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Santa Monica Library Earns Another Five Star Rating
By Jorge Casuso
January 10, 2019 -- For the ninth year in a row, the Santa Monica Public Library was ranked among the nation's best thanks in large part to circulation and visits.
Santa Monica's five-star rating placed it among the 257 public libraries -- from a total of 7,361 public libraries ranked -- that earned three, four, or the highest, five-star rating, library officials said.
The Library Journal's 2018 index -- which is based on 2016 data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services -- rates libraries on the level of service they provide.
The libraries are evaluated on their per capita circulation, circulation of electronic materials, visits, program attendance and public Internet computer use.
The index also takes into account whether a facility is "welcoming," offers "engaging programs" and "has collections with diversity and depth that appeal to the community," library officials said.
Other important factors affecting scores are a library's use of technology and e-media.
"In order to make fair, apples-to-apples comparisons, each library is compared to its peers that have about the same amount of funding to spend," Library Journal officials said.
"As a result, receiving a star rating not only means that the library itself delivers a strong return on investment, but that when graded on a curve, it is one of the strongest performers."
The Library Journal had expected to add Wi-Fi sessions per capita to the index this year but lacked the reported data needed, Journal officials said.
Santa Monica's Library, said Director of Library Services Patty Wong, "seeks to meet community needs" by adopting a "Fine Free" program for youth, providing "pop-up" libraries and summer reading programs, and offering interactive festivals and classes.
The Library also has a "knowledgeable, friendly staff,” Wong said.
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