is among the top 33 percent nationally."

  • Sara Eaton of the Fort Wayne, IN Journal-Gazette reports that "County library hits top 10 for 2nd straight year"  For the second year in a row, the Allen County Public Library ranked within the top 10 of American public libraries serving 250,000 to 499,999 people, according to a library rating index. In September 1999, Allen County was rated ninth. This year the system moved up one notch, to eighth place. "We're delighted to be highly ranked," said Jeffrey Krull, Allen County Public Library director. "Of course there are lots of fabulous libraries."  Krull said the library ranking has become comparable in the library community to the U.S. News and World Report rankings of American colleges and universities.

  • The Denver Post editorialized on November 7, 2000 about top rate Denver Public Library.  " This is a big deal. It means that, compared to most places,  Denver residents have some of the best opportunities to read,  research, explore the Internet and check out an astounding variety  of books. Having a great library means our kids can enhance their  educations and adults can expand their understanding and enjoyment  of the world.  The rating also shows how much the library has been  improving, as last year DPL only ranked No. 14.  Much of the credit must go to DPL staffers, starting with  soft-spoken, bow-tied chief librarian Rick Ashton and including  every librarian, assistant and researcher, whether at the main  downtown library or one of the many branches around the city."

  • "Suburban libraries rate high in services, staff, books," says Jennifer Chambers for the Detroit News on November 8, 2000 on page 23 of the Metro section.  With its thick white columns, Federal-style paint colors and cherry book cases, the Plymouth District Library is the White House of public libraries.  [I]t's not surprising to library director Pat Thomas that the Plymouth District Library received a top rating in a study that examined nearly 9,000 public libraries in the United States.

  • THE WICHITA EAGLE , 11/02/2000 "HAYS LIBRARY LANDS ON TOP OF NATIONAL INDEX".  HAYS - Officials of Hays Public Library were still enjoying their 12th straight ranking as the state's busiest library in cities of more than 10,000 people when they learned of another honor. A national index has ranked the library tops in service in its population category.  "We are pretty elated," said Melanie Miller, library director for the past 18 years.

  • "No. 1 Wired City' doesn't seem to care about libraries" writes Peter Callaghan on 09/07/00 in the Tacoma News Tribune.  Callaghan says: "Two news events last month told the story of two public libraries going in different directions. In Seattle, backers of a campaign to boost the library system were announcing a sizable donation toward their goal. In Tacoma, the library board was presenting the latest in a series of cuts forced by a cash-short city budget. Seattle saw its weak system and decided to improve it. Voters approved a bond issue to build a new main library, add three new branches and improve the other 22 branches. Library supporters launched a fund-raising effort that has been so successful, the goal has been increased from $40 million to $75 million. Over the same years, Tacoma has seen its excellent system and decided that it no longer could afford it. The library board is looking at cutting the hours at the city's branches, even closing them for yet another day.

  • The Associated Press State & Local Wire.  November 14, 2000, Tuesday.  SECTION: State and Regional.  News in brief from central Pennsylvania.  DATELINE: HARRISBURG, Pa.
    Two central Pennsylvania libraries are in the top ranks in the country in their population categories according to an independent survey of 9,000 institutions - but Pennsylvania libraries as a whole do not fare as well.  The New Cumberland library placed 13th nationwide and in the 99th percentile among 1,228 libraries in the 5,000 population category in the Hennen's American Public Library Ratings index.  The Hershey public library ranked 42nd and in the 97th percentile out of 1,399 libraries in the 10,000-population group, the survey said.  Pennsylvania libraries as a whole, however, ranked 44th nationwide in the index, which considers 15 factors, including funding, circulation and staff.

  • South Bend Tribune (Indiana)  "County library rank falls: Drop attributed to funding for Centre Township Branch." November 13, 2000 by MARGARET FOSMOE, Tribune Staff Writer.  The St. Joseph County Public Library is ranked the fifth-best public library in the country serving populations of 100,000 to 250,000, according to this month's American Libraries magazine.  The library dropped from its fall 1999 ranking of second place in the category. "In the past three years, we've ranked in the top 10 in the country in that category. That's something to be proud of," said Director Don Napoli. He attributed the drop in the rankings to a funding decision related to the new Centre Township Branch Library.  In 1998, the library moved $1.1 million into the operating budget to help cover the construction cost of the Centre Township Branch, which opened in December 1999. That had the effect of increasing the budgetary demands of the library, while the benefits were not available to patrons until the new branch opened the following year.

  • Book:  The Magazine for the Reading Life, provided a August 2000 piece on the second edition of HAPLR  called "Turning the Page."   Quoting Hennen:  "There was a time, less than a hundred years ago, when libraries didn't even have open stacks--where you, the customer, couldn't just go find a book yourself," Hennen says. "When open stacks came along, there were those in the profession who said this was going to ruin libraries. We survived that, we survived the paperback book, and more recently, we survived the photocopier."

  • "Tippecanoe library ranked 4th in the nation" according to the November 26, 2000 edition of the Journal and Courier News of Greater Lafayette, IN  "Of course, we're thrilled to be so highly ranked by a third party," said county librarian Joel Robinson. "I think it speaks well of our community's commitment to the library, our hard-working staff, and the importance of the library and humanities in the quality of life we enjoy here."  

  • "Shhhh! Cheers for local library system are heard," reads the headline in the Silicon Valley Business Journal.  The November 3, 2000 article notes: "In the heart of Silicon Valley, the printed word is still valued. The Santa Clara County library system loaned 6.99 million books and other materials in its fiscal year 2000, according to head librarian Susan Fuller."

  • "Cozad ranks high for their Wilson Public Library in national study," said reporter Holly Ostrander on Channel 2 in North Platte Nebraska on December 28, 2000.  Karen Hanson, the Director of Cozad’s Wilson Library, says “It has a lot to do with the staff. They’re friendly, and good people.”

  • "Weaving a web of books," is how Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Reporter Dan Benson headlines his December 23, 2000 report on libraries in Ozaukee County.  He quotes HAPLR author Tom Hennen as saying: "Like Garrison Keillor might say, all the Ozaukee County libraries are above average."

  • "Ohio outranks W.Va., Ky. in national library survey," reads the headline by reporter Dave Malloy in the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington West Virginia. "Financing makes a big difference," Hennen said. "You don’t get good library service without good local funding. Money isn’t everything, but it’s very important. Providing good library services costs money."

  • W. Calvin Horton, Town Manager Director noted in his report to the town board that: "The attached report includes information on the recently published Hennon’s American Public Libraries Rating (HAPLR) Index., which compares public library indicators for excellence.  The Index ranked North Carolina 35th in the nation and the Chapel Hill Public Library 1st in the state, with a rating of 782 out of 1000. " 

  • Their web site notes that Elmhurst Public Library was ranked the fourth best public library in the nation when compared to 737 other public libraries with similar populations according to the Hennen’s American Public Library Rating (HAPLR) Index. This index, compiled by Thomas J. Hennen, Jr., Library Director of the Waukesha County Federated Library System (WI), uses statistics from the 1998 Federal-State Cooperative System (FSCS) to rank US public libraries. The HAPLR Index compared data on 15 factors for approximately 7,000 public libraries throughout the country. The libraries were divided into ten population ranges and ranked within their population range. The Elmhurst Public Library is within the population range of 25,000 to 49,999.

  • The Iowa State Daily News notes that Ames Library ranks high nationally "It's a wonderful opportunity to thank the Ames community and make them proud as well," said Gina Millsap, director of the Ames Public Library. "It shows that we compare very favorably to libraries across the nation."

  • The North Country Times in California notes the Carlsbad Library places 10th among its peers.  "I think it shows we offer one of the quality library systems in California," Carlsbad Library Director Cliff Lange said Tuesday. "I'm pleased we're ranked where we are."  Only two other California libraries made the 10 top-10 lists, which are categorized by population service areas.  "(Hennen's) worked on it and tried to perfect it so that it really reflects what's going on in libraries," Lange said. "I think it's valid. It's not perfect, but given the data he has to work with, it's as good a method as any."   See the Carlsbad Library site.  

  • Library tax levy renewal merits voters' support reads the editorial headline in Business First, The Greater Columbus Business Authority.      Is the library worthy of taxpayer support? they ask.  Absolutely. The Columbus Metropolitan Library has widespread influence over the Greater Columbus community.  Last year, the branches allowed patrons to borrow 11.3 million items. Their reference desks answered more than 1.3 million questions either in person, by phone or by fax. The success hasn't gone unnoticed. The Columbus Metropolitan Library was recently ranked the best library in the United State serving populations of more than 500,000 by Hennen's American Library Index.

  • The City News of Nashville Tennessee's Suzanne Greenwood asks in her article headlined "Library Greatness:"  Good books, state-of-the-art technology, sophisticated professional journals, friendly, competent service … What makes a library great?  Nashville Library Director Donna Nicely says: “Like any statistical index, it’s very hard to tell the whole story about an institution,” she said. “I’m very pleased [our system ranked highly], but we’re going to strive to do better.”

  • The Pilot of North Carolina headlines it as "Library Receives Honor."  SPPL Library Director Lynn Thompson was pleased with the announcement.  “Southern Pines is a community that has always supported and valued library service,” she said. “This is evidenced in the spacious, attractive building our citizens built and in the number of active cardholders who use the library."

  • Who could deny the assertion by the Indianapolis Star that Libraries are assets to any community?    Noting that Carter County in Kentucky recently rejected a proposal to start a library, they added: National rankings as well as local use show our libraries are doing a good job. Hennen's American Public Library annual ratings lists the Indianapolis-Marion County system third in the nation among libraries serving populations of more than 500,000. The Carmel system is second in its population category. Seven other Indiana systems are among the top 10 in their groups.

  • Wheaton Public Library proclaims on its web site: "For the second year in a row, Wheaton Public Library has been ranked among the Top Ten U.S. libraries in its population group of 50,000 to 100,000. Hennen's Public Library Ratings 2000 has moved Wheaton up the list from last year's 9th place to 6th place in the group, with a rating of 846 out of a theoretically possible 1,000. Over 500 libraries nationally are in Wheaton's comparison group, so any rating near the top is great."

  • Library Spot has a spot in its heart for HAPLR:  Great American Libraries it announces as one of its many "lists."  


Prior to 2000

"It always feels good to have some validation of your efforts," Waukesha Public Library Director Jane Ameel said, praising the staff and Public Library Board. "Really, it's a tribute to our community . . . because a lot of the ranking is based on how much your customers use your services."  She was quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on September 8, 1999.  It felt even better on October 8 when Wisconsin Governor Thompson came to sign the state budget bill in the Waukesha Library, because, as he said. “I wanted to come to the fifth best library in the world.”  This quote is from the front page of the Waukesha Freeman.

John Berry, III in his April 15, 1999 Library Journal Editorial entitled "On the Uses of Recognition" says that whenever any library is honored, every library benefits. He adds: "'What would it cost to make our library number one?' The question came from a local selectman after he read Thomas J. Hennen Jr.'s ranking of U.S. public libraries in the January issue of the American Library Association's (ALA) official organ ("Go Ahead, Name Them: America's Best Public Libraries," American Libraries, p. 72-76). The local librarian had sent it to him. The appearance of the library in roughly 16th place under one of Hennen's four population groupings triggered an incredible rush of civic pride, local newspaper editorials and features, and a kind of rejuvenation for the library's director and top staff."

Connecticut Lt. Governor Rell personally presented a proclamation to the Darien Library congratulating the board and staff for its rating.  She called the Darien Library "a real gem," and the many newspaper articles about the library's rating echoed that theme.  Library Director Louise Barry, called the rating, the publicity and the Lt. Governor's proclamation a real source of civic pride. 

The St. Louis Post Dispatch noted that St. Louis County Library and its next-door neighbor, St. Charles City-County Library, are ranked among the nation's top 10 public libraries in a new survey of nearly 9,000 institutions.  It quoted St. Louis County Library Director C. Daniel Wilson and Carl R. Sandstedt, director of the St. Charles City- County Library, expressed satisfaction that the survey "points to the high qua lity of life in the St. Louis region and the importance its citizens place on public libraries."  But they noted that the index does not cover many important services provided by libraries.

The Kansas City Star celebrates the fact that the Johnson County Library system is ranked No. 1 in its population category in a national study.  "It showcases our whole community, in a way," said Donna Lauffer, deputy county librarian. "You don't get those ratings without that type of community support. It just makes everyone look good."

The Columbus Dispatch spotlighted three area libraries Columbus Metropolitan Library, Westerville Public Library, Bexley Public Library on September 3, 1999. "This is a community of library users and supporters, a well-educated community who knows learning can be a lifelong process.''   The library systems in central Ohio compete to provide exemplary service, which raises the standards for all, Columbus Metropolitan’s Larry Black said.

 "We would like to think we would do well in almost any kind of ranking," said Michael Madden, director of Schaumburg Township District Library. Madden believes Schaumburg's library - also serving Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Roselle and Streamwood - will do even better in the future. Since the library opened its newest building and central library a year ago, statistics increased in numerous categories. This was according to Timothy Rooney in the September 11 edition of the Daily Herald. [see entire story]

Way Public Library advertises it self as Your Way to the World of Information and one of America's Top Public Libraries! It celebrates ranking 7th in its population group on its web site at: http://www.wcnet.org/~waylib/haplr.html

One of the nation's best libraries might be right around the corner, notes Tom Breckenridge of the Cleveland Plain Dealer That's especially true if you live in Painesville, Westlake, Twinsburg, Lakewood or Wadsworth. Twinsburg Public Library finished first in the nation for libraries its size… "We're in the best state for libraries," said Karen Tschudy, 15-year director of the Twinsburg library.   "If you don't have the money to buy the materials, it's difficult."

Bob Goldsborough  wrote in the Chicago Tribune on September 10, 1999, that Naperville Is No. 1 For 2nd Year In Row.  "It is really stunning to be at the top of the list a second time," said Naperville Library Director Donna Dziedzic in a statement. "While we're proud of receiving the honor for the second time, we haven't changed anything. We'll continue to try to consistently provide the very best service to Naperville residents at the very lowest cost."

Naperville's libraries rank No. 1 says Kari Allen Daily Herald Staff Writer.  Naperville now may be the second kid-friendliest suburb in America, but its libraries still rank as the very best in their class. For the second year in a row, the Naperville Public Libraries have been named the No. 1 public library system in the United States when compared with other facilities of comparable size. The ranking shows the libraries are "providing the best possible (use) of taxpayers' dollars," Library Director Donna Dziedzic said. [see entire story]

In the September 3, 1999 issue of the Indianapolis Star, Library Director John Fuchs pointed with pride this week to a national ranking that places Carmel Clay Public Library third in its size category for libraries in the United States. Fuchs noted at this week's library board meeting a report in the September issue of American Libraries.  The report showed Carmel third in the nation in libraries serving populations of 25,000 to 50,000.

In the September 6, 1999 edition, LJ Digital notes that  “Library Ratings Again Draw Interest, Some Criticism.”  The second round of Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (HALPR) has been published in the September issue of American Libraries, and, as with the first round last year, has drawn media interest as well as some professional criticism.  However, the rankings, based on data submitted by each state to the Federal-State Cooperative System (FSCS) were criticized last year for not acknowledging factors such as electronic use and Internet access, and Hennen acknowledges that such data remain unavailable.

Santa Clara County Library Assistant Library Director Julie Farnsworth was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle September 23 as saying "We have been having a huge increase in people checking out items," Farnsworth said yesterday. "We think more people are coming in to use the Internet, and then checking out books."

Cary Memorial Library  Director Carol Mahoney and the community celebrated recently when they were listed the “fifth best library in America in the 25,000-49,999 population category.”

In Virginia the Loudon County Library's director was happy to be able to lead into a TV interview with their top ranking rather than yet another statement on their Internet filtering lawsuit. 

Don Napoli, Library Director at St. Joseph County Library in South Bend, Indiana, said to his staff when he got the news "This is a big deal! What makes it even more exciting is that the 15 factors which the study uses to make the comparison are the very things that we--you and I and the Library Board--have been working on very hard for the past 21 years."

The December 28, 1998 St. Louis Post Dispatch quotes St. Charles County Library Director Carl Sandstedt as saying: "It's not the bricks and mortar, it's the staff and materials that matter."  He adds, "The underlying data have been there for years.  It's about time they rated libraries."

In the Akron Beacon Journal the Director of the Twinsburg Public Library in Ohio, Karen Tschudy, notes: "You always believe your library is among the best.  It's nice to see somebody prove it. We're very proud."

In the Kansas City Star, Mona Carmack of the Johnson County Library says: "My first reaction was, 'How did they figure that?'  I am very pleased because it was purely statistical."

Larry Black, Director of Columbus Metropolitan Library is quoted in the Columbus Dispatch with: "It's sort of nice to be at the top of one of those.  We were very pleased, of course, to have an outside organization validate our efforts."  Bexley Public Library was rated No. 1 in libraries serving between 10,000 and 99,999 people.  ''Primarily, I think we have some good management, and I'm proud of what we're doing,'' said Robert Stafford,

Bexley's library director. Stafford credited the General Assembly for providing revenue for public libraries.  Ohio sets aside 5.7 percent of personal income tax receipts for public libraries. Generous state funding helped give Ohio 17 of the top 60 small libraries.  Five of the top seven libraries serving populations between 10,000 and 99,999 are in Ohio.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette noted that Cedar Rapids Library Director Susan Craig had read the story about the HAPLR Index in American Libraries magazine and applauded Hennen's efforts for taking a stab at rating what has really never been rated before. She credits Hennen with being open about what data he is using so that debate about his methodology might result in an improved ranking system next time.

The Toledo Blade's January 21 edition quotes Toledo-Lucas Library Director Clyde Scoles as saying "We are very pleased with it.  It speaks very well of the library and the support we have had from the voters over the years." 

"When we first started looking at national figures in the 80's, they were awful," but that is no longer the case said Jerry Roy of Johnson County Library in Kansas to the Olathe Daily News.  He added, "It's a two way thing.  The library does a good job, and the public uses it to a great extent.  "The Johnson County Sun in Kansas quotes Library Director Mona Carmack as agreeing with Hennen that data measurement alone cannot define excellence in library service.  "[T]he service each individual receives from library staff is what's most important."

A smiling Ida Nemec of the Plum Lake Library in Sayner Wisconsin is featured on the front page of the Lakeland Times.  The article notes that although Hennen considered a friendly smile an important part of a quality library, it could not be measured in the HAPLR Index.  The ranking also inspired extensive radio coverage for the library.

Ohio's OLA Hotline notes that Shirley George, Director of the Beaverton City Library, is known among colleagues for her philosophy on public service. Her goal is to give customer service that's even better than Nordstrom. That's one measure that isn't covered in the survey, but illustrates part of what makes

Beaverton City Library notable. The citizens of Beaverton must agree, since they've given their approval at the polls for a new library. Voters passed, by a large margin, the construction of a new 67,000 sq. ft. library. Ground will be broken in the spring of 1999, and the project is expected to be completed in early 2001.

LJ Digital notes that critics of the Index fault it for focusing too much on circulation and traditional services rather than the newer electronic services and the Internet.  The author agrees and hopes that the necessary national data will be available for future editions of the HAPLR Index.

The Iowa City Public Library is ranked sixth out of 508 U.S. libraries in similarly sized cities.  ''I think that it reflects the strong support and heavy use that the community gives our library,'' said library Director Susan Craig in the Cedar Rapids Gazette on September 9. 

Greenwich Library Named Best in State by National Public Library Survey says the library’s web site. 

The Dayton Daily News observed that four libraries in the Miami Valley were in the top 20 nationally!  They are Worch Memorial Library in Versailles, J.R. Clarke Public Library in Covington, Wright Memorial Library in Oakwood, and Washington Centerville Public Library. 

Washington-Centerville Library Board President Bonnie Mathies is quoted in the Centerville-Bellbrook Times of January 27, 1999 as saying "We are ecstatic to be number 2 in the country.  Our staff and administration work hard to ensure that we maintain an outstanding budget for collection development." 

The Topeka Capital Journal observes that   "I was looking for information about conferences, and my jaw just dropped," Miller said. There, in black and white, the Hays Public Library was ranked fourth in cities of 10,000 to 99,000 in the nation.

Ed Tibbets reports in the Quad-Cities Times that the index confirms the popularity of the new Bettendorf Library, where the nearly 2-year-old stacks teem daily with people seeking children's books, magazines, computer access time or respite in the Table of Contents Cafe.

The Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette reports that Urbana Free Library officials were caught off guard by the article and the library's ranking and, understandably, giddy about it.  "We've always known that the Urbana Free Library's statistics were impressive," library board President Michael Stevenson said Wednesday. "But it's great to have this confirmed by a national study."

The Boston Globe of Feb 28, 1999 notes that: T The score takes into account library operations, funding and the amount of materials that flow in and out. But it does not take into consideration customer satisfaction.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer noted that the HAPLR Index ranked 17 Ohio libraries, including five in Northeast Ohio, in the top 20 of their respective population categories.  Westlake's Porter Public Library was third and Painesville's Morley Public Library fifth in the 10,000 to 99,999 category.  "This is a real coup for the whole state," said Twinsburg Library Director Karen Tschudy.  Medina County Library officials were happy not only to make the list, but also to have been named the 1998 Library of the Year by the Library Journal.

The Cupertino Scene notes a particularly good year for Santa Clara County Public Library.  Susan Fuller was named Librarian of the Year by Library Journal and the library made the top ten in the HAPLR Index. 

The Indianapolis Star notes did a page one metro story on the rankings.  "As far as I know, this is the first time something like this  has been attempted in the library profession," John Fuchs, director  of the Carmel Clay Public Library, said of the national survey. "We  were very pleased to see we ranked as highly as we did. "

Ginger Orr, writing for the Chicago Tribune on March 3 notes: "It shows we are efficient, but this study doesn't say whether people like you or not. You can use your money efficiently, but that doesn't mean people come," said Susan Greenwood, programming director for the Naperville Public Library. The study also does not look at Internet access and audiovisual material--two things considered cutting edge for libraries today. State and federal records do not fully document these electronic services, Hennen said. "We do tremendous business in CDs and videos, not just books," Greenwood said.  

The March 7 Washington Post reports that librarians are saying: We're number 11! That's the chant resounding from the aisles of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, which was ranked 11th-best in the nation by the American Library Association for libraries serving more than 100,000 people. "This is great," said Donna Cote, director of the regional library system. "We didn't have a clue; we just opened a magazine and there it was." The poll was released in January's issue of American Libraries, a publication of the association.

Writing for The State in Columbia South Carolina, Amanda Mays cites the Richland County Public Library for its 21st rank in the over 100,000 population category.  Library Director David Warren compares their traffic count to being in the Atlanta airport on a Sunday afternoon.  Since their new building opened in 1993, circulation and visitors have doubled. 

East Syracuse Free Library third of the libraries in its population category. Library director Shirley Reichert said in the Syracuse News Times that  she was "absolutely surprised" by the honor. Now the library proudly displays a banner declaring it "One of America's Best Public Libraries." Although the report didn't rank the efficiency and congeniality of the staff, Reichert said it's the employees that make the library a top-shelf effort.

The March 1999 issue of Governing, a magazine for elected and appointed government officials features the HAPLR-Index under the title: Bookworm Heaven and lists the top ten libraries in the over 100,000 population category.

On their web site we find: "We are absolutely delighted that Fairfield Public Library received a grade of A+," said Tom Geoffino, Library Director.  "I believe our success is a reflection of the wonderful support we have always gotten from the public, the town, and our Board of Trustees." 

Cory de Vera of the Columbia (MO) Tribune reported that “Voters support popular library.”  The Columbia Public Library is a gateway to a world of free research tools, free recreation and civic involvement. The library serves as the headquarters for the Daniel Boone Regional Library system.

Peter Callaghan of the Tacoma News Tribune editorialized on July 18, 1999 about the HAPLR Index. "Want some good news about local government? How's this: Washington's public libraries are among the best in the nation. Susan Odencrantz, acting director of Tacoma's library system, said she knew Tacoma had good statistics when she came here from Multnomah County libraries in Oregon. She compliments the officials who have managed to give the library enough money to do its job. "We're not a boom town and yet they've continually funded us well," she said. She'd rather do well in statistical comparisons than poorly, but statistics "only tell part of the story."

Central Rappahannock Regional Library  Director Donna Cote says, “ numbers such as very high collection turnover, frequent visits, and number of reference transactions per capita in institutions such as the CRRL, strongly suggest positive patron experiences and user satisfaction."

I apologize for links that may have stopped working; newspape are quite erratic about how long they keep a story on their site.





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