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Santa Monica Library Receives Top Rating

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By Daniel Larios
Staff Writer

December 1, 2014 -- For the fifth year in a row, the Santa Monica Public Library is once again the only Southern California library to earn the prestigious five-star rating from the national Library Journal (LJ) Index of Public Library Service.

The local library was among 85 five-star libraries in the nation, with a total of 258 public libraries earning three, four or five-star ratings, according to the LJ website.  

The Santa Monica Library had 1.25 million visitors; more than 4,000 participants in its youth summer reading and 11,000 open hours “for our beloved community to gather, share, learn, and relax,” said Maria Carpenter, the City’s director of library services. “We thank the Santa Monica community for its extraordinary support.”

The LJ Index ranked 7,586 public libraries on the level of service they provide by evaluating per capita circulation, visits, program attendance and public Internet computer use.

According to the latest statistics posted on the library’s website, Santa Monica’s Main library and its Fairview, Montana, Ocean Park and Pico branches had 1,265,286 visitors during the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Some 1.6 million items were checked out, including nearly one million books and more than 500,000 videos. Nearly 61,000 people attended library programs, some 42,500 of them youths.

Library staff also answered 341,633 questions, according to the web site.

Announced earlier this month, the ratings are based on 2012 data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

The LJ Index offers an overall indication of how a library’s performance stacks up to peer libraries and provides guidance on how public libraries can better inform their stakeholders of achievements and service opportunities, and improve library awareness and funding.

The Library offers a variety of services and engaging programs for all ages and interests at five neighborhood library locations.

For more information, visit a Santa Monica Public Library branch or the Library’s web site www.smpl.org.


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