SMPL: Nine Straight Years of Five Stars

For the ninth year in a row, the Santa Monica Public Library has earned a five-star rating from the Library Journal. Photo: Courtesy.

By Staff Writer 

For the ninth year in a row, the Santa Monica Public Library has earned the top five-star rating from Library Journal’s national rating of public libraries.

The Library Journal (LJ) Index of Public Library Service spotlights the “best of the best across America”. The 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, service opportunities, and improve library awareness and funding.

Two prime per capita measures, circulation and visits, continue to establish Santa Monica Public Library as a star library. Other important factors are a welcoming facility with engaging programs and collections with diversity and depth that appeal to the community. Technology and e-media are also important factors affecting scores.

“The Library seeks to meet community needs through the adoption of our Fine Free for youth initiative, pop-up library experiences, dynamic summer reading programs, interactive festivals and classes, and knowledgeable, friendly staff,” said Patty Wong, Director of Library Services. “We look forward to piloting new initiatives, partnerships, and services to continue to offer five-star services and programming to the community.”

The 2018 ratings are based on 2016 data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The LJ Index ranked 7,361 public libraries on the level of service they provide by evaluating per capita circulation, circulation of electronic materials, visits, program attendance and public Internet computer use. A total of 257 public libraries earned three, four, or the highest, five-star rating.