Santa Monica Public Library is ranked among the nation’s best, earning four stars in the Library Journal’s national rating of public libraries, the LJ Index of Public Library Service 2009.

The ratings, announced Nov. 15, were based on 2007 data from the Institute of Library Services. The index looked at more than 7,000 public libraries on the level of service they provided and identified 258 “star’ libraries. Libraries were evaluated on per capita statistics that included visits, circulation, program attendance, and public Internet computer use.

The top libraries in each group received five, four or three stars.

“Library staff is working hard to help residents cope with the economy, educational needs and personal interests, and we’re happy to be rated among the top libraries in the nation. Our goal is to help each person be successful, so if we’re successful that means we are making a difference in the community,” said Library Director Greg Mullen.

The newly created LJ 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 assess and improve the services they present to users.

For more information about the library, its programs, and services visit your local branch or

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