Vernon Area Public Library is named among America’s Star Libraries for 2022, as announced by Library Journal this month. The distinction places the library in Lincolnshire among the top 20 public libraries in the U.S. in its budget category.
America’s Star Libraries is an annual ranking of public libraries by trade publication Library Journal. The index scores libraries according to amount of use, including in-person visits, circulation and use of electronic resources.
Among the more than 5,300 public libraries assessed for 2022, the top performers — "Star Libraries" — are assigned three, four, or five stars, much like Michelin Guide ratings. The result is a short list of public libraries nationwide that demonstrate the highest level of service to their communities. Vernon Area Public Library District received four stars.
“Libraries across the nation adapted services quickly to serve patrons during the first year of COVID. To be recognized by LJ for our work in 2020 is a wonderful honor. Our staff's connection to the community is a big part of our success,” said Library Director Anne Rasmussen.
2022 Star Library status was awarded to just 258 libraries nationwide. Neighboring Cook Memorial, Deerfield, Ela Area, and Indian Trails libraries also received recognition.
Scores and ratings are based on the most recent data in the national database at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The data used for the 2022 rankings is from fiscal year 2020 — the first pandemic year.
During that measurement period, public libraries across the United States were affected dramatically by COVID, which changed and complicated the statistics for the year. Even so, Vernon Area ranked near the top.
At Vernon Area, door count and checkout of physical items decreased compared to previous years. Checkouts of digital materials such as e-books, downloadable audiobooks and streaming movies and TV increased. Program attendance remained level as staff quickly pivoted to online and attendees embraced the new format.
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