Thursday, December 30, 2010

Santa Monica Libraries Among the Best in the Nation

From an article in the Santa Monica Mirror, posted 12/24/10
“Santa Monica Libraries Among the Best in the Nation” (Anne Nagamoto)

… growth in usership has helped Santa Monica’s public libraries rank among the top 3 percent of the nation’s public libraries, according to the latest survey by the Library Journal. The survey, known as the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service 2010, is a measure of how well public libraries are serving their communities. Based on fiscal year 2008 data, more than 7,400 U.S. public libraries were ranked in four per-capita areas: number of visits, circulation rate of books and other materials, internet terminal usage, and program attendance. The Santa Monica libraries earned five stars, which is the top ranking.

“People in the community are supportive and appreciative of the library, and there is a growing demand for library services,” said Greg Mullen, Santa Monica’s director of library systems/city librarian. “The new main library is a welcoming environment and provides a space that was missing in the community, a comfortable place where people can go to connect with others and with ideas. The City’s investment in the main library says something positive about our community.”

Raquel Jaffe-Day, a film costumer who lives in Santa Monica, said the recession has changed the way she uses the library. “We’ve saved a lot of money because we’re now getting a lot of DVDs from the library as opposed to renting them,” she said. She recently planned a trip by borrowing library books rather than buying travel books, and she now buys her books at the Friends of the Library bookstore, where she finds a good selection of used books and where the money she spends goes to help support the library…

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