For Immediate Release
Contact: Margaret Harter
Community Relations Coordinator
812-349-3050; fax 812-349-3051
email: mharter [at] mcpl [dot] info
Bloomington, INDâ€•A new national rating of public libraries, the Library Journal (LJ) Index of Public Library Service, has identified Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) as a Star Library. The rating puts MCPL in the top 3.6% of public libraries.
The LJ Index scored 7,115 public libraries on four output measures of public service: visits, circulation, program attendance, and public Internet computer use (based on 2006 data submitted to state library agencies). The Index used per capita data to assess libraries' repeat business, an indicator of customer satisfaction and service quality. Libraries were grouped by total operating expenditures, with top libraries awarded three, four, or five stars. Based on its score and ranking within its group (libraries with total expenditures of $5-$9.9 million), MCPL received three stars.
"We are pleased to be among the top libraries in the country," said library director Sara Laughlin. "It's confirmation of our staff and Board's hard work to bring quality service to our community every day."
National ratings cannot completely measure quality of service. In 2008, MCPL undertook a Community Survey that confirmed patrons' satisfaction with the library's core services: collections, reference service, programs, facilities' maintenance, and staff. As a part of its strategic planning process, the library did a valuation study, which showed that for every $1.00 invested in the library in 2006, Monroe County residents received $1.68 in value. The 2008 figures show a return on investment of $1.80. Find out more at our plans and reports page. 
Last fall, Monroe County Public Library was rated a Top Ten American Library in the Hennen American Public Library Rating, published in American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association.