Top 2½ Percent: We Earned a 4-Star Rating from Library Journal

The Kansas City Public Library remains among a select group of public libraries across the country, earning a 4-star designation from Library Journal.

The Journal’s ratings, measuring the contributions that public libraries make to their communities, were released by the trade publication on Monday, November 2, 2015. Only two other Missouri libraries, the North Kansas City Public Library and St. Louis County Library, were accorded 4-star status.

Nationally, fewer than one in 30 public libraries — 261 of 7,663 — received 3-, 4-, or 5-star ratings from the trade publication. Only a little more than 2 percent earned four or five stars.

“Kansas City is lucky to have such a passionate Library staff, one that is so committed to its mission of literacy and lifelong learning,” says Library Director Crosby Kemper III. “This 4-star designation underscores that.”

The New York-based Library Journal bases its ratings on per-capita library use in four areas — circulation, library visits, internet computer usage, and program attendance — as reported to state library agencies and compiled nationally by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This year’s index uses that data from the 2013 fiscal year.

The Journal classifies libraries according to their yearly expenditures, and awards three, four, or five stars to the top libraries in each category. The Kansas City Public Library is among 112 libraries with budgets between $10 million and $30 million, the second-highest spending group. In that category, it was one of 20 earning four or five stars.