LJ Index of Public Library Service

With Ray Lyons, Keith proposed the LJ Index in a 2008 article solicited and published by Library Journal. Access it at:  http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2008/06/ljarchives/the-new-lj-index/

To receive an LJ Index score, a public library must meet four criteria:

  • Meet the IMLS definition of a public library
  • Have a legal service area population of at least 1,000
  • Have annual operating expenditures of at least $10,000
  • Report all four per-capita statistics on which the score is based: visits, circulation, public Internet computer use, and program attendance.

Libraries are scored in nine categories of annual operating expenditures, based on their relationship to their category’s average on each statistic.

Since 2009, there have been six editions of America’s Star Libraries, the annual announcement of LJ Index results and the Star Library ratings based on them.  (Note: the links for the buttons for 2009 and 2010 are temporarily disabled, due to the LJ website’s redesign.  This problem will be addressed in due course.)

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For answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) for the LJ Index and its Star Library ratings, see: http://features.libraryjournal.com/stars-faq/

Keith and Ray are available to help your library—or group of libraries, or state—get the most out of the LJ Index project. If you are interested in exploring the options, contact Keith at keithlance@comcast.net and/or Ray at raylyons@gmail.com.