Point library ranks fourth in state
MARK BINKER, Staff Writer
POINT -- High Point's public library is one of the five best in the
according to a national survey to be published this month.
don't expect Kem Ellis, director of the Neal F. Austin High Point
Library, to be shouting from the roof-tops and putting up banners.
was saying that before there ever was an index," Ellis said
would get more excited about it if it were done on something other than
are a lot of wonderful libraries in the state that were not in the
rankings are published in the November issue of American Libraries -- a
journal for librarians -- and use a variety of data reported to
state and federal governments. The study's author uses those numbers to
an index from 1 to 1,000, much like the nationwide SAT test index's
for high school students.
Point's score was 714, fourth on the list of North Carolina libraries.
Chapel Hill Public Library topped the state's rankings.
Greensboro Public Library, which serves most of Guilford County, ranked
out of the 70 North Carolina libraries on the survey. Five libraries,
Forsyth County Public Library, were not ranked because they did
report some data needed by the survey.
in Greensboro will vote on a $5.1 million bond referendum for
to the public library system on Tuesday, but much of that will
to capital improvements not measured by the report.
chief reason that Greensboro's library ranks lower than High Point's is
the survey focuses on how much money the library spends per user.
the survey's purposes, High Point's library only counts 73,322 people
potential users -- roughly the population of High Point alone -- while
counts most of the county's population -- 310,496 -- as
serving a greater population and the city is bearing 91 percent of
cost," said Sandy Neerman, director of the Greensboro library.
almost 40 percent of the customers who use the nine Greensboro
branches live outside the city, Guilford County taxes fund only
six percent of the library's budget.
libraries like High Point's that have only one branch and serve
limited population tend to score better on the survey than larger
Greensboro's score was above the state average of 450 and compares
with libraries of similar sizes that serve similar populations.
study's author cautions that his rankings should not be the only way
rank the value or performance of their libraries.
indexed score is just one element to look at," said Thomas J.
study author and director of the Waukesha County Federated Library
Hennen, Ellis and Neerman all said that a library's effectiveness
be measured solely by its budget.
said he would rather be praised for intangible factors, like how well
library's programs serve High Point's needs.
certainly did not look at that ranking and say, 'Oh Boy! Look at what a
job I'm doing,'" Ellis said.
CAROLINA LIBRARY RANKINGS
to a survey and research published in the November issue of
Libraries, here are the top 10 libraries in North Carolina and
scores out of 1,000, as well as Greensboro's score.
Chapel Hill Public Library, 782
Southern Pines Public Library, 738
New Hanover County Public Library, 719
High Point Public Library, 714
Henderson County Public Library, 693
Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, 676
Durham County Library, 674
Wake County Library, 651
Transylvania County Library, 650
Asheville-Buncombe Library System, 644
Greensboro Public Library, 497
North Main Street
Point, North Carolina 27262
(336) 883-4422, Extension 241