The Salt Lake City Public Library and its five branch locations rated second best in the nation, according to a new national ranking. Three other Utah libraries aren't so shabby either, earning Library Journal 's highest rating possible in a new Index of Public Library Service.
Based on 2007 data gathered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the ranking judged 7,268 libraries across the nation based on circulation, visits, program attendance and public Internet use.
Along with Salt Lake City, the Milford Public Library and Lewiston Public Library garnered five-star ratings, the highest rating available. Utah's Mount Pleasant Public Library earned a three-star rating. The Salt Lake City Public Library branches include the Anderson Foothill, Chapman, Day-Riverside, Sprague and Corrine & Jack Sweet libraries.
Salt Lake City ranked second among libraries in the $10 to $30 million expenditure range, second only to the Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, N.Y. The rankings were released Nov. 15 by Library Journal .
"Our five-star rating in the LJ Index is recognition that The City Library continues to receive exceptional support from our community as we continue to provide the services, events, and materials that enhance the quality of life in Salt Lake City," said Beth Elder, library director.
Andrew Shaw, assistant manager of community affairs at Salt Lake City Main Library, said that many measurements used in the ranking have increased since the 2007 data was gathered.
"Even since that time we've seen our circulation go up dramatically," he said. "We're seeing a real increase in use due to the poor economy."
Milford Public Library ranked 10th among all libraries nationally within the $50,000 to $99,999 expenditure range. Lewiston Public Library also ranked 10th among its expenditure range of $10,000 to $49,999.
The full ranking is available online at www.libraryjournal.com/ljindex2009x.