Fayette library earns national award 3.11.09

Written by David Green.

Fayette’s Normal Memorial Library gained a star after its name—three stars, to be exact.

In a new index of library “service output”—patron visits, circulation, program attendance and public internet use—Fayette earned a three-star rating in the Library Journal’s Star Library program.

Thirty libraries in each of nine sizes, based on operating expenditures, were honored with either five-, four- or three-star ratings, based on total points awarded.

Normal Memorial stands at number two among the three-star facilities in the $100,000 to $199,999 expenditure range.

Data submitted from 2006 is evaluated on a per-capita basis. For example, the total number of library visits in a year divided by the number of people served gives. For Fayette, the journal index views that Fayette as an average of 16 library visits a year for a typical patron.

In reality, many patrons visit more often and some residents don’t come in at all, but the index provides an indication of library usage.

Similarly, Fayette has a rating of 22 library materials borrowed every year per capita. An average user attends one special program a year and uses the library’s internet services seven times a year.

Developers of the index point out that it is a rating system, not a ranking system. Many important factors such as collection quality, library accessibility and convenience, quality of programs and customer satisfaction are not included.

Instead, the four service outputs can be considered “prerequisites” for library quality and value.

“A library that excels on the Index is very likely to be headed in the direction of high service quality and excellence,” wrote the authors of a Library Journal article. “We offer the Index to help paint part of a picture of overall library performance. The ratings should be one among several sources of information indicating your library’s performance in your community.”

The authors note the abundance of Ohio libraries on the star list—a total of 31, second only to New York—and point out that Ohio is the only state with dedicated state-wide funding. In other states, libraries are often battling other agencies for funds.

Ohio’s funding plan should translate into more materials, more open hours, more programs, etc., and the results of the Index point to that outcome.

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    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
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    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
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    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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