Monday, November 7, 2011

Charlotte named one of America's best public libraries

After just missing the cut last year, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg library has regained a spot on the Library Journal's list of America's best public libraries.

The library is among 262 U.S. public libraries -- and the only one in the Carolinas -- that the magazine designated this year as "America's Star Libraries." The ratings use data from four areas -- visits, circulation, program attendance and public Internet computer use.

One big caveat with these ratings, however: They're based on 2008-09 data. That's data gathered before Charlotte-Mecklenburg made huge budget cuts in 2010. Back then, libraries were open 1,521 hours per week, Charlotte-Mecklenburg library spokeswoman Cordelia Anderson tells me. Today, they're open only 824 hours a week.

"We are pleased with the designation," Anderson said in an email, "but we also acknowledge that it is a reflection of where we were three years ago."

This year, the Library Journal gave Charlotte three stars out of five. In 2008 and 2009, it earned five stars, the highest rating. But in 2010, it slipped off the list, just missing the three-star designation. The Library Journal describes its 262 star libraries as "delivering exceptional levels of service despite economic hardships." Learn more about the ratings here.


Anonymous said...

This is wonderful news but I just can't see how it happened! The poor Char-Meck library system has been gutted so badly, so much budget, staff and operational cuts ...

Sounds like this selection committee is blowing smoke up Charlotte's ... ego.

Anonymous said...

Didnt you just read the article. It said its based on several years ago. if your going to poat a comment dont be stupid about it