Hennen's American Public Library Ratings
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Tennessee Library Association Conference  March 26-28, 2002 Nashville Convention Center Nashville, TN

 HAPLR Library Rating System - Thomas J. Hennen Jr.

Tennessee Library Association – March 28, 2002

 American Libraries has featured three editions of Thomas J. Hennen Jr.’s  HAPLR ratings since January of 1999.  The ratings have received newspaper, radio, and television coverage in scores of communities throughout the U.S.  The controversial rating system employs 6 input and 9 output measures to construct individualized rating summaries for the thousands of libraries in the U.S.  The rankings are similar to an ACT or SAT score.   State by state scores put Tennessee last and Ohio first in the ratings, but this presentation will go beyond the simple scores into the details.  Find out where Tennessee libraries need to improve as well as where they are already beating the Buckeyes in library service. 

 The presentation will include:

  • The HAPLR Index and how it is constructed.
  • A description of the elements of a standard HAPLR rating report.
  • The elements of a special HAPLR report.
  • A call for national library standards that I believe should be adopted by PLA.
  • The most frequently asked questions about the HAPLR ratings.


The Great GASB 34 Auditing Challenge -Thomas J. Hennen Jr.  

Tennessee Library Association – March 28, 2002

 The presentation is not an accounting or finance seminar, but a strategy session.  The presentation will look at strategies for implementing the rules to the library’s advantage. 

In June 2001 Library Journal published “Do You Know the REAL Value of Your Library?” by Thomas J. Hennen Jr.   The article covers GASB 34 (pronounced to rhyme with The Great Gatsby).   This is a new set of accounting rules, considered by accountants to be the most monumental change in government financial reporting in American history. 

The new rules may prove hazardous or helpful to public libraries—depending on the knowledge base that library planners bring to the table.  

According to the new rules, when auditors prepare the annual audit (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, they will be required to capitalize and depreciate library book and materials collections. 

Expect to laugh as well as learn in this session.  “There are three types of librarians,” Hennen adds with a smile, “those that can add, and those that cannot.  This presentation is for all types.” 

GASB Implementation Schedule by size of community budget:

ü        June 15, 2001 – Budgets over $100 Million

ü        June 15, 2002 – Budgets over   $10 Million

ü        June 15, 2004  -- All others


Biographical Information

Thomas J. Hennen Jr. has been a practicing librarian for over 25 years.  He is presently the Director of Waukesha County Federated Library System in Wisconsin.  He previously directed library systems elsewhere in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  The Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings have gained media notice in scores of communities since their first publication in American Libraries magazine in January of 1999.  The series of articles proved so popular that American Libraries took the unusual step of posting them in their entirety on their web site at:  http://www.ala.org/alonline/news/special.html


Library periodicals such as Library Journal, American Libraries, and the Australian Library and Information Science Journal have published over 40 of his articles on topics ranging from childrens’ literature to rural library service to library futures, standards, and accounting.  Hennen has addressed professional library associations in a dozen U.S. states and in several Canadian Provinces during his career.  For more complete biographical information see:


Updated 3/26/02



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